Rules of Engagement (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Rules of Engagement (2000)



Critic Consensus: The script is unconvincing and the courtroom action is unegaging.

Rules of Engagement Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

In this drama, two U.S. Marines who stood side by side on the field of battle are reunited in a court of law. Attorney Hayes Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones) once aspired to a career as an officer, but a serious injury in Vietnam put an end to his military future, leaving him bitter and resentful. Col. Terry L. Childers (Samuel L. Jackson) fought alongside Hodges and once saved his life; when Childers is threatened with a court martial for ordering his troops to fire on civilians during a raid on an American embassy, Hodges is the only lawyer that he can trust, and the case gives Hodges a chance for revenge against the military system that he feels has wronged him. Rules of Engagement also features Kim Delaney, Ben Kingsley, Blair Underwood, and Anne Archer. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: R (for scenes of war violence, and for language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Stephen Gaghan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 10, 2000
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


Tommy Lee Jones
as Col. Hayes Hodges
Samuel L. Jackson
as Col. Terry L. Childe...
Ben Kingsley
as Ambassador Mourain
Blair Underwood
as Capt. Lee
Anne Archer
as Mrs. Mourain
Guy Pearce
as Maj. Mark Biggs
Mark Feuerstein
as Capt. Tom Chandler
Philip Baker Hall
as Gen. H. Lawrence Hod...
Bruce Greenwood
as William Sokal
Ryan Hurst
as Corporal Hustings
Dale Dye
as Gen. Perry
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Rules of Engagement

Critic Reviews for Rules of Engagement

All Critics (117) | Top Critics (27)

This movie is a blunt object -- blunt, but not particularly effective.

January 1, 2000
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

What distinguishes Rules is its use of xenophobia to bolster its legal arguments, and presumably tap audience's deep-seated prejudices.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Nothing in this movie makes much sense.

January 1, 2000
Mr. Showbiz
Top Critic

The drama effectively combines combat and potboiler courtroom drama.

Full Review… | July 8, 2015
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Tense but shallow military drama heavy on violence, language

Full Review… | April 1, 2015
Common Sense Media

Audience Reviews for Rules of Engagement

A mostly enjoyable distraction big on capturing the style of the marines but one that's a little short on plot; in a post-CSI world, I feel like they could have just done the 20-minute forensics and told us where the fire was coming from, and not needed half a movie of trial coverage to predictably get to the bottom of it. An interesting relic, though, as it is one of the few films that raise the spectre of terrorism originating from the Middle East before 9/11. And this was on TBS (sorry, I guess it's Peachtree now) like two days before the U.S. Embassy in Yemen was bombed last week... that's creepy, right?

Anyway, Tommy Lee Jones is quite good (as always), Sam Jackson held his own, and while I wouldn't go out of my way to see it, it was at least engaging (haha) enough to watch front to back, no matter how many f-bombs were replaced with "forget".

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

A decent war drama war as a mission is investigated in court to find out what happened.

Dean King

Super Reviewer

An intensely gripping, nail-biting and exhilerating military thriller. Compelling, memerising and very exciting. A mixture of strong court room drama and some explosive action. Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson give electrifying performances. These two heavyweights deliver the greatness, showing us why they are indeed superstars. Abslolutely unforgettable and powerful. A superb and tremendous film. Director, William Friedkin's finest film. A classic. It grabs you and dosent let go for a second.

Al S

Super Reviewer

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