|Rules of Engagement
|List Price: $2.99
Our Price: $2.99
- Ambitious but unimaginative and uneven - 3 1/2 stars
This is a military trial drama. When dire actions occur under tinderbox cirmcumstances, the President has a public relations nightmare and needs a scape goat. The scape goat gets his retired buddy to reluctantly come out off retirement to defend him.
While I found this movie to be entertaining, I don't know that I'll watch it again except to discuss it with my 15 year old son in order to get his take on some of the issues covered in the movie. The issues of patriotism, defending those who depend on you, doing the right thing and how to get out of things that are over your head, are important issues that are addressed in this movie, they're just not addressed that well.
It doesn't take an avid JAG viewer (not that I am one nor am I an attorney) to realize that if the movie shows you what happened and why, but there is no corroborating evidence and there are prosecution witnesses who are lying, then you discredit the "bad guys'" testimony. This should have been of prime benefit to the defense, but doesn't happen here.
This movie reminds me of a theme I find in many other movies as well as books. The management characters only care about their careers and are willing to step on the backs of the hump characters to whom they owe unpaid gratitude for the efforts that management takes credit for. Cynical yes, accurate, probably, overdone definitely. It's an unfair world, let's get over it and produce works that shed more understanding on those characteristics in the human condition and human spirit from which we can benefit. I see no reason to constantly remind ourselves how unfair life can be.
The acting was quite good given the lack of depth the actual characters are forced to portray in this movie. The actions of all the bad guys are predictable and so are those of the good guys.
The burning question, on which the justification for the accused's actions hang, is whether or not there was gunfire from the crowd on the street. It seems to me analysis of the bullet holes in the soft masonry walls of the embassy would indicate trajectory and therefore prove or disprove the accused's claims. If you stick your finger in a bullet hole in the wall and your finger is pointing up at an angle not horizontally, and there are a substantial number of those holes, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to solve that mystery. A second question is why the ambassador was not required to prove he was the one to remove the American flag when he evacuated the embassy as he said he did.
The ending was anticlimatic and therefore a let down and the epilogue on the screen explaining the fate of the bad guys seemed more like a lame afterthought than it was helpful. Had it been a true story, I might have been interested, as it was just pleasant fiction, I could care less. Except. . . . the story behind how the bad guys were found out in the epilogue text, might have been a better story....more info
- Racism posing as 'art'
Rules of Engagment is quite possibly the most racist film I've ever seen. Now that stereotyping Hispanics, Orientals, Jews, and African-Americans is considered 'racist', filmmakers have decided to bash Arabs and Muslims, the one one ethnicity and religion it is still perfectly fine to smear with stereotypes and bigotry. If you enjoy seeing how racist films, then this is for you. If Paramount had put even ONE Arab in the movie that wasn't a bloodthirsty religious fanatic, then I might be a little kinder. ADC was right. This is offensive and racist....more info
- Tommy Lee Jones
Wonderful, wonderful movie. Especially the friendship between Jones' & Jackson's characters, Hodges & Childers....more info
- RULES OF ENGAGMENT
ONLY ONE THING TO SAY,AND THAT IS,THIS FILM IS ONE HELL OF A GREAT FILM,MISS THIS ONE YOU MUST BE MAD....more info
- Its sweet, but the legal [stuff is boring]
I like this movie alot. Its a great movie, the combat scenes are realistic. The legal stuff is boring though. It ranks high for me because Im an MC ROTC cadet and my respect for Jackson and Jones. Of course, with out the legalness there would be no movie. I recommend buying this movie. Get it used though and save some money....more info
- RULES OF ENGAGMENT
ONLY ONE THING TO SAY,AND THAT IS,THIS FILM IS ONE HELL OF A GREAT FILM,MISS THIS ONE YOU MUST BE MAD....more info
- Rules of Engagement
Dramatic-- Tommy Lee Jones was a little short from his previous performances. Still good movie for sticking up for the little guy...more info
- great drama
Samuel L. Jackson plays a Marine leader to go to the Country Yemen at the U.S. ambessy and rescue the ambassator after he is saved the Marines were ment to take out the snipers accross the buildings but instead they went off mission and killed 80 Yemenes people that were on the ground in turns out that Samuel Jackson saw the crowed had weapons like guns shotting at the soliders but theirs no evidence cause the man who works at a place in Washington D.C. destroyed the tape which caught the crowed in action so America is saying he's guilty and now he has to go to court....more info
- Get real!!
