Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

Enemy at the Gates

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Tense and violent WWII movie.

Movie R 2001 131 minutes
Enemy at the Gates Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 16+

Entertaining but cheesy, war B movie.

The battle sequences and sniper duels are good to watch and the setting and production of a less often seen front of WW2 is nice. Yet the story lacks cohesion and focus. Its themes of propoganda, fighting for government vs country and the soldiers psyche dont quite line up or at all feel finished in execution, and the romance feels very forced. The writing can be hokey and mopey too. Ed Harris is good as a aging, softspoken but manipulative Nazi sniper. Yet its irritating hearing Russian soldiers speak in British Accents, only the American Ron Perlman attempts an actual Russian one. A couple of Battle sequences are about as graphic as youd see in a Call of Duty game (an Infinity Ward one) but theres much less of big battles as there are sniper duels that yield many and sometimes icky headshots. Theres also a very awkward sleeping bag sex scene that briefly shows the womans butt.
1 person found this helpful.
age 17+
good but the sex scene is unnecessary to be that lengthy

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (5 ):

This is a thinking person's historical epic, so impressively ambitious in taking on issues and ideas that you have to cut it some slack when it doesn't manage them all as skillfully as it hopes to. The story of the German siege of Leningrad is worth a movie in itself. The cat and mouse game between Koenig and Zaitsev is like something out of a classic western, more much about strategy, courage, ingenuity, and patience as about sharpshooting. The issue of using one individual's story to manipulate the masses plays out fascinatingly throughout the movie. It is reminiscent of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence's famous line, "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." If the love triangle is the weakest part of the movie, that is only because the rest of it is so strong.

All four stars are excellent, especially Law's guileless integrity and Harris' variation -- a sort of guile-full integrity. When the two men face off against each other, it's clear that they understand each other in a way that no one else ever can.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate