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Enemy of the State (1998)

Will Smith , Gene Hackman , Tony Scott  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (422 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet, Regina King
  • Directors: Tony Scott
  • Writers: David Marconi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 15, 1999
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (422 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305428115
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,074 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Enemy of the State" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Hot Hollywood favorite Will Smith (MEN IN BLACK, INDEPENDENCE DAY) stars with Academy Award(R)-winner Gene Hackman (Best Actor, UNFORGIVEN, 1992, THE FRENCH CONNECTION, 1971) in a high-powered suspense thriller where nonstop action meets cutting-edge technology. Robert Clayton Dean (Smith) is a successful Washington, D.C., attorney who -- without his knowledge -- is given a video that ties a top official of the National Security Agency (Oscar(R)-winner Jon Voight, Best Actor, 1978, COMING HOME) to a political murder. Instantly, every aspect of Dean's once-normal life is targeted by a lethal team of skilled NSA surveillance operatives, who wage a relentless, ultra-high-tech campaign to discredit him and retrieve the incriminating evidence. Also featuring Regina King (JERRY MAGUIRE, BOYZ N THE HOOD) in an impressive, star-studded cast -- get ready for the action to explode as Dean desperately races to reclaim his life and prove his innocence before it's too late.

Amazon.com

Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith) is a lawyer with a wife and family whose happily normal life is turned upside down after a chance meeting with a college buddy (Jason Lee) at a lingerie shop. Unbeknownst to the lawyer, he's just been burdened with a videotape of a congressman's assassination. Hot on the tail of this tape is a ruthless group of National Security Agents commanded by a belligerently ambitious fed named Reynolds (Jon Voight). Using surveillance from satellites, bugs, and other sophisticated snooping devices, the NSA infiltrates every facet of Dean's existence, tracing each physical and digital footprint he leaves. Driven by acute paranoia, Dean enlists the help of a clandestine former NSA operative named Brill (Gene Hackman), and Enemy of the State kicks into high-intensity hyperdrive.

Teaming up once again with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Top Gun director Tony Scott demonstrates his glossy style with clever cinematography and breakneck pacing. Will Smith proves that there's more to his success than a brash sense of humor, giving a versatile performance that plausibly illustrates a man cracking under the strain of paranoid turmoil. Hackman steals the show by essentially reprising his role from The Conversation--just imagine his memorable character Harry Caul some 20 years later. Most of all, the film's depiction of high-tech surveillance is highly convincing and dramatically compelling, making this a cautionary tale with more substance than you'd normally expect from a Scott-Bruckheimer action extravaganza. --Jeremy Storey


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise February 6, 2005
By Into
Format:DVD
Despite the fact that we both like Gene Hackman and Will Smith, my wife and I put off seeing this movie for along time, thinking that it was probably going to be just another run-of-the mill Jerry Bruckheimer action flick, all of which get to be a bit overblown and "samey" after awhile (IMO Crimson Tide, and the spoof, ConAir, are his best films)...but what would otherwise just have been another pretty good action/suspense film, took on an eerie resonance in the post 9/11 era--the legislation that the Jon Voigt character was willing to kill to get passed had more than a faint aroma of "The Patriot Act"-- and I'm surprised that more reviewers haven't mentioned that.

As far as the "lack of substance" that some reviewers mention, that is entirely subjective, and I do not agree with it. As far as reviewers who talk about this not being as good as 1974's The Conversation, get a clue that elements of this movie are conscious homages to that earlier (and IMO, badly dated, and overrated) movie--one of the things that's fun about Bruckheimer's movies is that they are full of homages to earlier suspense/action flicks, esp. those that influenced him. Also, folks, get a clue to the fact that the Will Smith character's "dumbness" and naivety, is part of the point of this movie: his ignorance of technology, and his over-reliance on other people for information, put him at the mercy of the "heavies" in this movie, and left him wide open to the crisis in which he found himself embroiled. As an aside, along the lines of the eerie resonance of this movie in the wake of 9/11, it gave my wife and I a bit of a chill down our spines when Gene Hackman's character revealed by "hacking" into the NSA computer that the Jon Voigt character's birthday was "9/11"--an eerie coincidence three years before 9/11/01.
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75 of 89 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
MOVIE: Enemy of The State is another one of Jerry Bruckheimer's mid 90's action extravaganzas. He reunites with Tony Scott to bring us this action flick about government coverups and how technology is used to basically track every aspect of your life. The movie is about a lawyer who is unwillingly thrown into a wild cat and mouse chase. A congressman is murdered near a reservoir where research is done on migratory geese. So, unknowingly, the whole thing is caught on tape and ends up in the hands of a nerdy and young Jason Lee. He realizes what he has in his possession and during a foot chase he bumps into his old friend played by Will Smith and secretly drops the tape in his bag. Now Will Smith's character is thrown into a world of espionage without knowing why he is being hunted. He meets up with Brill, played by Gene Hackman, an ex NSA agent who ends up helping him. Hackman basically plays a reincarnation of his character in Coppola's The Conversation. The movie is directed at a fast pace by Tony Scott, and it's an overall entertaining action flick. I felt the movie tried to be smarter than it actually was and that the characters were very plain and boring.

ACTING: I didn't like Hackman in this role, but Will Smith brought some life into the movie. For people who haven't seen the movie in awhile you should check it out to recognize some young faces including Jack Black, Jake Busey, Jaimie Kennedy, Seth Green, and the of course the previously mentioned Jason Lee.

VIDEO: The great thing about the recent releases of Con Air, Crimson Tide, and Enemy Of The State are the new anamorphic transfers of the films. They are greatly appreciated and are so much better than the old ones.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie - Bad DVD August 14, 2002
Format:DVD
I'll be brief. Enemy of the State is a good action flick with a lousy transfer to DVD. If you have a standard television stop reading this review now: you won't notice what I'm talking about. If you are running a 16:9 TV then read on.
Like many before, this supposedly "wide screen" version is nothing of the sort. The DVD is encoded in a standard 4:3 image, with black bars matting the top and bottom. In other words, this is a non-anamorphic transfer. What that means is that the image you are seeing is lower resolution than a standard NTSC TV signal because of the fewer vertical lines present. On a 16:9 TV the image looks "squished" shorter and "stretched" longer. Most 16:9 TV's have a mode that can re-stretch the image to achieve the proper aspect ratio. The problem there is now the horizontal lines are clearly visible throughout the film.
I wish studios would stop the absurd practice of releasing "matted" widescreen transfers, and only call a DVD "Widescreen" if the transfer is anamorphic. But as long as they're doing it, hopefully enough people will protest to get the studio's attention.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TRULY EXCELLENT ACTION THRILLER - ONE OF THE BEST! November 27, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
I am not a great Will Smith fan, but he does a very outstanding job in this HIGH TECHNO, EDGE OF YOUR SEAT, INTELLIGENT, DON'T GO TO THE BATHROOM WITHOUT PAUSING THE VIDEO - video! You absolutely won't go wrong with this one.... promise!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie. August 16, 2007
Format:Blu-ray
This is an excellent thriller/drama movie with a very relevant plot for todays society. It may have been far fetched when it was made but it is more of a blue print for todays reality.

The audio and video transfers are excellent and definitely rate a tier 1 presence for Blu-Ray.
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Is this edition a wide screen 2.35:1 or a wide screen letter box 2.35:1?
This edition is anamorphic widescreen, not letterbox like the previous version. I believe the new editions of Crimson Tide and Con Air are anamorphic as well.
May 17, 2006 by Defshep |  See all 4 posts
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