A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Enemy Lines is a movie set amidst the horrors of World War II starring Gossip Girl's Ed Westwick. While there's an extremely high body count -- ranging from the American and British allies to the Nazis -- the violence is rarely graphic. The most gruesome sequence is one in which a man is shot from behind and blood seeps through his sweater. Innocent people are unwittingly caught up in the devastation, including women and children. In one scene, a child even shoots a gun. The movie is also about the preservation of science, of ensuring an esteemed doctor (Pawel Delag) is kept alive and safe -- which leads to incredible acts of bravery from the allied troops. There's one very brief sex scene with non full-frontal nudity. Expect occasional profanity, including use of "f--k," and some drinking. Characters smoke throughout, which is accurate for the 1940s time period.
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What's the story?
ENEMY LINES is set in the snowy wilderness of war-torn Poland in the midst of World War II. When a crack team of British and American commandos, fronted by Kaminski (Ed Westwick) are sent on a dangerous mission to extract the scientist, Dr. Fabien (Pawel Delag) from under the noses of the Nazis, they must do all they can to keep him alive.
Is it any good?
While telling an endearingly simple story, with much scope to create an absorbing war-set thriller, this WWII movie instead falls into the same familiar cliches seen countless times before. When dealing with such familiar cinematic territory, movies needs to be more unique to stand out and instead Enemy Lines abides frustratingly by convention. Directed by Anders Banke, the movie suffers from a generic screenplay, and cliched dialogue between characters.
The shoot-out scenes are gripping to begin with -- the deaths are not lingered on and it feels very cinematic in its approach, even artistic in its use of music, and the way the blood sits on the snow. But this cinematic style grows very tired as the story progresses, appearing to just be an easy way to pass the time. It plays out like a first-person shooter video game, which although fun at first, is akin to watching your older sibling play Nintendo when a child, eagerly awaiting your turn. Except it doesn't ever arrive.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the depiction of war in Enemy Lines. What do you know about World War II? Do you think this was a realistic portrayal of war? Is it shocking to see what humans are capable of? Can you take encouragement from the spirit and courage shown by some? How to talk to kids about violence, crime, and war.
What did you think about the movie's violence? Was it too frequent? Did it help drive the narrative forward?
The movie is about the extraction of a scientist. Why is science so important? And how vital is it we protect experts?
How does this movie compare with other war movies? Do you have a favorite? What do/don't you like about war movies?
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