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Rules of Engagement-Dvd (Chk)
Rules of Engagement-Dvd
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama

Director William Friedkin knows a thing or two about staging harrowing action sequences, and if you don't believe that, you've never seen The French Connection or To Live and Die in L.A. He comes through niftily in this fi...  more »

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Movie Details

Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD
DVD Release Date: 10/17/2000
Release Year: 2000
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
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Movie Reviews

Good initial idea and incredible cast, poor scripting
John M. Thompson | Albuquerque, New Mexico | 08/04/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"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.)The conflict between functions of state and defense isn't as implausible as the reviewers appear to think, particularly in a time when we deploy our soldiers and Marines to the world's least desirable corners as beat cops. Whether you set this story in Yemen or Kosovo or somewhere else, it can happen, it has happened and will probably continue to happen. State wants its wars to resolve neatly into ends comfortably discussed in meetings over tea, and gets annoyed when Defense reminds them that rules of engagement always make room for an exception necessary for saving lives.Rent it before you buy it."
Completely Underrated
Adam Dukovich | 02/25/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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."
Gerard T. McGuire | 10/16/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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.Overall it is great and the only thing that keeps it from being a five star flick is that Jackson's character, although central to the plot, had to take a backseat to Tommy Lee Jones performance. I thought the nature of the film would have benefited from more scenes surrounding how Childers was dealing with the consequences of his actions. Still, it is a movie worth adding to your collection. Enjoy."
Finally, something from the military point of view
Adam Dukovich | 06/01/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this movie last weekend and enjoyed it thoroughly. The Vietnam scenes in the beginning were believable enough. I'm a Vietnam combat vet, and I could nitpick all of the combat scenes but I'm not going to. The storyline involves what appears (in the beginning) to be a poor decision by a Marine Colonel (who would have been a Captain or a Major in real life), who is then hung out to dry and charged with murder by patronage types in Washington. Most of the movie concerns preparing for the trial, flashbacks, courtroom drama, and emotional scenes between courtroom drama as we approach the ending, which actually surprised me a little. It was refreshing to see a movie delivered from the point of view of career military people who have to deal with so much nonsense in today's world, i.e., corrupt, opportunistic politicians; a corporate media machine peddling its own agenda; a gullible and uniformed public, etc. I thought the acting was above average - both Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson delivered the goods. Also, the actor who played the prosecuting attorney gave an excellent, very believable performance. This was definitely not your typical brain dead Hollywood action formula flick with the usual suspects and the usual attitudes. If you're in the military or concerned about today's military, see this film."