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Rules of Engagement (2000)

Tommy Lee Jones , Samuel L. Jackson , William Friedkin  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Guy Pearce
  • Directors: William Friedkin
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: October 10, 2000
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXGV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,854 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rules of Engagement" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Making Of
  • Cast and Crew Interviews

Editorial Reviews

Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson deliver electrifying performances in this ""tense, superbly-directed and top-drawer drama""* about what happens when the rules that command a soldier become the rules that condemn him. Colonel Terry Childers (Jackson) is a patriot and war hero. But when a peacekeeping mission he leads in Yemen goes terribly wrong, he finds himself facing a court martial. Accused of breaking the rules of engagement by killing unarmed civilians, Childers' only hope of vindication rests with comrade-in-arms Hays Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones), a military lawyer of questionable abilities. Together, they face the battle of their lives.Directed by Oscar.-winning director William Friedkin and co-starring Guy Pearce, Bruce Greenwood, Anne Archer and Academy Award.-winner Ben Kingsley, Rules of Engagement is ""a magnificent movie you must see.""** *Jeffrey Lyons, NBC-TV **Larry King, USA Today"

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MORE THAN JUST A COURTROOM DRAMA October 16, 2000
Having served in the Marine Corps, I am a sucker for all things Marine. I am also a fan of both Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, but then again who isnt? These two powerhouse performers team up for one good movie.
Jackson plays Terry Childers who is a 30 year combat veteran colonel in the Marine Corps. Childers is sent into Yemen to rescue an Ambassador (Ben Kingsley) and his family. The mission gets quite hairy and terrorists and civilians both are caught in the firestorm to follow. The incident in seen as an embarassment at best and a political nightmare at worst by the folks in Washington and Childers is put on military trial for murder. He asks his old buddy Hayes Hodges (Jones) to defend him. Hodges also happens to owe Childers his life from events in Vietnam.
The movie has the outcome you might expect and along the way we are introduced to a not so hidden conspiracy to frame Childers for the crime. What separates this usual plot from other films is the outstanding acting of Jackson and Jones. Jones takes center stage and wows you as a former combat Marine turned military lawyer who struggles to search for his own identity and questions his value as a Marine along the way. Jackson as always delivers a rock solid and emotional performance.
The direction of this movie is particularly note worthy. It does an admirable job with addressing the modern military dilemna of fighting unseen enemies in urban environments. The director holds some things from you so that you will find yourself questioning the acts of the Marines involved in the shooting. Only at the end does he give you everything you need to know. This makes the movie better than most.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Completely Underrated February 24, 2001
I enjoyed this movie a lot and I think that it is underrated. Samuel L. Jackson is Marine Colonel Terry Childers and Tommy Lee Jones is the lawyer who must defend him. The movie begins in some nameless jungle in Vietnam where Childers and Jones are soldiers fighting Charlie. A huge gun battle ensues and Jones's group is massacred. But Childers convinces the VC leader to call off the attack by killing his radio operator. Then we are taken to the present day, to San'aa, Yemen, where Childers is forced to get the ambassador out. His marines are being shot at, he thinks by the crowd, and so he orders his marines to open fire. They do, and so begins his difficult legal battle. It is not "A Few Good Men," Rob Reiner's spactacular military courtroom drama, but it is a good, interesting look at the military's justice system, and it keeps you riveted. It is not a really surprise ending, but it works. Jackson is absolutely amazing and Jones plays his part well as Childers's lawyer and friend. Go out and rent it, it's better than at least two of the movies nominated for best picture.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson are excellent as usual in their roles: two old friends from Vietnam whose careers took different courses after a firefight that badly injured Jones. Jackson's Marines rescue a cowardly ambassador and his family from an embassy pelted with rocks, insults and the occasional sniper's bullet. In return for this service, the ambassador will testify that Jackson lost control and opened fire on a crowd full of unarmed civilians, because his superior at the Department of State thinks he should to save the American reputation in the Middle East.
The basic story is good and the actors have amazing presence, but there are a number of amusing inconsistencies in the script, like:
1) Dale Dye, as Samuel L. Jackson's commanding officer, asks him whether he wants private counsel or the base legal office to represent him (if you watch this in a theater full of military personnel, expect this line to be among the funniest in the film). This occurs right in the middle of him briefing the man whose court-martial he will convene, which happens absolutely never.
2) Why didn't anyone analyze the bullet holes in the embassy wall to establish trajectory?
3) How the hell do you find a Vietnamese company captain from an action that occurred thirty years ago with no sort of attention at any previous time? (This probably makes no sense to you if you haven't seen it, and it really won't in the film, except to make the point that even officers on opposing sides have the common trait of valuing their troops' lives more than anything else on the field of battle.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From a Marine's Standpoint September 1, 2000
By A Customer
I actually thought that the movie was pretty good. I did enjoy every minute of it. But since I am in the Marines, it kind of made me mad because of the fact that there has been incedences like the case in the movie. Where the government throws all responsibilities and allegations at one man to save their own hide. The suspense was outstanding. I really don't see what made some of the other veiwers not like it. Take it from me. The movie was couldn't have been better unless they showed that congressman getting beat down.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Samuel l Jackson....Tommy lee jones .. Great movie
Published 15 days ago by douglas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 20 days ago by Nancy Ramirez
5.0 out of 5 stars must see
One of my favorite movies. This movie was, in my opinion, powerful and moving. As must see for the military/war movie buff.
Published 4 months ago by Ray Ray
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie that shows the wimps in D.C.
Good movie that shows how people in power cannot accept responsibility for orders they issue. Then when the colonel follows the orders and things go to heck he gets blamed... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ronald
5.0 out of 5 stars "Rules of Engagement", an outstandingly brilliant and important film.
As a private individual, albeit with some U.S.military background, and with no commercial ties, I found this to be an absolutely brilliant and thoughtful, as well as... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dvora Grainger
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
This movie reminded me of Bengazi and makes me wonder why our government
could not have done more to save our ambassador
Published 5 months ago by Linda Lane
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE!
This is one of the most interesting and exciting movies I have seen recently. It keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Everette C Hefner Sr
3.0 out of 5 stars Rule of engagement down.
All war or military movies must have a moral to the story throughout , with interacting with characters and more twist to the story line with a few surprises in it.
Published 6 months ago by Mark P. Dawson
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT
This was a good movie that was almost believable as a true story. I recommend this movie to any Tommy Lee Jones fan or war movie fan!!!!
Published 7 months ago by David Sevier
4.0 out of 5 stars A movie of ethical quandaries from hollywood.
A very interesting movie that asks many moral questions and does not for the most part give easy answers, remember this is hollywood. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Marcus Regulus
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