Our hero has trouble proving he was fired on by personnel on the ground. What happened to the holes in the aircraft ?? the pilots and the other jerks that were with him?? Being a soldier, The detail to me stank, the actors were good but sure don't need to get into real combat !!...more info
- have you heard of the soldier who killed an innocent today?
As a high ranking Marine rushes in to retrieve the American ambaserder to a country in the middle east after days of protesting and now violence, he remembers the flag, and hustles to retrieve it.... One of the best scenes I've ever seen with Samuel L Jackson.
Finally for the first time in a long time, someone in hollywood steps out on a limb and shows the public a realistic protrayal of urban warfare against terrorist.
When terrorist start shooting from the ensueing riot below, the Marines on the wall are being engaged, and all of a sudden, one is shot... 2... 3... The ranking marine orders the people to stop shooting over the loud speaker, then he warns them... Then he shoots them as another soldier dies.
He's a hero to his men, he saved their lives, he's a hero to the people on the home front [veterans] who know he did what had to be done... but then he is courtmarshaled, and so begins the drawn out trial of his innocence or guilt.
An exelent movie for the year 2000, and even more exelent is the acting done by Tommy lee Jones, and of course Samuel L Jaskson. Watching this movie, some of you may understand what's going on in Iraq, Afganistan, or any other terrorist laiden country with American forces there to restore the peace [as we should since we're the most powerful and best country on the face of the plannet here at the dawn of the 21st century].
Watch this movie with understanding, and try to forget for a moment that its all fake. Put yourself in the boots of the portrayed soldiers, and dont be so quick to judge today's soldier's who are confronted with accusations...
Be a true patriot.
- I'm being generous
First of all, I have to say that this movie started out quite well. The Vietnam war sequences were intense and stunning, and it immediately grabbed my attention. The film, however, then starts to get shaky after the Colonel (Jackson), is charged with murder for opening fire on a seemingly unarmed crowd of innocent protesting Yemenese civilians. From this point the film turns into a half-baked courtroom drama, then leaves the viewer with a very premature ending. I think it would have been a better decision on the director's part to actually show how the head of National Security was brought down, rather than just writing about it in the end.
If you're looking for a great war movie, get "Saving Private Ryan", and if you're looking for an intense courtroom drama get "A Few Good Men", or "A Civil Action"...more info
- Art imitates life...
This action/court drama film seems to climax near it's beginning, instead of near the end.
In the main opening scene (Which I prefer to focus on in this review), we see Samuel L. Jackson (Marine commander & decorated war hero) and his troops surrounded by a bloodthirsty mob of machine-gun firing terrorist snipers, protected by the 'human sheild' of an even larger mob of stone & firebomb throwing terrorists- many of them women & children. (i.e., typical Arab behavior).
As someone who served 3 years in the Israeli army, I must point out that for myself, and thousands like me, this story is fact instead of fiction. In the real world, Israeli soldiers find themselves in this exact same situation almost every single day. To us this is life- Not just another movie. Unfortunately, in real life, Israeli soldiers wouldn't dare take such aggressive steps to quiet the bloodthirsty mobs in Ramallah, Kalkilya, and Gaza City- Because unlike Samuel L. Jackson, there would be no happy ending for the Israeli commander who would dare open fire into the terrorist crowd......more info
- A great movie, especially now!
