Enemy of the State

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(1998) ★★★

BBC3: Sunday 13 December, 9.00pm

Union attorney Will Smith falls foul of mobster boss Tom Sizemore in Washington. But that’s nothing compared to the strife that’s about to wreck his life when he’s unwittingly put in possession of politically sensitive material. Tony Scott’s flashy surveillance thriller tramples underfoot all notions of privacy in an exciting series of hide-and-seek sequences.

Smith’s amiable presence lends a lightness of touch to dark and paranoid material, though it’s true to say that the movie assumes a certain gravitas when Gene Hackman enters the fray. His steely presence as an NSA maverick inevitably recalls the isolated character he played in Francis Coppola’s paranoid post-Watergate classic, The Conversation.

Satisfying as it is to see the biters bit, the film doesn’t resort to insulting the audience’s intelligence in reaching its unlikely resolution. Unlike the great conspiracy thrillers of the 70s – The Parallax View, All the President’s Men and Three Days of the Condor – this nasty government cover-up is sorted out quite nicely, thank you.

Certificate: 15
Duration: 127min

IMDB – Enemy of the State

TMDB – Enemy of the State

Rotten Tomatoes – Enemy of the State

Other Showings Date & Time
BBC3 Saturday, 19 December at 9:00PM
Sky Movies Crime/Thriller Monday, 28 December at 7:45PM
Sky Movies Greats Wednesday, 30 December at 5:45PM
Sky Movies Greats Friday, 1 January at 3:45PM
Sky Movies Crime/Thriller Sunday, 3 January at 10:45AM
Sky Movies Crime/Thriller Sunday, 3 January at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Crime/Thriller Wednesday, 6 January at 10:15AM
Sky Movies Crime/Thriller Wednesday, 6 January at 6:45PM