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 ... Bill 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson both appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and both also acted alongside Harrison Ford, Jones in The Fugitive (1993), Jackson in Patriot Games (1992). Jones also acted alongside Jackson's wife LaTanya Richardson Jackson in U.S. Marshals (1998), a sequel to the film he appeared in with Ford. Additionally, Jackson and Ford both appeared in the Star Wars franchise. 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: Yes they had weapons! You think there's a script for fighting a war without pissing somebody off? Follow the rules and nobody gets hurt? Yes, innocent people probably died. Innocent people always die but I did not exceed my orders.
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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

Featured in Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People (2006) See more »

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

Undervalued and important film
17 January 2018 | by cjbarrettSee all my reviews

Should be viewed by anyone considering a career in the service. Great performances by a coupl of our best actors. Sadly the topic is an all too familiar one of the government selling out the men and women who serve it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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