6.4/10
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271 user 61 critic

Rules of Engagement (2000)

An attorney defends an officer on trial for ordering his troops to fire on civilians after they stormed a U.S. embassy in a third world country.

Director:

Writers:

(story) (as James Webb), (screenplay)

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mrs. Mourain
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Gen. H. Lawrence Hodges
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Gen. Perry
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Dr. Ahmar
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Tom Chandler
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Judge Col. E. Warner
Baoan Coleman ...
Col. Binh Le Cao
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Hayes Hodges III
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Capt. Hustings
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Storyline

Hayes Hodges finds his career aspirations dashed when he's wounded in Vietnam combat. He then returns to America and becomes a disillusioned lawyer who goes up against the service to defend Colonel Terry Childers, who is accused of inciting an incident that leaves many demonstrators dead. Hodges in no position to decline: Childers heroically saved his life back in Vietnam. Written by Ronos

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A hero should never have to stand alone.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of war violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

7 April 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Reglas de combate  »

Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,011,181 (USA) (7 April 2000)

Gross:

$61,322,858 (USA) (4 August 2000)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones) returns to the bombed-out embassy, there is a picture of then Vice President Al Gore on the charred wall. Gore and Jones were roommates at Harvard. See more »

Goofs

During the fight between Hodges and Childers, just after Hodges throws the pillow and knocks Childers to the floor, you see someone from the crew slide across from right to left, pick up the pillow, and toss it to Childers. See more »

Quotes

Colonel Terry L. Childers: Six, Red Man! Engage hostile targets as they appear! Deadly force is authorized! How copy, over?
Capt. Lee: Red Man, Red Man, Trans Six Actual! Negative, negative! Be advised I have women and children in my line of fire! I got snipers in the buildings at 400 meters! How copy, over?
Colonel Terry L. Childers: What is it about this order you don't understand, Captain Lee?
Capt. Lee: Sir, are you ordering me to fire into the crowd? Over!
Colonel Terry L. Childers: Yes, God damn it! Waste the motherfuckers!
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Soundtracks

On the Threshold of Liberty
by Mark Isham
Contains a sample performed by Mark Isham
Courtesy of The Windham Hill Group
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User Reviews

Manipulative
28 February 2002 | by (The Hague, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Having just watched Rules Of Engagement, I have to say that although Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones are a joy to watch, I have to make some negative comments about this movie.

The movie is extremely manipulative, and comes from the equally manipulative director of The French Connection, William Friedkin. The movie's bad guys, oddly enough, are a crowd of irrational arabs, together with career politicians who won't just let military men do what they have to do.

The problem with the entire scenario is that the entire massacre could have been prevented with a couple of well aimed teargass grenades. Secondly, not a lot of time is spent on the character development of the 'bad guys', namely the Yemenis (in this case), who all seem to be very eager to die killing Americans, including their (the Yemeni's) toddlers. The later images of the little girl shooting a pistol is very manipulative indeed ("oh, see, she deserved to get her leg shot off after all!").

And thirdly, the incident most like it, namely the US Army Rangers debacle in Mogadishu, caused the death of 18 Rangers but 1000 Somali Mogadishuans, most of which were non-combatants. No-one seems to have been called to task for that event, let alone be thrown to the lions to appease public opinion, like Samuel Jackson's character is over a "mere" 83 deaths. (The same thing can be said for the invasion of Panama, where there was a similar death toll among civilians - the truth of the matter is that since WWII, conventional weapons have become infinitely more efficient, with the result that if conflict breaks out in built-up areas, _lots_ of civilians are killed.)

However, the one redeeming value (other than the acting) is that it shines a light on the changed nature of the political war that is required of the modern soldier in places like Somalia, Bosnia, etc., and that started in Vietnam.


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