Watching this movie, in light of the recent terrorist attacks, makes you wonder if this could really happen if we inadvertantly kill some afghanis or pakistanis in our war againt the taliban. Will we come down our own military leaders as they do on Samuel L Jackson? Who would prosecute? This movie raises those questions, and people who watch this movie again after 09/11 will see it in a different light, thats for sure. And if you haven't seen this movie, It is a MUST! The commentary is good too....more info
- How dare you !
A soldier gives the order to shoot on a crowd of civilians (including kids)...lots of dead.
And it seems like the director want us to care about the guy
US army self justification at its worst?...more info
- pretty realistic
gotta buy it if you like to se good acting and good action. o.k. dvd....more info
- An excellent war movie and legal thriller, but nothing more than that...
This is one of the most engaging and well-made action movies I ever watched, it conveys a powerful feeling of actuality, and shall leave you biting at your own nails during most of the viewing time. Acting is very good, special effects are realistic and compelling, and the DVD's audio and video quality is above average.
All this said, potential buyers should keep in their minds that, like most American productions, this movie shouldn't be considered anything above an action buster and a legal thriller. Most of all it must not be regarded as anything seriously concerned with military and political actuality, and the legal issues connected to it. This is a fiction as unconcerned in portraying the behavior of the American military or the issues at stake during rescue operations in urban areas, as "Saving private Ryan" was unconcerned in seriously depicting World War II fighting.
First off the plot, while admittedly retaining an appearance of balance and realism during most of the movie, is spoiled by the final revelation. The idea that 80+ % of the individuals composing so large a crowd could be armed and firing en masse from an open courtyard devoid of any cover is as ludicrous as the idea that so big a show could go unnoticed and unreported... where are the policy chains set up to keep things under control? Where are the reporters rushing to get the big scoop? Where are the crowds massing at distance to see what's happening? Where is the embassy staff? Has the ambassador been left alone with his family and a couple aids?!?
Most of all the movie makers, in their effort to please the patriotic feelings of American viewers, strive to convey the false impression that US military and political institutions care a great deal about civil casualties. As the Iraqi torture and bombardment scandals have amply shown, the US military cares little more than Al-Qaida about the loss of innocent human life, and American politicians are primarily concerned in covering up their troops' behavior. In cases (like the Abu Grahib events) where a scandal can not be suppressed, a scapegoat is quickly found and a few grunts dismissed or sentenced to short terms.
Remember My Lai? For the murder of 350 villagers, only one person was sentenced, and then the great humanitarian, Richard M. Nixon, granted pardon and commuted the sentence to 10 years. Then in Sept. 1974, a federal district court overturned the conviction and Lt Calley was released! The other killers got no sentence at all, and it took 30 years for the few soldiers who defended the villagers to get medals from Congress. I don't write this out of outrage - I am as obdurate to human rights issues as the troopers concerned - but out of scorn toward the human inclination to warp reality in order to create the myths and ideologies that make organized society possible.
This is one of the many war productions aimed to mytologize history (well, in this case actuality) to fit into the American civic religion of Christian morality, brave patriotism and stalwart citizen-soldiery. WWII movies like "Saving private Ryan" are an appropriate term of comparison: in showing GIs engaged in desperate stands and heroic fights they mold the herd's minds into believing that the American military accomplished a lot more than slowly and inefficiently toppling an already defeated enemy (mauled by Soviet human waves on the Eastern front) by levelling any pocket of resistance through fighter-bombers and artillery. (On this point I recommend John Ellis' "Brute Force. Allied Strategy and Tactics in the II World War")
Instead of confronting us with a borderline situation, and outlining the balance of political and legal issues arising when the military must come to terms with heavy loss of human life coupled with the inability to divert mass medias' attention, the movie makers choosed to go for a conventional war movie and legal thriller, packed with the usual, nauseous stereotypes: the gallant, unjustly persecuted hero (the Colonel), the stealthy villain (the US defence counsellor) and the honest citizen (the Colonel's attorney) striving to overcome his personal problems to ensure that justice is finally done. Nor they forgot the insufferable Happy End of standard Hollywood filmography.
