Enemy at the Gates

Watch Enemy at the Gates

"A single bullet can change history."
  • R
  • 2001
  • 2 hr 11 min
  • 7.5  (275,800)
  • 53

Enemy at the Gates is a 2001 war drama film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and starring Jude Law, Ed Harris, and Joseph Fiennes. The film is set during the pivotal Battle of Stalingrad in World War II and is inspired by the true story of Vasily Zaytsev, a Soviet sniper who became a hero of the Soviet Union for his skill and courage during the battle.

The film begins in 1942, when the German army is advancing deep into Soviet territory and threatening to take Stalingrad, a key city on the Volga River. The city is defended by Soviet soldiers, but they are outnumbered and outgunned by the Germans, who are led by General Paulus (Ed Harris). One of the Soviet soldiers is Vasily Zaytsev (Jude Law), a young man from the Urals who has been trained as a sniper.

Vasily quickly proves himself to be a deadly shot, picking off German soldiers with ease and inspiring his fellow soldiers with his bravery. He becomes a legend among the Soviet troops and is eventually sent to the sniper school in the city to become an even more lethal weapon against the Germans.

At the school, Vasily meets Danilov (Joseph Fiennes), a political officer who is in charge of propaganda for the Soviet army. Danilov recognizes Vasily's potential as a hero and begins to write stories about him for the Soviet press. The stories soon spread throughout the army and the Soviet people, turning Vasily into a symbol of hope and resistance against the Germans.

However, Vasily's success also attracts the attention of the Germans, who send their own expert sniper, Major Konig (Ed Harris), to kill him. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse ensues between Vasily and Konig, with each trying to outsmart and outshoot the other.

As the battle for Stalingrad rages on, Vasily and Konig become obsessed with each other, each determined to be the one to kill the other. The rivalry between the two snipers becomes a microcosm of the larger war, with the fate of Stalingrad and the entire Soviet Union hanging in the balance.

Enemy at the Gates is a gripping and intense war drama that immerses viewers in the brutal reality of the Battle of Stalingrad. The film's depiction of the city's bombed-out ruins and desperate Soviet defenders is visceral and harrowing, while the snipers' duel adds an extra layer of tension and suspense.

Jude Law gives a strong performance as Vasily, portraying him as a skilled and dedicated soldier who gradually becomes more disillusioned with the political propaganda that surrounds him. Ed Harris is equally impressive as Konig, bringing a steely intensity to the role of the German sniper.

Joseph Fiennes provides a compelling contrast to the two snipers as Danilov, a man whose idealism and ambition lead him to create Vasily's legend but ultimately lead to tragic consequences.

Overall, Enemy at the Gates is a well-crafted and thought-provoking war film that explores the complex human dynamics of warfare and heroism. Its themes of propaganda, loyalty, and sacrifice are timeless and resonate with audiences today.

Enemy at the Gates is a 2001 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 11 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 53.

Enemy at the Gates
Where to Watch Enemy at the Gates
Enemy at the Gates is available to watch free on Pluto TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Enemy at the Gates for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 11 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (275,800)
  • Metascore