In WWII, the battle of Stalingrad is well under way. As ranks of Germans and Russians are killed trying to achieve this important victory, it is the Nazi's who are getting the upper hand.
When a Russian sniper, Vassili Zaitsev (Law), starts taking down numerous Germans, a Soviet political officer, Danilov (Finnes) decides to take advantage of the positive news and makes Vassili into a much needed national hero. Danilov's propaganda efforts, however, soon turn sour, as both men fall in love with a female soldier (Weisz).
Meanwhile, news of the national hero has crossed the battle lines, and German troops begin fearing for their lives. To combat the problem, their best sniper, Major Konig (Harris) is called in to personally take out Vassili.