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Movie Review

Usually there are warning signs in a relationship long before a man begins abusing his wife or girlfriend. In Slim’s case, she either missed them all, or they just didn’t exist. Wooed and wedded by a rich young businessman, Slim had never been so happy. She had the perfect house. A beautiful daughter (Gracie). A doting husband (Mitch). Then, whammo, it’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde time. Slim finds out her darling Mitch is having an affair—indeed, he’s been having a whole string of affairs. So as any wife would do, she confronts him. He responds by slapping her across the face. "Deal with it," he gruffly tells her. Shocked and bewildered, she presses her point. He rears back and pops her with his fist. And in that instant, as she feels the blood slowly trickle down her cheek, Slim knows her world has crashed down around her.

Determined not to be "one of those women" who just puts up with the abuse, she packs up a few things, gets her daughter out of bed and runs away. But Mitch tracks her down, stalks her and then beats her again. She runs. He follows. From California to Michigan the sad chase continues as Slim comes to realize that Mitch doesn’t just want to slap her around, he wants to kill her. "If I can’t have you, nobody can," he growls during one vicious assault. She escapes, barely. Convinced the police won’t help, she concludes that the only path left to her is one of active self defense. She must kill him before he kills her.

positive elements: Domestic violence is drubbed mercilessly. To the men who do the abusing, the message is clear: You are cowards, bullies and a scourge on civilization. Women who endure abuse are encouraged to get out of the situation. Granted, Enough portrays an extreme example of murderous obsession, but Slim’s first response to her husband’s abuse is to leave and seek help, and that’s good. In this case, Slim’s friends rise to the occasion, even risking their own lives to help her.

sexual content: Dialogue, mostly. But a few scenes reveal a bit too much skin. Early on, Mitch is seen showering (the glass is fogged up) and Slim asks him if she can join him. He says no, but she has already disrobed (her bare back is shown). Mitch compliments Slim on the quality of their sex life, but states that just because their sexual routine is good doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have the right to sleep around to satisfy his "other" needs. A few scenes are backdropped by a large Renaissance-era nude painting. One of Mitch’s mistresses is shown in bed with him. Elsewhere, there are a few low-cut blouses, a little passionate kissing and fully-clothed snuggling.

violent content: It’s gut-wrenching to watch Mitch hit and kick Slim (once he even throws their young daughter across the room). But the abuse isn’t glamorized in any way. What is glamorized a bit is the final showdown between Slim and Mitch. Slim trains for a couple of months, learning fighting techniques and buffing up. Then she breaks into Mitch’s house. The two fight to the death in a brutal, climactic sequence. Slim wears brass knuckles. Mitch smashes Slim’s head against a wall. Both trade fierce punches and kicks. There’s also an extended car chase in which Mitch’s buddy repeatedly rams Slim’s vehicle from behind. The scene culminates in a big crash. One of Mitch’s hired hit men holds a knife on one of Slim’s friends. Mitch points a gun at Slim and her friends.

crude or profane language: One audible f-word (another is mouthed) and a couple of s-words. Two or three other mild profanities are intermixed with a half-dozen misuses of God’s name.

drug and alcohol content: Guests drink at Mitch and Slim’s wedding.

other negative elements: One of Slim’s friends intimates that all men are like land mines, waiting to explode. Some go off right away, others lie dormant for years, she asserts. Slim makes an obscene gesture.

conclusion:"Self defense isn’t murder." That’s the tag line used by Columbia Pictures to promote Enough. On its face, that’s a true statement. "You have a divine animalistic right to defend your life the lives of those you love," Slim’s friend tells her. But the way Slim goes about defending herself would ultimately face intense legal scrutiny, not to mention raising serious ethical concerns. She strategically plans her attack and even plants evidence to influence the subsequent police investigation. Emotionally, it’s a no-brainer. You’re completely on Slim’s side. You loathe Mitch and everything he stands for. You can’t help but silently applaud when she "puts him in his place." Part of you even wants him dead so he can’t ever hurt Slim or Gracie again. Then, the reality of the situation sinks in. Slim never went to the police for protection. And that omission shades her actions with touches of vigilantism. Flawed as our legal system sometimes is, it is the law of the land and should be turned to in cases of abuse. When Slim finally asks an attorney how to get out of the bind she’s landed in, he tells her that it’s too late since she never went to the proper authorities in the first place.

As with the recent film John Q, this film pulls hard on heartstrings but comes up short on truth. Spousal abuse is never to be condoned. It is a cowardly and defenseless act. But killing to stop it simply can’t be the right answer. Enough ultimately tears down moviegoers’ confidence in the police’s ability to protect and goes to great lengths to justify deadly force as a permanent solution.

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Jennifer Lopez as Slim; Billy Campbell as Mitch; Tessa Allen as Gracie; Juliette Lewis as Ginny; Dan Futterman as Joe; Chris Maher as Phil; Noah Wyle as Robbie; Ruben Madera as Teddy; Russell Milton as Alex


Michael Apted ( )


Columbia Pictures



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In Theaters

On Video

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Steven Isaac

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