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In Enemy Hands
In Enemy Hands
Actors: Til Schweiger, Thomas Kretschmann, Connor Donne, Matt Lindquist, Andy Gatjen
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
R     2004     1hr 34min

At the height of Hitler s notorious U-boat war the crew of the U.S.S. Swordfish is taken prisoner in a battle with a German sub. However meningitis strikes more that half of the German crew and there aren t enough Germans ...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Til Schweiger, Thomas Kretschmann, Connor Donne, Matt Lindquist, Andy Gatjen
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 10/26/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 34min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, German

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Movie Reviews

Missed the boat.....
James B | Kansas City, Mo. United States | 07/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The other reviewers that is.
This is a fabulous film that superficially is about WW2 submarine warfare (and yes you can see there's a lot of low-rent sets...especially the interior shots of the American submarine). In Enemy Hands is the best male-ensemble war film since Platoon...& maybe better. It isn't William Gacy's best effort(he seems to throw off his lines like an aging hipster)
& perhaps it's because Til Schweiger absolutely steals the film with his nuanced deeply effective performance of the U-boat Captain.
What I think is truly subversive is the metaphor- in this case meningitis that affects the American crew and later contaminates the German crew which has rescued the them. You don't have to dig deep (or think too hard) to find that this is an anti-war film on the surface and a clever way of critiquing America's influence
and culture throughout the world. The film id's it as a disease- a fatal disease that infects all.
And it's somewhat of a trojan horse in that it masquerades as the familiar genre of naval warfare films.
Look closely- the German actors are wonderful to look at...they look healthy...the Americans? Wimpy, non-descript, outside of the head bangin'banty-rooster American sub commander.
This is a hidden gem of a film- perhaps too subtle for a mass-audience of film goers. If you've taken a good film history class or studied acting- I think you'll be blown away."
Missing the Point
Dr Victor S Alpher | Austin, Texas, U.S.A. | 01/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Having NOT seen this in a theater, as it was only released on DVD in the U.S., I can only comment on the DVD version. I have seen half of it in English (in which Germans are speaking excellent English), and all of it dubbed in German (released in Germany, with no subtitles). There, of course, the Americans are speaking German all too well.

This film must be taken for what it is, I think. A showcase for W.H. Macy (his acting is not superficial, nor are his interactions with his wife, whom he had to leave as Chief on the U.S.S. Swordfish). Sure, the numbers and names of ships are all wrong. Did NO Kapitän-Leutnant serve underwater with his blue tunic on, as suggested by one reviewer? This is a good introduction to Til Schweiger, who really is of matinee-idol stature and appearance, as Captain of one U-Boat, and the first watch officer (Thomas Kretschmann) really shows his acting talents....compeletely different in Stalingrad, The Pianist, U-571. Perhaps Mr. Macy was not challenged by the role, and the meningitis outbreak is unbelieveable....but aren't movies unbelieveable. Do they not require suspension of disbelief, even the best?

I did not expect the Barry Lyndon of U-Boat movies. The sets are too wide, the U.S. sub is too brightly lit...but the "best set" film has been done (Das Boot) and took a year to film (see the Director's Cut DVD). Other criticisms are hollow...the flag, the seaman appearing to wear a modern German Navy tunic (I have seen them, I do not think so, but it is a brief shot. At least no one is wearing Chuck Taylor sneakers! And the back and forth between Macy and Kretschmann (Captaincy shifting back and forth depending on the conditions and likelihood of being captured by Americans or Germans--all within a few hundrend miles of the U.S. coast (which is realistic)...ending with Kretschmann ending up as a P.O.W. with the guarantee of living past the war, which was the intention of the Captain played by Til Schweiger.

All in all, it may not be historically accurate, but is a drama set in wartime, with some atypical themes (German taking prisoners against orders), some want more from a film that did not get theatre release? I recommend it, but of course it is not a chick flick (probably an un-PC statement although commonly used), but it might become one because of Til Schweiger! So see it!"
This Is Not 'U-571': One Good Idea Ruined by Flat Direction
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 02/21/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"'In Enemy Hands' stars the solid cast, including William H Macy ('Fargo'), Scott Caan ('Ocean's 11'), Lauren Holly ('Turbulance'), Till Schweiger ('Driven') and Thomas Kretschmann ('The Pianist').

This low-budget film (by Artisan and others) about the two WW2 submalines and their crew has one interesting idea at its core, but fails to make good use of it. In 1943, USS Swordfish Lt. led by Cmdr Randall Sullivan (Caan) encounters its enemy ship, German U-Boat U-429 led by Kaptain Jonas Herdt (Schweiger).

The film then shows one intriguing premise -- What if the crew of the boats share the same submarine; what if they must join force to survive the situations that get more and more deadly to them?

Sadly writer/director Tony Giglio fails to find the best method to develop this idea. You know, in this case, you need lively, interesting characters to engage our attention. Instead, Giglio assembled the used materials from other submarine films, and patched them up to cover the whole 98 minutes. You can hear the echoes of other better films -- I don't name names -- when you see the mutiny/hostage situation, and occasional torpedo attacks. And you also get one epidemic, too, which is too conviniently introduced.

William H Macy and Thomas Kretschmann, both playing the officers under command of Caan and Schweiger respectively, are doing their best, but it is obvious that the acting is nowhere near their best. And as to ill-used Lauren Holly (who was also ill-used in 'Down Periscope'), and Jeremy Sisto whose character is reduced to a pixel, I have nothing to say except that they deserve much better roles than these.

I don't say 'In Enemy Hands' is badly done. It just lacks originality. The CGIs are decent, and the submarine designs are reasonable, but still it needs momentum 'Das Boot' and 'U-571' are endowed with.

Though it seems that 'In Enemy Hands' went straght to video in USA, it showed up in theaters in Japan, and the Japanese version I saw was doing an admirable thing, letting Germans speak German through the film. I like it, but that does not bring the cardboard characters to life."
Decent Submarine movie with a great cast which makes this mo
Michael Bolts | Superior, WI | 04/16/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"In 2000's U571, the Americans attacked a German UBoat and eventually their boat got destroyed and so they had to us the German boat. In this one, the German's attack the American sub when it was doing pratice dives and eventually the German's take the remaining American survives aboard and hold them hostage. Things happen when some German soldiers get out of hand attacking the Americans and some of the German's actually try to blow up the ship after the German captain has the American's help them get back home. Not bad submarine movie has its moments and the cast has some excellent stars and young stars which gives this movie the power it needs. There are some cheesy moments (actress Lauren Holly (Dumb & Dumber, Down Periscope) for one thing) but it was a decent enough ride. I would say in a different style then U571, not like it (but it did feel like it sorta). The excellent cast includes the superb William H. Macy (The Cooler, Stealing Sinatra), Scott Caan (A Boy Named Hate, Into The Blue), Til Schweiger (Driven, Barefoot), a solid Thomas Kretschmann (Immortal, King Kong), Clark Gregg (We Were Soldiers), Ian Somerhalder (Tv's LOST, upcoming Pulse), Jeremy Sisto (Wrong Turn, Suicide Kings), AJ Buckley (Wishcraft, The Forsaken), Chris Ellis (Con Air, Crimson Tide), Sam Huntington (Rolling Kansas, Detroit Rock City) and Xander Berkeley (North Country, Fox's 24)."