Enemy

  • Review Date: March 14, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Mind-bending, surreal mystery with sex and language.
  • Review Date: March 14, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

Age(i)

2
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11
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie is so surreal and elusive that any messages are buried deep within. Perhaps: "curiosity killed the cat"? Other themes will be up for discussion.

Positive role models

The movie more or less shows two sides of one person, one aggressive and confident, and the other meek and sad. Neither is particularly admirable, though the movie could spark discussion about the different sides of our own personalities.

Violence

We see a realistic car crash, and a few nightmarishly scary images. Otherwise, there are a few moments of characters yelling or arguing with one another.

Sex

A scene takes place at a strange, mysterious club in which women perform on stage. We hear the sounds and see some suggestions of one woman masturbating, while many men watch. The main character has sex with his girlfriend more than once; her breasts and bottom are shown. A pregnant woman is shown undressing, and her breasts are on view. Characters have sex with more than one partner. In a nightmare sequence, a fully naked woman with a spider head walks toward the camera (upside-down, on the ceiling). A character follows a strange woman down a hallway, with a close-up on her behind (she's wearing a kind of sexy, fishnet outfit).

Language

Language is not heard very often, but in the film's final third, "f--k" is used several times. "S--t" is also heard once or twice.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink casually, at home, in a background way. A woman says, "I think I'm drunk" in one scene, and goes to bed.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Enemy is a sexy, surreal mystery from the director/actor team that made Prisoners. It features lots of female nudity, including one full-frontal shot, plus some creepy sexual imagery and the suggestion of women performing sex acts for men to watch. There are also several sex scenes between partners, and characters with more than one partner. Language is strong in the latter part of the movie, with several uses of "f--k," plus at least one use of "s--t." There's a realistic car crash, and characters shouting and arguing. Characters also drink in a casual, background way, at home. The movie is more about the mystery than the solution, and does not provide any real answers. It will be up to adventurous older teens and grown-ups to ponder the clues and reach their own conclusions.

 

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a sad, drab history professor who gives the same lecture about dictatorships (and their repeating patterns), and goes home to the same evening routine with his girlfriend Mary (Melanie Laurent). One night he rents a movie and spots an actor that looks exactly like himself. He discovers the actor's name, Anthony Clair (Gyllenhaal again), and contacts him. The confident, commanding Anthony is married to the beautiful, pregnant Helen (Sarah Gadon). The two men appear to be exact doubles, and neither knows precisely what to make of it, until Anthony callously decides to steal Mary away for a weekend. Yet for Adam, the puzzle, involving a mysterious package and dreams about spiders, grows ever more complex.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Oscar-nominated Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve continues his collaboration with actor Jake Gyllenhaal, following last year's Prisoners. The result here is much tighter but far less realistic. Indeed, ENEMY could easily be described as surreal. It's a mystery story, with mystery elements, but the movie does not provide much in the way of answers. It's more like a David Lynch film, with clues, emotions, images, ideas, and sensations coming together for one unique experience, with a bizarre, unforgettable ending.

Enemy begins with shots of a mysterious club involving women in sexual situations and spiders, and these nightmarish images continue to permeate the film. The movie also dabbles in notions of repeating patterns and doubled images, though not overtly. It's smart enough not to leave blatant clues or red herrings, anywhere. Based on a 2002 novel by Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese author Jose Saramago, it's a truly intriguing movie, sure to leave viewers pondering long after.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the sex in the movie. Does sex seem to be a healthy or loving outlet for these characters? What's the overall tone to the sexual activity in the movie?

  • Is the movie scary? Creepy? How does a story that departs from reality affect you? What other movies have departed from reality, with different results?

  • The main character's personality traits seem to have been split, one confident and aggressive, and the other meek and sad. Do you feel all these things within yourself? At what different times, or in what situations?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 14, 2014
DVD release date:June 24, 2014
Cast:Jake Gyllenhaal, Sarah Gadon, Melanie Laurent
Director:Denis Villeneuve
Studio:A24
Genre:Thriller
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:some strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language

This review of Enemy was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byJustin Rivera July 17, 2014
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Surrealist Masterwork

Hypnotic, surreal, mysterious, eerie and engrossing. This film contained phenomenal performances from its cast, Jake Gyllenhaal especially. This film was also very well written and well shot. It's very hard to describe this film, it's unlike any other film I've seen, if I could compare it to any movie, I would compare it to Nicholas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives. Enemy is a brilliant and dreamlike experience that I adored, it is now one of my all time favorites. As for content, the film is full of some strong sexual content and female nudity, there definitely isn't a role model in sight. The film is also extremely ominous, creating a very dark and creepy atmosphere that may frighten some.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 17 years old Written byMoviefanadick June 28, 2014
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Not your traditional psychological thriller!

If you are going to watch this film to see a psychological thriller where two men take over each other's lives, you'll get something totally different. Enemy at times can be confusing, but overall it is a very unique film that I enjoyed watching. When the final credits rolled I had to take time to think about the movie. At first, I didn't know if I liked it or not. But, after watching it again, I realize that it is a really good film. The ending will throw you off at first, but the more you watch Enemy, the more you will understand. Enemy is a one of a kind film that I would gladly watch again. Grade: B+
What other families should know
Too much sex
Educator and Parent Written bymovienerd95 April 11, 2014
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

WHAT?!?!

Very complicated and sexually charged psychological thriller, There is several scense of breast nudity, some mature sex scenes and a scene of full nudity. There is also around 18 F words during the film.
What other families should know
Too much sex

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