10 High-Octane Movies Like ‘Enemy of the State’ for Thriller Enthusiasts

By Romey Norton
Published: September 18, 2023 (Last updated: May 4, 2024)
Movies like Enemy of the State
Enemy of the State (1998)

Enemy of the State is the 1998 political action-thriller film where an unsuspecting lawyer called Robert Dean becomes targeted by a group of corrupt NSA agents when he accidentally receives key evidence in the cover-up of the murder of congressman Phil Hammersley. The film stars Will Smith and Gene Hackman with an ensemble supporting cast consisting of Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet, Gabriel Byrne, Dan Butler, and Jack Black.

Despite a long runtime of over two hours, the film never falters and is exciting and captivating. It’s very well acted and convincing of such a horrific event. With themes of political corruption, danger, and lies, it’s a thrilling watch. If you enjoyed this film, here is a list of ten similar films I think you should watch next.

Inside Man (2006)  

This crime thriller is a great watch after Enemy of the State, as we follow a detective who desperately attempts to negotiate with the mastermind behind a bank robbery turned hostage situation.

The situation gets worse, and tensions rise throughout the film. This crime thriller is directed by Spike Lee and stars Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, and Jodie Foster (and more), who all give compelling, impressive performances. 

The Negotiator (1998)

For crime-action thriller fans, this film is a must-see. The story follows a prominent police negotiator who is accused of corruption, and he takes people hostage to buy himself time while he searches for evidence to clear his name.

In the Line of Fire (1993)

Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood stars as a Secret Service agent who is haunted by his failure to protect JFK. When a psychotic assassin (John Malkovich) begins threatening the current president, he takes it upon himself to stop him. In this mission, to finds vindication but puts himself in grave danger. 

JFK (1991)

This controversial film by Oliver Stone explores the events leading up to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the investigation afterward. Kevin Costner stars as New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, who becomes convinced that there is a larger conspiracy at work. Determined to expose the truth, he risks his reputation and safety.

Spy Game (2001) 

Robert Redford and Brad Pitt star in this espionage thriller about a retiring CIA agent who tries to rescue his protege from a Chinese prison. As they navigate their escape, they find the true meaning behind trust and patriotism. 

Conspiracy Theory (1997)

The title couldn’t be clearer. This is the story of a man who becomes obsessed with conspiracy theories and becomes a target after one of his theories turns out to be true. The tricky part is he needs to figure out which theory it is in order to save himself.

Eagle Eye (2008)

The film stars Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, and Billy Bob Thornton and follows Jerry Shaw and Rachel Holloman, who receive a mysterious call from an unknown woman, and they now must go on the run together. The woman controls their every move, asking them to carry out a dangerous mission planned by a terrorist. It opens up questions about privacy, security, and domestic spying. 

Unknown (2011) 

Unknown tells the story of an American biologist who attends a conference in Berlin and awakens from a coma after a car accident to discover that someone has taken his identity and that no one, not even his wife, believes him. Liam Neeson stars as the lead in this crime-action thriller. 

Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

When the President is kidnapped, a former secret service agent must use his expertise to rescue him as well as the other hostages. This film contains themes surrounding heroism and terrorism and is an exciting and thrilling watch.

If you’re a fan, this film is part of a series that includes the films London Has Fallen and Angel Has Fallen.

Oppenheimer (2023)

For powerful political undertones and themes, there are a few exquisitely written and performed scenes in Oppenheimer. The film follows Lt. Gen. Leslie Groves Jr., who appoints physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer to work on the top-secret Manhattan Project.

The team then spent years developing and designing the atomic bomb. Their work came to fruition on July 16, 1945, as they witnessed the world’s first nuclear explosion, forever changing the course of history. The film has a stellar cast and is sure to win an abundance of Oscars in 2024 but beware, it has a long runtime of over three hours. 

Do you have any other recommendations for movies like Enemy of the State? Let us know in the comments.

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