Review: Enemy (2013)

enemy movie poster

Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) paints a depressing picture: he is a history teacher who spends his time at college, goes home, grades papers, has sex with his girlfriend Mary (Mélanie Laurent), repeat. Nothing changes, there is nothing exciting. A colleague of his at work asks if he watches any movies, and as stunted as his social skills may be, Adam realises he is trying to make conversation. He rents the movie that his colleague recommends, and is shocked to see a man in there that looks just like him. Adam is interested, and does some more research on the actor he saw online, seeing that the man is not an overly successful actor, but an actor nonetheless. He rents more movies featuring Daniel St. Claire (also Jake Gyllenhaal). Adam’s relationship with Mary is suffering due to his obsession.

enemy adam school

Tracking down the agency that Daniel St. Claire works with, Adam stops by there, where he gets some mail from the desk clerk. Through the mail, Adam learns that Daniel St. Claire’s real name is Anthony Claire. He successfully manages to stalk Anthony, ultimately phoning his wife, Helen (Sarah Gadon), who thinks that Anthony is playing a terrible joke on her. Through persistence, Adam manages to talk to Anthony, whom he attempts to convince to meet with him. Anthony vehemently refuses, though later decides that they should meet. Helen is doing some investigating of her own, and meets with Adam, who is unwittingly aware that Helen is Anthony’s pregnant wife.

enemy daniel

The two men finally meet up together at a hotel, where things just go crazy. The two men are perfect and identical copies of one another, which in turn robs both of them of their identities, spinning both their lives completely out of control. Who is Adam? Who is Anthony? Why are they identical? Will Adam be able to continue with his bland and boring life after he has had a glimpse of Anthony’s? Who are they if they are so identical that even their lovers cannot tell them apart? What is going on?

enemy meeting

GRADE 8I know this is a little bit of a ridiculously short review, but I cannot say too much and I really, really don’t want to spoil it if you have yet to see it. This was something that Joseph and Mark rather enjoyed, that Eric enjoyed but was not completely certain how much, and that Rob absolutely hated. I was very interested to see what would come of this seeing as I was a huge fan of Villeneuve’s Prisoners, and I enjoy Jake Gyllenhaal (even though Natasha can see no merits in the man). Now, I was not really sure what would come of this. I roughly knew what it was about, but this was still a journey unto itself. It is phenomenally shot though extremely depressing, everything is washed out and oppressive and dark and dreary, which totally worked for the story that it was trying to convey. Then there was the soundtrack, that just had your teeth on edge for the entire duration of the film and aims to freak you out to your very core, and mostly succeeds with this. Then there are these creepy spider shots that come up from time to time, and leave you feeling just a little chilled. Gyllenhaal gave another solid performance, and successfully managed to embody the essence of two different men. You could clearly see which one he was due to the totally difference characteristics and actions the men had, as well as the way they presented themselves and held themselves. The plot is confusing and constantly twisting, and you need to keep your wits about you, but I must say that I enjoyed it. The cinematography was absolutely stunning. Adam’s obsession with Anthony is a little extreme, though if you think about it you could understand how it could get there. I love how the doppelgängers lived completely different lives and had virtually nothing in common. However, this movie really screwed with my head, and I can see how the conclusion will split people into groups of loving it, hating it, or just not giving a damn and feeling like their time may have been wasted. Either way, this is a movie I would recommend so that you can sit around and scratch your head when all is said and done, theorizing on your own about the multitude of probabilities the film presents.

49 thoughts on “Review: Enemy (2013)

    1. I don’t think it has anything to do with that! 🙂 I just really enjoyed the trip with this one!

      Will drop you an email later about AH!


    1. Dearest PSC,

      I think you are prejudiced because of the spiders…

      And DAMN you were not kidding about that early flight!



      PS: Working on tomorrow’s piece 😀


      1. Dearest JB,

        No shit!!! Someone’s gonna take a nap later!! LOL!

        Update you later!




  1. Hello Zoe! Hey, shorter reviews are totally ok girl. I’m actually trying to shorten my reviews nowadays. I like that you have a new rating system now, much easier to spot. I’m curious about this one, the trailer looked quite gripping!


    1. Hey Ruth! Great to see you again! They are not bad, I actually like them like that I find… Thank you! I like it too, that’s what I was going for, easier to come across. I hope you catch it soon, I liked it well enough, and hope you do too!


    1. Thanks Adam! Oh you should really check out Prisoners first, that was an exceptionally good movie. This one is a bit of a mind trip, but it is worth it (well, it was for me at any rate)!


  2. Great work Zoe! Glad to see you rate this so highly. I thought it was an outstanding piece of work and definitely one if the best of the year so far.
    Thanks for the linkage as well, miss. Much appreciated. 🙂


    1. Thanks Mark! Oh, it was definitely a solid, good and proper movie. Bizarre, but really good, and looked stunning! But of course, my pleasure!


  3. I eagerly look forward to seeing this if it ever comes around these parts. Prisoners became one of my favorites of the fall last year, so I have appropriately lofty expectations. It sounds like a cerebral challenge, too, and I haven’t had a lot of those lately. Will be nice. Great review


    1. Thanks a lot Tom! Oh, Prisoners was a really fantastic little film. I must say that I was impressed by this one, but it seems that while a lot appreciate it, there are those that are split down the middle by it. I hope that you have fun with this one, I thought it was really well put together and will definitely take your mind for a bit of a ride!


  4. Great review, Zoe! I’m very very curious about this one. I badly want to see it but, for whatever reason, it’s never come out in the UK and I can find no UK release date listed for it. WTF????? I love mindfuck movies – Guess Gyllenhaal does too what with Donnie Darko & all that. I want to get my hands on this one. :-/


    1. Thanks lady!

      I freaking HATE it when that happens (we get A LOT of movies with that issue). I hope that you can find it somewhere sometime, it is well worth the watch. He is pretty good at that, I will agree with you there!

      Crossing my fingers that you get this… and Game of Thrones.


      1. Lol – at least Game Of Thrones is achievable if I want to spend the money. ; ) Enemy can’t even be bought here. What the hell?! It’s the same with that Spectacular Now movie – never came out here, even to buy. Want to see it. : (


      2. It sounds like you may have to have it imported :/ And that is a mission. I so almost threw in the towel with Thrones last night.

        There are also a few movies that I really, really want but would have to import to have them. WTF WORLD?!


  5. I liked your review! Short stuff is good to read after a marathon blog-reading session when it’s 1am. 😉 I want to get my mind fucked by this film, and thanks for reminding me of Prisoners! That one’s supposed to be on my watchlist, too…


    1. Thank you! Ah, I totally understand what you are saying! The short ones that are nice and nippy are sometimes so amazing. Oooooh, this one is one that plays around upstairs, so I think you will at least get your money’s worth like that! As for Prisoners… DO IT!!!!!


  6. Man, I had stopped by here already and left a comment and now I realise it hasn’t showed up.

    Anyway, great work Zoe and it’s very nice to see that you enjoyed this. Thanks for the linkage as well. 🙂


    1. I have so been wondering where you have been about this!

      Thank you, it’s actually pretty decent. Well, I thought so anyway, haha. .


      1. Oh, nasty internet connection and all!

        I should really watch more stuff with him in then I will probably tolerate him more 😀


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