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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Missing the Point
Having NOT seen this in a theater, as it was only released on DVD in the U.S., I can only comment on the DVD version. I have seen half of it in English (in which Germans are speaking excellent English), and all of it dubbed in German (released in Germany, with no subtitles). There, of course, the Americans are speaking German all too well.

This film must be...
Published on January 10, 2005 by Dr. Victor S. Alpher

versus
16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This Is Not 'U-571': One Good Idea Ruined by Flat Direction
'In Enemy Hands' stars the solid cast, including William H Macy ('Fargo'), Scott Caan ('Ocean's 11'), Lauren Holly ('Turbulance'), Till Schweiger ('Driven') and Thomas Kretschmann ('The Pianist').

This low-budget film (by Artisan and others) about the two WW2 submalines and their crew has one interesting idea at its core, but fails to make good use of it. In...
Published on February 21, 2005 by Tsuyoshi


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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Missing the Point, January 10, 2005
By 
Dr. Victor S. Alpher (Austin, Texas, U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In Enemy Hands (DVD)
Having NOT seen this in a theater, as it was only released on DVD in the U.S., I can only comment on the DVD version. I have seen half of it in English (in which Germans are speaking excellent English), and all of it dubbed in German (released in Germany, with no subtitles). There, of course, the Americans are speaking German all too well.

This film must be taken for what it is, I think. A showcase for W.H. Macy (his acting is not superficial, nor are his interactions with his wife, whom he had to leave as Chief on the U.S.S. Swordfish). Sure, the numbers and names of ships are all wrong. Did NO Kapitän-Leutnant serve underwater with his blue tunic on, as suggested by one reviewer? This is a good introduction to Til Schweiger, who really is of matinee-idol stature and appearance, as Captain of one U-Boat, and the first watch officer (Thomas Kretschmann) really shows his acting talents....compeletely different in Stalingrad, The Pianist, U-571. Perhaps Mr. Macy was not challenged by the role, and the meningitis outbreak is unbelieveable....but aren't movies unbelieveable. Do they not require suspension of disbelief, even the best?

I did not expect the Barry Lyndon of U-Boat movies. The sets are too wide, the U.S. sub is too brightly lit...but the "best set" film has been done (Das Boot) and took a year to film (see the Director's Cut DVD). Other criticisms are hollow...the flag, the seaman appearing to wear a modern German Navy tunic (I have seen them, I do not think so, but it is a brief shot. At least no one is wearing Chuck Taylor sneakers! And the back and forth between Macy and Kretschmann (Captaincy shifting back and forth depending on the conditions and likelihood of being captured by Americans or Germans--all within a few hundrend miles of the U.S. coast (which is realistic)...ending with Kretschmann ending up as a P.O.W. with the guarantee of living past the war, which was the intention of the Captain played by Til Schweiger.

All in all, it may not be historically accurate, but is a drama set in wartime, with some atypical themes (German taking prisoners against orders), some suspense...you want more from a film that did not get theatre release? I recommend it, but of course it is not a chick flick (probably an un-PC statement although commonly used), but it might become one because of Til Schweiger! So see it!
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Missed the boat....., July 9, 2005
By 
James B (Kansas City, Mo. United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Enemy Hands (DVD)
The other reviewers that is.

This is a fabulous film that superficially is about WW2 submarine warfare (and yes you can see there's a lot of low-rent sets...especially the interior shots of the American submarine). In Enemy Hands is the best male-ensemble war film since Platoon...& maybe better. It isn't William Gacy's best effort(he seems to throw off his lines like an aging hipster)

& perhaps it's because Til Schweiger absolutely steals the film with his nuanced deeply effective performance of the U-boat Captain.

What I think is truly subversive is the metaphor- in this case meningitis that affects the American crew and later contaminates the German crew which has rescued the them. You don't have to dig deep (or think too hard) to find that this is an anti-war film on the surface and a clever way of critiquing America's influence

and culture throughout the world. The film id's it as a disease- a fatal disease that infects all.

And it's somewhat of a trojan horse in that it masquerades as the familiar genre of naval warfare films.

