Robert Dean (Will Smith) is a labor lawyer who is unknowingly in possession of evidence related to a serious politically motivated crime. Government agents eager to hide their guilt believe that Dean is on to them, and proceed to turn his life upside-down, ruin his reputation, and frame him for various incidents, thanks to the latest in high-tech government surveillance techniques. In an attempt to clear his name and reclaim his life, Dean teams up with the reclusive Brill (Gene Hackman), a former federal employee who has as much high-tech equipment and expertise as the government itself. Hackman's role is an extension of Harry Caul, the character he portrayed in Francis Ford Coppola's brilliant 1974 film, THE CONVERSATION. Smith scores as a man who is desperate to reclaim his identity and prove his innocence. This intense technological thrill-ride from director Tony Scott questions how much access the government should have to the communications of private citizens, and leaves the viewer with the unsettling feeling that Big Brother is definitely watching. Watch for the uncredited appearances of Jason Robards, Seth Green, Tom Sizemore, and Philip Baker Hall.
James W. Skotchdopole - Producer
Andrew Z. Davis - Producer, VOLCANO
Daniel Mindel - Director of Photography, SPY GAME (2001)
Dan Mindel - Director of Photography, SPY GAME (2001)
Jerry Bruckheimer - Producer
Tony Scott - British director, TOP GUN/ENEMY OF THE STATE
David Marconi - Screenwriter/Director
Grant Heslov - Actor-producer
Regina King - Actress/"Poetic Justice"
Chad Oman - Producer
Gabriel Byrne - Irish Actor - Miller's Crossing/The Man in the Iron Mask
Will Smith - American actor/rap performer/producer
Lisa Bonet - Denise Huxtable from TV's "Cosby Show"
Harry Gregson-Williams - Composer, SPY GAME (2001)
Jake Busey - Actor/"Cpu"
Jason Lee - American actor, MALLRATS/My Name is Earl
Scott Caan - American Actor/Son Of James
Jon Voight - Oscar-winning actor, MIDNIGHT COWBOY, COMING HOME
Chris Lebenzon - Editor, XXX (2002)
Marlene Stewart - Costume Designer, HITCH (2005)
Trevor Rabin - Composer, formerly of YES
Loren Dean - Supporting Actor
Jack Black - Actor, HIGH FIDELITY
Gene Hackman - Oscar-winning actor, THE FRENCH CONNECTION
Eugene Alder - Oscar-winning actor, THE FRENCH CONNECTION
In Tony Scott's ENEMY OF THE STATE, a lawyer unwittingly discovers evidence of a serious politically-motivated crime. Federal agents eager to cover up their crime proceed to turn his life upside-down and ruin his reputation, thanks to the latest in high-tech surveillance techniques. The film features various connections to Francis Ford Coppola's brilliant 1974 film, THE CONVERSATION.
Theatrical release: November 20, 1998. Filmed in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland. ENEMY OF THE STATE is closely connected to Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 film, THE CONVERSATION, which also stars Gene Hackman. A past photograph of Hackman's character, Brill, in ENEMY OF THE STATE is actually a shot of Hackman as Harry Caul in THE CONVERSATION. It's implied that they are the same character under different aliases. The film also shares similarities with Wim Wenders's THE END OF VIOLENCE, which shares actors Gabriel Byrne and Loren Dean, as well as a similar techno-surveillance theme. Jason Robards, Philip Baker Hall, Tom Sizemore, and Seth Green make uncredited appearances in the film.
"...[A] dynamic thriller....[Will Smith] is sensational..." - 12/10/1998 Rolling Stone, p.133
"...A high-adrenaline action thriller....Smith is a fresh choice..." -- Rating: B - 01/08/1999 Entertainment Weekly, p.50
"...[A] brisk, grown-up thriller...Will Smith delivers a terrifically ingratiating performance..." -- 3 1/2 out of 4 stars - 12/11/1998 USA Today, p.9E
"...It has a hurtling pace, nonstop intensity, and a stylish, appealing performance by Will Smith..." - 11/20/1998 New York Times, p.E1
4 stars out of 5 -- "Hackman is fantastic....[The film is] one of Scott's best." - 07/01/2006 Ultimate DVD, p.101