10 Conspiracy Movies That Will Make You Paranoid

9. Enemy Of The State

Enemy Of The State Will Smith Gene Hackman
Buena Vista Distribution

Although the genre in its current form owes much to the works of Paul Greengrass and his seminal Bourne series, it was Tony Scott's Enemy of the State that truly marked the genre's modern-day resurgence.

Buoyed by renewed interest thanks to films like The Pelican Brief and The Firm (each directed by genre pioneers Pakula and Sydney Pollack), Enemy of the State attempted to lay bare anxieties surrounding advancements in electronic surveillance and corruption in America's intelligence community. It was even heralded as a spiritual successor to Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 work, The Conversation, thanks in part to the presence of Gene Hackman, who plays a former intelligence operative determined to save Robert Dean (Will Smith) from the clutches of a corrupt NSA outfit.

Like Coppola's film, Enemy of the State roots itself primarily in anxieties surrounding surveillance technology. It's far less effective than that film, granted, and it's Bruckheimer-inflections are plain for all to see, but there is something genuine about the film, which grounds itself well thanks to Will Smith's portrayal of an ordinary guy caught up in extraordinary circumstances.

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Comics Editor
Comics Editor

WhatCulture's very own Comics Editor. Cats, comic books and spaghetti westerns are my thing. Talks about stuff @EwanRuinsThings