Look closely- the German actors are wonderful to look at...they look healthy...the Americans? Wimpy, non-descript, outside of the head bangin'banty-rooster American sub commander.

This is a hidden gem of a film- perhaps too subtle for a mass-audience of film goers. If you've taken a good film history class or studied acting- I think you'll be blown away.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good flick, December 14, 2012
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This review is from: In Enemy Hands (DVD)
love these type of movies. this one is very good. my wife watched it and loved it to. thank you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Different Role for Scott Caan, November 10, 2011
By 
This review is from: In Enemy Hands (DVD)
Synopsis: Starring William H. Macy, Til Schweiger, Scott Caan and Lauren Holly, among other notable actors, this movie is set during World War II when Hitler's Germany was turning out U-boats by the tens of thousands. The Americans and the British had one goal: to put the innumerable U-boats out of commission. Aboard an American submarine, disease breaks out and then the boat is destroyed by a German sub. Going against protocol, the German captain takes the surviving Americans on board. Disease and sub damage force the Americans and the Germans into an unlikely alliance, and no one knows whether they'll make it out alive - or whose side will kill them all first.

This was a very different role than I'd seen Scott Caan in to date. For one, this wasn't an indie film, and after watching so many of those (mostly his) as well as a lifetime of watching studio pictures, I've gotten so I can tell the difference now just by sitting through a minute or two.

This was a kick-ass movie.

Mr. Caan plays a Naval officer commanding a U.S. sub during World War II. It turns out one of his men has meningitis, and he contracts it. Then his sub, the Swordfish, comes under enemy attack and is destroyed. Only a handful of his men survive, but the captain's fading fast, dying from the disease.

I have to admit, I had a tough time believing someone so young would be in command of a sub during wartime with the first scene where Mr. C.'s wearing the dress whites. However, once we were on-board the sub with him, it really worked. It was like he came alive on that set, and between his and William H. Macy's performance as the Chief of Boat...along with the rest of the cast...I was hooked.

Full of action, full of the critical human elements that make you care about both sides no matter which side you might have supported had you been alive back then, the movie delivers in a serious way.

**SPOILER ALERT**
I have to admit that I heaved a long-suffering sigh when I realized Mr. Caan's character was going to die. I thought, Does he die in, like, every movie he's in? Well, no, he doesn't. But someone significant always seems to in the ones I've seen! However, I was pleasantly surprised by the manner in which he did eventually go, because at least it was a heroic death!

There was a great line delivered by the captain of the German U429: "To save a life instead of taking it away, that's power." I liked that.

Because my focus is to talk about how the movies made me feel...what my gut-reaction to them is rather than sounding like a professional movie critic (which I will never be), I have to say the movie at times made me teary, at times got my adrenaline going and at times left me breathless.

It was quite refreshing to see Mr. Caan in a role like this, and amused me a little to think that here, years later (this movie came out in '04), he's now on a show where it's the other guy who dons the dress whites and is in the Navy.

Some other points of interest for me were other members of the cast whom I recognized from other TV shows such as Lauren Holly from NCIS, A.J. Buckley and Carmine Giovinazzo from "CSI: NY" and Jeremy Sisto from "Law & Order." This film was filled with a who's who of television actors.

I highly recommend this if you like action, war movies, subs or just the actors involved. It is a damn fine movie.

Oh, and guess what? An actor by the name of Ian Somerhalder is in this movie, too, for you fans of "The Vampire Diaries."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SLOW MOVING DRAMA, January 24, 2011
This review is from: In Enemy Hands (DVD)
Warning: plot spoilers. William Macy gives us a credible role as the COB (Chief of the Boat) on an American submarine during WWII. The COB is the highest ranking enlisted man and is typically the voice of reason, controlling young brash officers, such as the captain of this boat. We contrast his "driver: style to that of the likable easy going U-Boat captain. The action takes place off the coast of the US in 1943 as U-Boats are sinking US ships. In this case, the American and German sub meet, and exchange torpedoes. The German sub is destroyed and American is damaged and sinking. During the attack the XO dies from meningitis, which he was nice enough to have shared with the captain. As fate would have it, there was a second U-boat in the area and the remaining American crew are picked up and held prisoner. The meningitis spreads and 2/3's of the German crew die. The German supply boat never shows up.

