Enemy at the Gates Movie Review Summary

Actors: Jude Law, Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Ed Harris, Bob Hoskins, Ron Perlman, Eva Mattes, Gabriel Thomson, Matthias Habich

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Enemy at the Gates

A Russian sniper befriends an Army writer and the writer writes about the sniper's accomplishments in WWII. They run into problems when they both fall for the same girl. As they continue to fight and write a German sniper hunts down the Russian. As the Germans close in on Stalingrad, the last hope for the world, the Russians must use everything they have to survive.
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The review of this Movie prepared by Jack Bauer

Enemy at the Gates
Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, 2001
Staring Jude Law, Ed Harris, Joseph Fiennes

Jude Law plays Vassily Zaitzev, a Russian shepherd who is drafted into the Soviet army and dispatched with other troops to help halt the Nazi advance at Stalingrad (now Volgagrad) during World War II. The Battle of Stalingrad was a turning point in World War II as Hitler's long running string of military victories was halted and his armies faced their first real defeat. The Nazi advance across Europe was halted here and the German army began its slow retreat from Russia.

But the broader geopolitical implications of the battle for Stalingrad are in the background in this movie as the focus quickly shifts to the struggle between the Russian draftee, Vassily, and his German opposite, Major Konig (played by Ed Harris). Konig is a professional army sniper who trains snipers for the German army. Vassily is a peasant who has been raised by his grandfather to conserve scarce ammunition by making every shot count by bringing his prey down with a single shot. But Vassily and Konig are in reality just pawns in the larger struggle between Moscow and Berlin as victory at Stalingrad is crucial to overall victory and victory for Vassily or Konig is crucial to victory in the Battle of Stalingrad.

The movie opens with Vassily stalking and shooting a wolf in the frozen Russian countryside and then quickly moves to his being drafted and put on a troop train to Stalingrad. The scene is bleak as the raw recruits leave the train and get into boats to cross the river to Stalingrad. In the water they immediately come under fire from the German artillery but face certain death from the guns of the Soviet Army if they turn back. Once inside the demoralized and besieged city, Vassily puts his shooting skills to good use. Danilov quickly sees Vassily's potential as a morale builder and convinces his superiors to utilize Vassily as a sniper.

The cinematography and settings are used very effectively to convey the harsh and brutal conditions that residents and members of both armies had to endure as they coped with the brutal Russian winter and the all out devastation of modern urban warfare.

The review of this Movie prepared by Chuck Nugent

Behind Enemy Gates is a World War II thriller that tells the story Vassili Zaitsev, a Russian sniper who takes down German officers one by one, thus, destroying German morale and boosting Russian morale. The Germans send in a Major sniperer, hoping to take care of Vassili who hides dangerously behind enemy lines. There is a small romance between Vassili and a local woman in the town they're in.
The review of this Movie prepared by Ali

During the Battle of Stalingrad in WWII, a young Russian farmer turned sniper is made into a hero by an ambitious political officer. The Germans bring in an experienced expert sniper to hunt the young Russian down. There is also a romantic triangle between the Russian sniper, the political officer, and an educated female soldier. Subplots include a Russian boy who fixes boots for the Germans while spying on them and his mother who shelters the Russian sniper. The movie takes place almost entirely in the rubble and ruins of the embattled city. This is based on a true story, but of course a lot of liberties are taken with history.
The review of this Movie prepared by Zorikh Lequidre

Script Analysis of Enemy at the Gates

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Actual chase scenes or violence 27.5%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 35%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 37.5% Time/Era of Movie:    -   1930's-1950's War Thriller    -   Yes Armed Forces:    -   Army Specific to    -   WW II

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   infantry soldier Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Russian


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Russia Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Russia City?    -   Yes City:    -   Dirty, grimy (like New York)    -   dangerous Misc setting    -   fort/military installation    -   building

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   gory visuals of deaths Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   kissing    -   sex under blankets Kind of violence:    -   land battles    -   guns Unusual forms of death    -   hanging    -   perforation--bullets Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing Lot of special effects?    -   Yes Kinds of F/X    -   exploding vehicles    -   exploding bombs

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