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Courage Under Fire [Blu-ray] (1996)

Denzel Washington , Meg Ryan , Edward Zwick  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

List Price: $16.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, Lou Diamond Phillips, Michael Moriarty, Matt Damon
  • Directors: Edward Zwick
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby TrueHD), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 23, 2007
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000K0YLMI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,613 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Courage Under Fire [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

When Lt. Colonel Nathaniel Serling (Denzel Washington) is asked to review the posthumous candidacy of the first woman (Meg Ryan) to receive a medal of honor, he finds himself plunged into an apparent cover-up surrounding the actions that led to her death. As he struggles to uncover the truth, he also finds himself forced to confront his own tormenting demons. Matt Damon co-stars in this powerful and provocative drama.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Washington and Ryan in a Gulf War "Rashomon" November 4, 2000
Format:DVD
The basic plot line of "Courage Under Fire" is that Lt. Col Nathaniel Sterling (Denzel Washington) is investigating an incident during the Gulf War to determine whether or not the Medal of Honor should be awarded to Captain Karen Walden (Meg Ryan). It does not take us long to find out that the title of this film refers to both Sterling and Walden. The initial story on Walden, the pilot of a rescue helicopter, is that she made a spectacular rescue of a downed helicopter crew, then fought off attacking Iraquis after her own copter crashed, dying right before they were rescued themselves. But as Sterling questions the surviving members of Walden's crew, he discovers their various versions do not jive, and he begins to question what is the truth. Moreover, Sterling is haunted by his own actions during the Gulf War, where he was responsible for a "friendly fire" incident that resulted in the death of American soldiers. To complicate matters, Sterling is drinking too much, has grown distant from his family, and is being hounded by a commanding officer who wants the P.R. value of Walden receiving the medal and a reporter who knows something of what happened to the Colonel in Iraq.
"Courage Under Fire" makes excellent use of the "Rashomon" technique, wherein we get to see each person's version of what really happened in Iraq. Sterlings own feelings of guilt and responsibility for what happened in Iraq provide an additional level of depth to the narrative (more so than in Kurosawa's original classic film in fact). Some may find the parallel attempts to find redemption to be somewhat heavy handed, but ultimately the film succeeds because of the solid acting performances.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Engrossing Movie August 12, 2001
Format:DVD
One of my favorites. A movie that will keep you guessing till the very end. Nat Serling is sent home from the Persian Gulf with traumas and few prospects after being in a friendly fire incident. He is given what should have been an open-and-shut case: investigate a female chopper pilot for the Medal of Honor. Things become tricky quickly as Serling's support is withdrawn when he discovers discrepancies in the witness' stories and he will have to risk everything to find out the truth about what happened on a dark night in Iraq. Magnetizing throughout, this picture is well-conceived and very compelling, and it has messages about society. Excellent directing and writing, as well as amazing acting, this movie shines.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gulf War Rashomon with Washington and Ryan January 30, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
The basic plot line of "Courage Under Fire" is that Lt. Col Nathaniel Serling (Denzel Washington) is investigating an incident during the Gulf War to determine whether or not the Medal of Honor should be awarded posthumously to Captain Karen Walden (Meg Ryan). It does not take us long to find out that the title of this film refers to both Serling and Walden. The initial story on Walden, the pilot of a rescue helicopter, is that she made a spectacular rescue of a downed helicopter crew, then fought off attacking Iraquis after her own copter crashed, dying right before the besieged group was rescued. But as Serling questions the surviving members of Walden's crew, he discovers their various versions do not jive, and he begins to question what is the truth of what really happened. Moreover, Serling is haunted by his own actions during the Gulf War, where he was responsible for a "friendly fire" incident that resulted in the death of American soldiers. To complicate matters even more, Serling is drinking way too much, has grown distant from his family, and is being hounded by both a commanding officer (Michael Moriarity) who wants the P.R. value of Walden being the first woman to receive the Medal of Honor and a reporter (Scott Glenn) who knows something of what happened to the Colonel in Iraq and wants to know the rest.
"Courage Under Fire" makes excellent use of the "Rashomon" technique, wherein we get to see each person's version of what really happened in Iraq. Serling's own feelings of guilt and responsibility for what happened in Iraq provide an additional level of depth to the narrative (more so than in Kurosawa's original classic film in fact).
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Gulf War Via Intelligent Flashbacks November 28, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is an action movie with big-name stars but no flying cows, exploding chewing gum or invading aliens. Not that smashing special effects aren't cool. It's just that Courage Under Fire, while reconnoitering some previous military movie terrain, demonstrates the potency of a film that's well acted and directed and tells a solid story.
To wit: An Army officer (Washington) relentlessly searches out the truth about what happened the night a medical-evacuation pilot (Ryan) and her crew got trapped behind enemy lines during the Gulf War. The pilot, who died in action, has been nominated for a posthumous Medal of Honor, but as Washington interviews the men who served under her, he finds worrisome discrepancies in their accounts of the episode. (The movie, tipping its helmet to Rashomon, shows each survivor's differing version in flashback.)
What gives the story its greater resonance is the fact that Washington is a man questioning his own honor, having mistakenly given an order to fire on his own men during the Gulf War.
Washington is excellent, nicely underplaying his big scenes and ably conveying a righteous man currently ill at ease with himself. Ryan, seen only in the flashbacks, is convincingly gritty. In supporting roles as members of Ryan's crew, Phillips and, especially, Damon are standouts.
Courage is unfailingly intelligent. It is as moving as you suspect director Ed Zwick (Glory) thinks it is. The script is logical and compelling, its pieces fitting together like Lincoln Logs. Yet, this one indeed rewards the adult in us.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good
This is a very well acted movie. The characters are extreme but then so is their circumstance and that does bring out the best and worst in people. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Christine Copeland
5.0 out of 5 stars Jane's review of 'Courage Under Fire"
This movie dealt with the issue of women in combat in a realistic manner. I found it to be a thought provoking film. The cast was awesome. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
This was one of the best movies with SDenzel that I have watched. I have seen a lot of his moves and will purchase more!
Published 2 months ago by D. McCormick
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT movie
Loved it, one of the best. A lot of truth in the theme of the movie. Most of the actors are our favorites.
Published 2 months ago by Ted Lehmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie
I have always been a Denzel Washington fan, as well as Meg Ryan and this is one of the best movies. It does depict a lot of what women in the military face and is so well done.
Published 4 months ago by Linda Clark
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Oscar great but very good'
Denzel turns in another quality performance as does Meg Ryan. Not Oscar great but very good. Denzil really gets into his character.
Published 4 months ago by submariner
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroes
One of my favorite films. I watched this years ago and was recently reminded of it. It was every bit as good as the first time I watched. Read more
Published 5 months ago by George H. Fairbairn
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story line Denzel and Meg Ryan good to see in a movie...
It was a good movie most of th family could watch probably not for children though or patriots Good truth about military
Published 6 months ago by r hall
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Hold Up
The movie feels very dated. There are some great performances and its always fun to watch Denzel. Matt Damon is also particularly awesome. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Anonymous
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
This movie shows the potential injustice of the military system and how one person can overcome the most difficult tasks.
Published 7 months ago by cdhofegartner
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