The captain of the U-Boat decides he needs to use the Americans to survive. His plan is to work together and head for the US shore and surrender as their only hope to survive. Macy, who by now is the American leader, and really wants to see his wife again, agrees to the Germans and Americans working together. The crew develops respect for each other, except for a hand full of Tea Party followers, filled with hate from listening to Hitler and Glenn Beck decide otherwise. (Okay, I am just kidding about Hitler.)

Predictable-yes. What I liked about the movie is that in spite of the cheap scenes, they stayed fairly accurate to sub life in general. Diesel boats would surface at night to recharge the battery running the diesel and then during the day run submerged on the battery.

The movie is fine for people who have been on subs such as myself, although I would knock off a star for most of you who haven't.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This Is Not 'U-571': One Good Idea Ruined by Flat Direction, February 21, 2005
By 
Tsuyoshi (Kyoto, Japan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Enemy Hands (DVD)
'In Enemy Hands' stars the solid cast, including William H Macy ('Fargo'), Scott Caan ('Ocean's 11'), Lauren Holly ('Turbulance'), Till Schweiger ('Driven') and Thomas Kretschmann ('The Pianist').

This low-budget film (by Artisan and others) about the two WW2 submalines and their crew has one interesting idea at its core, but fails to make good use of it. In 1943, USS Swordfish Lt. led by Cmdr Randall Sullivan (Caan) encounters its enemy ship, German U-Boat U-429 led by Kaptain Jonas Herdt (Schweiger).

The film then shows one intriguing premise -- What if the crew of the boats share the same submarine; what if they must join force to survive the situations that get more and more deadly to them?

Sadly writer/director Tony Giglio fails to find the best method to develop this idea. You know, in this case, you need lively, interesting characters to engage our attention. Instead, Giglio assembled the used materials from other submarine films, and patched them up to cover the whole 98 minutes. You can hear the echoes of other better films -- I don't name names -- when you see the mutiny/hostage situation, and occasional torpedo attacks. And you also get one epidemic, too, which is too conviniently introduced.

William H Macy and Thomas Kretschmann, both playing the officers under command of Caan and Schweiger respectively, are doing their best, but it is obvious that the acting is nowhere near their best. And as to ill-used Lauren Holly (who was also ill-used in 'Down Periscope'), and Jeremy Sisto whose character is reduced to a pixel, I have nothing to say except that they deserve much better roles than these.

I don't say 'In Enemy Hands' is badly done. It just lacks originality. The CGIs are decent, and the submarine designs are reasonable, but still it needs momentum 'Das Boot' and 'U-571' are endowed with.

Though it seems that 'In Enemy Hands' went straght to video in USA, it showed up in theaters in Japan, and the Japanese version I saw was doing an admirable thing, letting Germans speak German through the film. I like it, but that does not bring the cardboard characters to life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not great, January 24, 2014
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I love submarine movies. Good submarine movies. This was not one of them. Scott Caan is not good enough to be a leading actor, and William H. Macy seems doomed to be a sad-sack character. The scenes with his wife were unnecessary, and the little flashback of a conversation with her brought the whole thing to a screeching halt. Give me "U-571" any day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great dvd to buy, August 12, 2013
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This review is from: In Enemy Hands (DVD)
i bought this for my fatherinlaw who was a subumariner . has a good plot and great cast. til and macy play great rolls. a good movie to watch for all
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent WWII movie!, August 3, 2013
By 
Cheryl S. (Pennsylvania) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Enemy Hands (DVD)
This movie is well worth the price. The movie is about an American submarine crew that is picked up by a German U-boat after their.boat
is destroyed. The Germans and Amercans must work together after an meningitis affects both crews.
Excellent acting a little far fetched but very entertaining. Well worth the price if you likeWWII stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enemy Hands DVD, July 31, 2013
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This review is from: In Enemy Hands (DVD)
Very good movie. I am glad I invested in this DVD. I saw the movie on TV and so I wanted to be able to view it whenever.
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In Enemy Hands
In Enemy Hands by Tony Giglio (DVD - 2004)
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