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Enemy at the Gates

Enemy at the Gates

Jean-Jacques Annaud (2001)

15 Certificate
Sunday 11:05pm - 1:40am Film4
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Our Score
Featuring three miscast stars and a pedestrian script, this uninspiring drama focuses on the battle for Stalingrad, one of the turning points of the Second World War. According to director Jean-Jacques Annaud's version of events, the lengthy conflict (summer 1942 to February 1943) boiled down to a sniper duel between legendary Russian shepherd Vassily Zaitsev (Jude Law) and German nobleman Major K├Ânig (Ed Harris). Unfortunately, Annaud dilutes the psychological aspects of their confrontation and the four suspenseful sniper sequences with a dramatically undernourished romantic subplot involving Rachel Weisz. Saddled with a spectacularly awful script and a director clearly more concerned with epic visuals, Law, Weisz and Joseph Fiennes (as Soviet propaganda genius Danilov) fail to rise to the occasion, a central flaw magnified when acting heavyweight Harris takes command of the screen. Great to look at, but torture to listen to, Annaud's overlong history lesson is a prime example of how not to make a war movie.


A Soviet sniper becomes a national hero during the Second World War Battle of Stalingrad, so the Germans enlist a crack marksman of their own to deal with him. A lethal contest of wits follows as the two sharpshooters stalk each other, while the Russian also finds himself caught up in a love triangle with one of his friends. Drama, starring Jude Law, Ed Harris, Rachel Weisz, Joseph Fiennes, Bob Hoskins and Ron Perlman.

Cast & Crew

Vassily Zaitsev Jude Law
Danilov Joseph Fiennes
Tania Rachel Weisz
Nikita Khrushchev Bob Hoskins
Major König Ed Harris
Koulikov Ron Perlman
Mother Filipov Eva Mattes
Sacha Gabriel Marshall-Thomson
General Paulus Matthias Habich
Director Jean-Jacques Annaud
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: Pathé Guidance: Violence and swearing. Available on: Available on video and DVD Released on: 16 Mar 2001


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