6.4/10
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279 user 62 critic

Rules of Engagement (2000)

Trailer
2:27 | Trailer
An attorney defends an officer on trial for ordering his troops to fire on civilians after they stormed a U.S. embassy in a Middle Eastern country.

Director:

William Friedkin

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lee Jones ... Colonel Hayes Hodges
Samuel L. Jackson ... Colonel Terry Childers
Guy Pearce ... Major Biggs
Ben Kingsley ... Mourain
Bruce Greenwood ... Sokal
Anne Archer ... Mrs. Mourain
Blair Underwood ... Captain Lee
Philip Baker Hall ... General H. Lawrence Hodges
Dale Dye ... General Perry
Amidou ... Doctor Ahmar
Mark Feuerstein ... Tom Chandler
Richard McGonagle ... Judge
Baoan Coleman Baoan Coleman ... Colonel Cao
Nicky Katt ... Hayes Hodges III
Ryan Hurst ... Corporal Hustings
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Storyline

Hayes Hodges finds his career aspirations dashed when he's wounded in Vietnam. He 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 is in no position to decline: Childers saved his life in Vietnam. Written by Ronos

Plot Summary | Plot 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Germany | Canada | USA

Language:

English | Arabic

Release Date:

7 April 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rules of Engagement See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,011,181, 9 April 2000

Gross USA:

$61,335,230

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$71,732,303
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Webb provided the story for this movie, based partly on his own military experience in Vietnam and his tenure as the Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan. In 2006, Webb was elected as Virginia's newest U.S. Senator. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning southeast Asia scenes, the forest contains large old-growth trees with thick, heavy bark, south-facing moss, and large broken logs. This type of forest structure is indicative of old-growth northwestern United States forest and is not found in Vietnam, where tropical forest layers compete for available sunlight. In tropical forests, the trees have thin, whitish and tall canopies with hanging vines and even moss layering. Also of note are the ground palms which are too uniformly planted and the lack of thick dead ground mulch found in tropical forests. See more »

Quotes

Colonel Hayes Hodges: You ever had a pissed-off Marine on your ass?
National Security Advisor William Sokal: Is that a threat?
Colonel Hayes Hodges: Oh, yes, sir.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some international prints, made for DVD/TV broadcast, have removed the Paramount logo and fade straight into the Seven Arts Pictures logo. The opening titles also now read "Seven Arts Pictures Present in association with Paramount Pictures". This is due to the fact that Seven Arts owned the international rights and wanted prime credit. See more »

Connections

Referenced in So Little Time: Rules of Engagement (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Manipulative
28 February 2002 | by Alex-372See 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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