Enemy of the State

November 20th, 1998


Enemy of the State

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Still of Gene Hackman in Enemy of the StateStill of Regina King in Enemy of the StateStill of Jerry Bruckheimer, Tony Scott and Daniel Mindel in Enemy of the StateStill of Lisa Bonet in Enemy of the StateStill of Will Smith in Enemy of the StateStill of Will Smith and Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State

A lawyer becomes a target by a corrupt politician and his NSA goons when he accidentally receives key evidence to a serious politically motivated crime.

Release Year: 1998

Rating: 7.2/10 (94,049 voted)

Critic's Score: 67/100

Director: Tony Scott

Stars: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight

Robert dean is a mild-mannered lawyer who works in Washington D.C. He is on the trail of a kingpin named Pintero. Meanwhile, a politician named Thomas Reynolds is negotiating with Congressman Phillip Hammersley about a new surveillance system with satellites. But, Hammersley declines, that is when Reynolds had Hammersley killed, but this murder was caught on tape, and this person was being chased by Reynolds' team of NSA agents, the guy must ditch the tape, so he plants it on Dean (unbeknownst to Dean). Then, the NSA decides to get into Dean's life. That is when Dean's life began to fall apart all around him, with his wife and job both gone. Dean wants to find out what is going on. Then, he meets a man named "Brill" who tells him that Dean has something that the government wants. That is when Dean and Brill formulate a plan to get Dean's life back and turn the Tables on Reynolds.

Will Smith - Robert Clayton Dean
Gene Hackman - Edward Lyle
Jon Voight - Thomas Brian Reynolds
Lisa Bonet - Rachel F. Banks
Regina King - Carla Dean
Stuart Wilson - Congressman Sam Albert
Laura Cayouette - Christa Hawkins
Loren Dean - Hicks
Barry Pepper - David Pratt
Ian Hart - Bingham
Jake Busey - Krug
Scott Caan - Jones
Jason Lee - Daniel Zavitz
Gabriel Byrne - Brill
James LeGros - Jerry Miller (as James Le Gros)

Taglines: It's not paranoia if they're really after you.

Release Date: 20 November 1998

Filming Locations: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $20,038,573 (USA) (22 November 1998) (2393 Screens)

Gross: $111,544,445 (USA) (18 April 1999)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | USA: (extended version)

Did You Know?

The film's technical advisor, Larry Cox, is a former National Security Agency official.

Continuity: At the end of the film when Dean realizes Brill has placed a camera in his house, he waves his hand at the camera as he looks at himself on his television. The camera angle we see on his TV is straight on as though the camera were on top of the TV, yet, alternately, we see a camera angle from what looks to be the ceiling as Deal looks up at it.

[first lines]
Congressman Phillip Hammersley: Come on. Come on, mutt. Now, look at that ball. All right. Come on, get that ball. Ah!

User Review

Crackerjack Thriller with a message...

Rating: 8/10

Why? Well for starters there is the best chase sequence since The French Connection. Then there is Will Smith as an actor - not just a star, though later in the movie he is admittedly overshadowed by veteran Gene Hackman.

There are two layers to this movie: On the surface is a pacy thriller with edge-of-the-seat chases but underneath lies a telling commentary on government surveillance. It is one of those truth-in-fiction stories which makes its point about government intrusion into privacy dramatically and effectively.

There are references to the classic, The Conversation: The surveilled couple talking in the park, and the Hackman character's premises are an obvious recreation of his workshop in the earlier movie. If you haven't yet seen The Conversation - see it before you see this one - you will understand the Hackman character a lot better (besides, it is a superb movie in its own right).

Oh, and Jon Voight is terrific as the bad guy...


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