Enemies of the State True Crime Documentary Review, The Matthew Dehart Conspiracy

What Enemies of the State is all about without spoiling the show

Matthew Dehart claims to be a lot of things. He says he has sensitive government information. He claims to be a member of the hacker group Anonymous. He admits to those two but he denies allegations of grooming two minors online and soliciting nude photos of each.

In Enemies of the State, we learn about the case of Dehart and his claim that the grooming allegations were a setup by the United States Government because of his connection to WikiLeaks and other organizations. Is he onto something or is Dehart full of it?

Backed up by his parents every step of the way, he flees the country, seeks asylum with the Russians, and spins a fascinating tale of espionage.

What was good about Enemies of the State

The story in Enemies of the State is pretty intriguing. A man could have been set up by the government for a crime he didn’t commit. It’s a spy thriller waiting to happen.

Enemies of the State tells the story pretty much right down the middle. The filmmakers don’t try to make him look good or bad, instead sticking with the facts. There may be a slight bias toward him in the beginning, but that may have been necessary to tell the story properly.

We get a ton of interviews with his parents. They seem to truly believe in their son every step of the way. He could fart in their face and if Matthew said the dog did it then they would damn well believe it was the dog who let one rip.

There are a ton of missing truths in this story. At one point, Dehart’s mother claims she knows some of the sensitive information her son was privy to. One fact is that the anthrax attacks were staged by the CIA to give George Bush more support in the Iraq War. If so, does that mean one of my favorite true crime films, The Anthrax Attacks, was all a lie?

What could have made Enemies of the States better

This documentary did take a little too long to get interesting. I felt like early on they were giving the viewer, me in this case, too much benefit of knowing this story. It was mostly new to me. The pacing was wonky for some reason. It seemed like the present and past were getting mashed together. I did have some trouble trying to understand what the story was even going to be about.

It’s not until the final act when we learn of the outcome and the evidence pointing toward Dehart’s guilt or innocence. I won’t reveal which it is. Instead, I’ll encourage you to watch it.

Documentaries like this can go one of two ways. Because they’re trying to call it more down the middle, the ruling was to not give anything away until the very end. Another possible angle could have been for the outcome to be known early on, although it is obvious, and watch as Dehart defends himself.

We learn near the very end why this wasn’t an option either. A quick little spoiler: he can’t even be bothered to show up for an interview with the filmmakers.

Is Enemies of the State worth watching?

I do encourage you to watch this one. It might not be too great if you know the story already. It was mostly new to me which kept me watching closely.

Enemies of the State isn’t going to make any top list of mine. I have no regrets watching it. Sometimes, it’s all you can ask for from a film.

Overall Score: 6 out of 10

Enemies of the State actually gets better as it goes on. Stick with it if you like true crime documentaries based largely on whether or not someone is a weird liar or not.

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