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Rules of Engagement

Action . Adventure . Drama . History . War . Thriller

Part war movie, part courtroom thriller, this gripping drama finds a war hero put on trial for a rescue mission gone terribly wrong with only his doubtful friend and fellow marine to represent him.

Actors: Tommy Lee Jones , Samuel L. Jackson , Guy Pearce , Ben Kingsley , Bruce Greenwood , Anne Archer , Blair Underwood , Philip Baker Hall , Dale Dye , Amidou
Directors: William Friedkin
Release: 2000-04-07
More Info:
  • Bob Graham

    But the single most compelling performance may belong to Australian actor Guy Pearce.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The drama ultimately retreats to safer, duller, more illogical, and more reactionary impulses and stereotypes.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • John Patterson

    Worth it, though, for the conviction and ramrod-erect bearing that pros Jackson and Jones bring to their roles.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Works splendidly as a courtroom thriller about military values as long as you don't expect it to seriously consider those values.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Jonathan Foreman

    As mechanical and predictable as a cuckoo clock, it shouldn't work half as well as it does.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    The setup doesn't make sense from the get-go.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Ted Gideonse

    Jones even manages to save this somewhat tiring film.

    Newsweek Full Review
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum

    Friedkin does a superb job of serving up the well-appointed script by James Webb and Stephen Gaghan.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Michael Wilmington

    Written with such murderous gravity, certainty and gloomy solemnity - such an absence of real life or feeling - that it tends to kill our interest.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    It's bottom-feeder entertainment wrapped up in high-minded airs.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Jack Mathews

    Sometimes, movies would work better if you couldn't see them.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Mike Clark

    The sentiments here are thoroughly semper fi, but the result occasionally works at cross-purposes.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Chris Kaltenbach

    This military courtroom drama is full of questions, but woefully short of answers.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Maitland McDonagh

    It's a deftly executed crowd-pleaser, but it's dishonest to the core.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • John Hartl

    What rescues the movie, time and again, is the strength of Jones' and Jackson's performances. Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Passable, moderately diverting dramatic entertainment.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    There's not much going on here, and there is little suspense.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    A broad and obvious approach to ambiguous material that's virtually all plot mechanics with little nuance or characterization.

    Variety Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    It's amazing the filmmakers never really concern themselves with satisfying the audience's rules of engagement.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Desson Thomson

    It is the verdict of this court that it be led to a stockade reserved exclusively for cheap, pandering movies and duly shot.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Richard T. Jameson

    Pearce is shot in such distorting closeups that he looks like an overdeveloped athlete who's been getting steroid injections in his cheeks.

    Mr. Showbiz Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    A casualty of its own clumsy storytelling.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Jay Carr

    Strenuously as it tries, and pulse-poundingly successful as the embassy rescue scene is, Rules of Engagement never engages us.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Barry Johnson

    Plays like an episode of "JAG," the naval courtroom TV series. A L-O-N-G episode.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Peter Brunette

    It just doesn't work. Worse, it's downright offensive. Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    Spoiled by its simplistic portrait of people from the Mideast as incorrigibly violent and untrustworthy.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    A wildly dull, predictable script whose holes seem to be courtesy of random sniper fire.

    San Francisco Examiner Full Review
  • William Arnold

    By the time the film plummets to its rock bottom, we find ourselves in a flag-waving no-brainer of the first order, and one of the most thoroughly confused morality tales in recent memory.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Michael Atkinson

    The clichés lap like bay waves, from the salutes to the brotherly brawl to the olive-oil tear streaks semipermanently painted down Jackson's cheeks.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Friedkin turns on the juice and Jones and Jackson let it rip.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
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