Rules of Engagement (2000)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  7 April 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 36,355 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?


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 »


During the courtroom scenes the bruises on Col. Childers' face from his fight with Col. Hodges move around. For example, when the verdict is read Col. Childers has a crescent shaped bruise under his eye and a cut or split in his lip. However, when he emerges from the courtroom following the verdict, the crescent shaped bruise is gone and there is no noticeable injury to his lip. See more »


Colonel Terry L. Childers: Waste the motherf*ckers.
See more »


References Dead Poets Society (1989) 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

moronic militaristic propaganda
13 December 2000 | by (chicago) – See all my reviews

Big missed opportunity: This could have been an intelligent movie about the fine line between self-defense and murder, the ambiguity in perception and judgement faced by people in dangerous situations(real life example: A Chicago police officer killed a woman who made a false move with a metallic object in her hand--it turned out to be a lock, not a weapon. Was the policewoman guilty of murder? Would we have done the same in her situation?) Instead the director turned this into jingoistic drivel. The portrayal of Arabs/Muslims is a really offensive stereotype: Gun-totin, rock-throwin, jihad-lovin, towel-head fanatics, every last one of them, man, woman, and child. Most disturbing thing about it:

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A Flag is more important than Marine´s life ? lobo-cinzento
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Is this a TRUE STORY? mamatodallas
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