Now don't get me wrong, this is an excellent thriller and war movie, and you'll love it as long as you are into the genre and satisfy yourself with mainstream productions - that's why I am giving it three stars. Just don't make the mistake to go to the box office if you are looking for anything concerned with real-world actuality, or stimulating from an intellectual point of view....more info
- Service Rules
I commend the men of the Marine Corp.This movie goes into detail of a "coverup" and an honorable man is trashed but proven innicent by jury of his piers....more info
- A hidden treasured movie!
The mission is to rescue the besieged American ambassador to Yemen, and the responsible will be the highly decorated Marine Terry Childers. His decision to open fire on the crowd of seemingly peaceful demonstrators will cause the death of almost eight people. Is he guilty or not?
William Friedkin once more made a satisfactory film, thinking securely in the acclaimed film Rashomon where the eternal disjunctive between the ancient concepts related with the truth and its relative significance according your observation angle or personal perspective. The elusive, relative and ephemeral about what truth means to you or me makes us think the truth is just another illusion.
A magnificent cast and intriguing plot will tie to your seat from start to finish. A neglected film that well deserves its place in the list of the best films in 2000.
- a very powerful film!!
Samuel L.Jackson & Tommy Lee Jones give the performances of their careers in this tense and very believable film, like "A Few Good Men" before it is ask that question about honor and one's conscience, the decisions we make and the consequences that can follow, Jackson's character is put in a very compromising position where he has to protect his men and himself, even if it means breaking his code of conduct, this film will definately make the viewer question the rules of our military and the political atmosphere of politicians that will do anything to save themselves embarrassment even at the expense of one of their own, i won't give away the plot, but this is a very gripping film that should not be missed, if you like "A Few Good Men" you will not be dissappointed!!...more info
- Totally believable.
Unlike Marshall Fine,who wrote the Amazon review, I don't find the subplot in this movie hard to swallow at all! Sadly, politically I believe many of our fine military personnel have been sacrificed through the years for political agenda, and I am not just talking about recently. I am sure there are flaws in the movie, but I wasn't watching the movie for flaws. Truthfully, military movies are not my favorite genre. Having said that, I found myself up very late one night and "happened upon" this fine movie. I was mesmerized. Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson were brilliant, but it was the short segment with the former officer in the North Vietnamese Army that riveted my attention more than any other scene. Just brilliant! I can't say more or I will spoil it for anyone who has not seen it. Needless to say, I give it 5 stars because it is a movie that made me think, one I will talk about in years to come. That's a barometer for my star-meter! ...more info
Definitely a great movie, Rules of Engagement, brings to the screen two stories as they unfold simultaneously; that of a military investigation into whether an officer in the Marines was in violation of the code of conduct during an incident in Yemen, and the inner struggle of the investigator/defence lawyer as he tries to come to terms with his past and the ghosts that have been haunting him ever since Vietnam....
The film combines drama, action and adventure making it one of the best of its kind.
Needless to say, Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel Jackson, and the rest of the cast have truly outdone themselves with their performances, which are outstanding to say the least! All the actors, without exceptions, give it their 100% and it really shows (the chemistry is AMAZING)!
The plot, the setting, the dialogues, the special effects, and the music are all wonderful!
In short, it is a movie definitely worth watching and one to seriously consider adding to your movie collection (if you haven't already done so)!! Strongly recommended along with Black Hawk Down, A Few Good Men, and Courage Under Fire.
- Interesting as a Snapshot in Time
Interesting scenario; Battle hardened Marine Colonel drops in to secure a besieged embassy and evacuate the staff. His men are getting killed by snipers and a hostile crowd. He gives the order to engage, but is the only person among the group with a clear view of the armed bad guys in the crowd. The Marines fire on the crowd and it creates a firestorm in the press and the State Department with everyone trying to save their careers by sacrificing the Colonel.
