Rules of Engagement (2000)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  7 April 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 36,337 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 267 user | 61 critic | 31 from

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.



(story) (as James Webb) , (screenplay)
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


A hero should never have to stand alone.


Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:




| | |



Release Date:

7 April 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Reglas de combate  »

Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


ESP 116,150,585 (Spain) (29 June 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


H. Lawrence Hodge's home on the oceanfront (with the circular driveway) was also used as Jack Ryan's home in Patriot Games. See more »


When General Perry is telling Colonel Childers of the charges against him, his lips say "four charges" but the sound that comes out is "three charges". See more »


Colonel Hayes Hodges: If this gets bad, it gets bad for both of us.
Colonel Terry L. Childers: Why, Hodge? Are you going to jail too?
See more »


Featured in Behind the Rules of Engagement (2000) See more »


On the Threshold of Liberty
by Mark Isham
Contains a sample performed by Mark Isham
Courtesy of The Windham Hill Group
See more »

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User Reviews

A good ride, good actors, some flaws.
1 February 2001 | by (Nevada, USA) – See all my reviews

Last week, as I considered ordering this DVD, I checked the IMDB rating and saw a "fair" 6.5. Since I like Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, I placed the order. Like most roller coasters, I found it to be a good ride and Jones and Jackson did very credible jobs. The flaws in the movie have been correctly pointed out by numerous other reviewers. I was somewhat surprised that some of the most critical reviews were by US viewers. I fully understand how non-US citizens would be irritated by the stereotypes. I found it to be a very exciting movie from my particular perspective (US citizen, military family, male over 45). The scenes of combat when the marines are ordered to the US embassy in Yemen to safeguard our state department personnel were VERY well done, even to the point of gripping. The court scenes and conflicts of evidence or lack of evidence were interesting to me and I also understood, but did not agree with, the aims of the State Department. I don't think some of the reviewers are aware of what a person might do in such an extremely stressful situation as that of Colonel Childers (Jackson). It was fascinating to me to see what he did do and how he and others looked back on it. I would have given Rules of Engagement a 9 or 10, but for the flaws. It's a good movie though and well worth renting. It's an 8.

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