Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    The picture is solidly crafted, performed to the hilt and full of humor.
  2. 80
    Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott have wisely set their course by Will Smith, who is sensational in a dramatic role that leans on him to carry a movie without the help of aliens or Big Willie-style jokes for every occasion.
  3. A solid and satisfying commercial venture with more than enough pizazz to overcome occasional lapses in moment-to-moment plausibility.
  4. It has a hurtling pace, nonstop intensity and a stylish, appealing performance by Will Smith in his first real starring role.
  5. An enormously entertaining visit to planet paranoia, but its escapist pleasures titillate only in direct proportion to the degree of persecution complex that you bring into the theater with you.
  6. 78
    A kicky, knockout thriller that ingeniously taps into the current climate of paranoia surrounding personal privacy in the Information Age.
  7. 75
    In too much of a hurry to be much of a people picture. And the standoff at the end edges perilously close to the ridiculous, for a movie that's tried so hard to be plausible.
  8. Reviewed by: Edvins Beitiks
    Everything you would want from a Big Brother film: Good-looking, preachy in an Old West kind of way, wobbling between humor and murder, hellbent and periodically brilliant.
  9. 75
    It offers a solid two hours of pure, escapist entertainment.
  10. Reviewed by: Staff(not credited)
    A high-adrenaline, high-concept action thriller that mixes hot-button issues of privacy and surveillance, easy-to-identify good and bad guys, attention-getting stars, and well-choreographed chase scenes.
  11. 70
    This paranoid thriller has all the failings we expect...but Enemy of the State also has enough wit, talent and narrative thrust to mostly transcend those flaws, at least until that ludicrous finish.
  12. 70
    Enemy of the State isn't really a smart film, but it makes a concerted stab at pretending to be one.
  13. Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
    The scary fun of the movie is embodied in a brilliantly filmed and edited chase sequence in which Smith tries to escape the ubiquitous cyber-eyes that see every inch of his flight.
  14. Reviewed by: Emanuel Levy
    Sporadically entertaining, though it lacks the kind of political urgency and emotional resonance so crucial to many similarly themed '70s movies.
  15. 70
    The social criticism is as unforced as the humor (and the references to "The Conversation") in this 1998 conspiracy thriller, whose spirited action is balanced by an almost contemplative attitude toward surveillance phobias and the movie cliches they've spawned.
  16. 60
    Tony Scott's thriller is flashy, but it's not dead stupid and it's never dull.
  17. 60
    The dazzle doesn't make up, however, for the movie's lack of depth.
  18. 60
    The movie goes like the wind, but it's more a technological exercise than anything else.
  19. To say Enemy of the State is senseless is an understatement. This is a movie where logic is the enemy.
  20. The movie has plenty of high-tech power, spinning out action so explosive you'll hardly notice how preposterous the story is or how cardboard-thin the characters are.
  21. A frustrating film that feels cobbled together.
  22. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    The strong parts are the rip-offs of "The Conversation." The worst part is the lack of understandable character motivations.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Jan 26, 2011
    At times I felt like Smith was trying to be Denzel, but one I got past that Enemy of the State is one heck of a good thriller. I love Smith but am so used to seeing Denzel doing a Scott movie that it felt like this movie was more meant for him and had a hard time giving Will a chance. Yet I pushed forward and after about 10 minutes began to enjoy the comedic aspects that Smith brought to the screen (something Zel wouldn't have brought). The plot and the movie move along at a blistering pace but still allow for character growth which makes Enemy of the State a true classic in the thriller genre. Full Review »
  2. Jul 24, 2014
    The late Tony Scott's Enemy Of The State reminds me a lot about of 70s movies like The
    Conversation. Smith and Hackman are great for
    eachother as the leads. Full Review »
  3. Jun 16, 2014
    Runaway films have been mesmerizing movie goers for years, but this film right here is the king of all runaway films. This is, by far, Tony Scott's best film. It is an action thriller that grabs and holds your gut from beginning to end and never lets go. Full Review »