• R, 1 hr. 55 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Edward Zwick
    In Theaters:
    Jul 12, 1996 Wide
    On DVD:
    Dec 5, 2000
  • Columbia Pictures

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Courage Under Fire Reviews

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Charles Cassady
Common Sense Media

Military drama deploys plenty of violence, swearing.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 3/5

September 14, 2010
Variety Staff
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A carefully conceived, dramatically honorable picture that treats its subject with clarity and intelligence, especially by contemporary standards.

Full Review Source: Variety

July 22, 2008

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As the detective-story flashback structure gets under way, what initially seemed adherence to dramatic and moral cliché becomes more complex and interesting.

Full Review Source: Time Out

June 24, 2006
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews

Denzel Washington gives as fine a performance as I have seen him give.

Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews | Original Score: A-

April 9, 2005
Steve Crum
Kansas City Kansan

A provocative film with Oscar caliber performances. (published 7-19-96)

Full Review | Original Score: A

December 28, 2004
Janet Maslin
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite its underlying predictability, Courage Under Fire manages warmth, intelligence and a healthy share of surprises.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3/4

August 30, 2004
Judith Egerton
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

Denzel Washington reinforces his image as a serious leading man who dominates a film with his quiet intensity and aura of introspection.

Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 22, 2004
Jon Niccum
Lawrence Journal-World

Underrated war flick with a surprisingly effective performance by Meg Ryan

| Original Score: 4/5

April 2, 2004
Michael Dequina
TheMovieReport.com

When [Washington's] long pent-up emotions finally break through the surface, the result is at once exhilarating and heartbreaking.

Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com | Original Score: 4/4

January 2, 2004
Fred Topel
About.com

Excellent military mystery. Rashomon style point of view play.

| Original Score: 4/5

August 11, 2003

TV Guide's Movie Guide

Washington's inherent gravity anchors his troubled and troublesome character, and Ryan, whom we'd all but written off as a perpetual pom-pom girl, takes on an atypical role and acquits herself, well, honorably.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 4/5

July 30, 2003
Dragan Antulov
rec.arts.movies.reviews

For Meg Ryan this was opportunity to shed her image of romantic comedies queen and play some serious role for a change.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/10

April 16, 2003
Brandon Judell
Critics Inc./America Online

a confused Gulf War flick adopting the structure of "Rashomon," the sentimentality of "Love Story," and the souls of Hollywood hacks.

Full Review

March 2, 2003
Luke Y. Thompson
New Times

Predictable, yet eminently watchable.

| Original Score: 3/5

February 3, 2003
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I wasn't particularly moved or riveted with suspense.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

September 11, 2002
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

Bold and visionary movie that dare to make the pursuit of truth into a spiritual quest.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice

August 27, 2002
Peter Stack
San Francisco Chronicle
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A fascinating mystery mixed with war action.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

June 18, 2002
Susan Lambert
Boxoffice Magazine

The sharp-edged script by Patrick Sheane Duncan offers a challenging structure, ala Rashamon, to examine issues of courage and truth, but unfortunately the story is never fully realized.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 2/5

June 5, 2002
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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At the end of Courage Under Fire, you feel torn between admiration and annoyance with the filmmakers, who take an attention-grabbing premise and skillfully develop it into a conclusion that's pure piffle.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

April 12, 2002
Michael W. Phillips, Jr.
Goatdog's Movies

I heartily recommend it, especially for the great performances by Matt Damon, in his first major role, and Lou Diamond Phillips.

Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies | Original Score: 4/5

February 28, 2002
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