Even more interesting to me is what this movie portrays almost exactly a year prior to 9/11. Although very relevant post 9/11, I suspect that nobody would touch this script with a 10-ft. pole today.
One of the stronger images in the movie, also more relevant today than when it was released, is when the Colonel leaves the courthouse after the verdict and is verbally attacked by the media and public but saluted by his former enemy, the North Vietnamese Colonel.
Not a great movie, but one worth watching. If nothing else, it gives a fictional example of why you should not believe everything you hear/see from the media.
- Unoriginal, Unrealistic
Prior to seeing this movie I was expecting an entertaining, quality show based on the cast alone. Unfortunately I was greeting with a tired script, bland characters, and an unrealistic portrayal of the military. Only "The General's Daughter" makes a bigger mockery of the service than this film does. If you want to get a quality, film about the military with good acting, get "A Few Good Men" instead....more info
- Worst Military Legal Drama Ever
I am a Captain in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. I thought this movie was one of the worst legal dramas ever and even more worse, it took a worthy subject matter and destroyed it. There is no way in HELL that Tommy Lee Jone's would have won that case. Frankly, the only reason we want him to is because eventually we get to "see" the missing tape which appears to justify Samuel Jackson's actions. No lawyer would ever start an opening statement by asking forgiveness for being late because he'd been throwing up. And to base your closing arguement on the fact that you and your son would not be alive if the accused had not saved you so he must be found not-guilty is absurd. Rules of Engagement present interesting and comlex issues for todays Judge Advocate and the Commanders he or she serve, but this movie does not come close to exploring this deserving topic. Very disappointing....more info
- I BEG TO DIFFER, BUT......
For those of you who are whining about the credibility of this movie, this film was based on a TRUE story. I have only two things to say to those of you who have negatively critiqued this film based upon your own ignorance: When was the last time you were in a hot zone with enemy fire buzzing your Jose Eber knockoff haircut? -and- 15 MINUTES!...more info
- A Bit Contrived, But Entertaining
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. Samuel L. Jackson is always good and so is Director William Friedkin.
There are some outstanding action scenes in the first 30 minutes and the 5.1surround system 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. It gets even more dramatic when two other witnesses lie and make justice look almost impossible to attain in the case. Throw in the usual PC race card, and there you have it. But, dramatics aside, it's an entertaining story.
- To be a soldier is to be a slave of politicians
The personal responsibility of a soldier of any rank from any country in any military action is a real problem. This film tackles this problem under the light of a potential miscarriage of military justice in the US. It all revolves around one piece of evidence, a video tape, that was destroyed but had been duly listed on some invoice slip. The court does not require this piece of evidence but the jury seems to have taken it into account to refuse to convict the accused of the crime the politicians of the State Department and the leadership of the Marines would like him to be convicted of. Unluckily the film is cryptic about this element that seems to be supported by some written messages at the end of the film showing the national security advisor who destroyed the tape was gotten rid of. But the film does not make this piece of information the center of the plot, though it deserves to be. But yet the film is quite clear about how a miscarriage of military justice is built and planned to cover the failings and shortcomings and drawbacks of other personnel like diplomatic staff or ambassadors or counselors or advisors of any type. You have to destroy a piece of evidence, then you have to pressurize the officers who have authority in the case, and then you make some people lie, bluntly lie, and there you are. It's ugly, frightening and disgusting and yet it happens all the time. In this film to cover up the political mess the soldier has to be convicted of a crime he did not commit, in some other cases it can be the reverse, to be absolved of a crime he did commit on orders but those orders have to be covered up for political reasons. Politics is the worst human invention ever and it is too often the cause of the worst crimes imaginable. And war is generally the result of the impotence of politicians, their incapability to solve problems without violence. And soldiers have always been pawns on the political chessboard. They better be willing to die on the altar of politics if they enter this career. But at times there might be salvation and success for one victim of such events, though it will be the exception that will prove the rule unescapable : soldiers are the natural scapegoats and fuses of politicians.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU