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Rules of Engagement (2000)

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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:

William Friedkin

Writers:

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

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The story of what happens one day in New York City, when a young lawyer and a businessman share a small automobile accident on F.D.R. Drive, and their mutual road rage escalates into a feud.

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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 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 | 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:

Reglas de combate See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,011,181, 9 April 2000, Wide Release

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

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

In the opening scene where Hodges' platoon is pinned down by Vietnamese fire; as Hodges is leaning over to his radioman to respond to Childers first call on the radio, his front left magazine pouch changes from open to closed between shots. See more »

Quotes

Colonel Hayes Hodges: [final arguments of the defense]
Colonel Hayes Hodges: [presenting a photo of the embassy to juries] That is sovereign United States territory as much as if it were in Ohio or Maryland. Colonel Childers didn't volunteer to go over there, he was ordered to go over there because he was the best man for the job. We armed him, we trained him, we sent him over there to risk his life to save other Americans and then ask him not to return fire? There are over three hundred bullet holes in this building. Colonel Childers ...
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 »


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

 
A Bit Contrived, But Very Entertaining
17 November 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This story gets the viewer involved with it right away never lets up, with good performances all around, although Tommy Lee Jones stands out a bit above the rest.

There are some outstanding action scenes in the first 30 minutes and if you have a 5.1surround system, it gets quite a workout. After that, the story settles down into a court battle.

Its politics are typical Hollywood: the government is corrupt with the main villain the National Security Adviser who burns a video tape that would clear a U.S. Marine colonel from being framed for murder. That colonel also is a black man which makes the story even more politically correct. Samuel J. Jackson plays that role, a Col. "Terrry Childers." Jones plays his attorney, "Col. Hayes Hodges." The two veteran actors play off each other very well.

It gets even more dramatic when two other witnesses lie and make justice look almost impossible to attain in the case. But, dramatics aside, it's a good story and certainly an entertaining one. Once again, William Friedkin has directed a good movie.


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