Being a big fan of the movie 'Prisoners' it surprised me how long it actually took me to check out the director Denis Villenueve's other movie 'Enemy' released a year later. The only reason I even did watch it now is because I was scrolling through Netflix and happened to find it. But whatever, now I have finally seen it and thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Denis Villenueve... is a cool dude. With 'Prisoners' he masterfully kept the audience on the edge of their seats for the film's entire runtime (153 minutes) and showed exceptional skills as a director and here with 'Enemy' he manages to do the same thing but this time he focuses a great deal on not just completely spoonfeed the audience what is happening (not that 'Prisoners' does this) and leave you having to figure it out on your own - but not in a pretentious and lazy way so he and the writer does not have to come up with an answer themselves. There clearly are answers here that you can find after maybe another viewing and once you do - the movie becomes infintely better and a lot more exciting to re-watch. Jake Gyllenhaal delivers yet another outstanding performance that perfectly showcases why he is one of the best actors working today. This is definitely not his best performance (not even his best performance of that year), but he is just endlessly fascinating to watch and it is an absolute disgrace that there is no Academy Award in his hand yet. The same goes to Denis Villunueve at this point who did not even recieve a nomination for 'Prisoners'. 

I really want to call this one of my absolute favorites of 2014... but even though I loved it a lot, 2014 was such an excellent year for movies that I do not even think it would crack my Top 10. Actually I looked up my list (every year I make a list of all the movies I see from best to worst) and I would place it on number 13 - which of course is still very good. What has to be said though is that this is still one of the best movies of that year and definitely one of the most unique. The cinematography just instantly makes you depressed, there is this brown/yellow-ish look throughout the whole thing but it totally fits with what they are going for. 

The movie is really ballsy for not spoonfeeding the audience any information about what is going on which is something I would like to see more movies do, it never talks down on us because they know we are clever enough to figure it out ourselves. Despite how complicated the movie can be to understand - the premise is still fairly simple in that it can be described in one sentence; "A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie". This is the definition of an iceberg film, very little is shown but underneath the surface of the water is this gigantic, layered and complex piece of construction. Give this premise to another writer and another director and you would have a completely different film. A film that most likely would at least have followed the traditional linear three act structure and most likely include some insane action scenes. 'Enemy' is thankfully does not follow any kind of traditional storytelling which completely worked as I was just glued to the screen from beginning to end. The only thing that made me lose focus a bit was quite a terrible CGI shot of a car crash but other than that... it is one of the most captivating movies of the past couple of years. Now that I think about it - that is what I thought of 'Prisoners', so obviously Denis Villunueve's speciality is almost literally freezing the audience on the edge of their seats with their eyes glued to the screen. He is one of my favorite directors working today so obviously I cannot wait for his next film 'Sicario' which is coming pretty damn soon. 

'Enemy' is an expertly put together film that knows exactly what it is doing and makes sure it never goes to far in either direction. The music, while low-key - is almost haunting to listen too. The story is extremely layered and smart and definitely requires multiple viewings to make sure you completely catch everything that is happening. It is one of the best films of 2014 and for that matter, the whole decade so far.


- Lucas


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