Rules of Engagement


Rules of Engagement

Critics Consensus

The script is unconvincing and the courtroom action is unegaging.



Total Count: 96


Audience Score

User Ratings: 49,499
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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, Rovi


Tommy Lee Jones
as Col. Hayes 'Hodge' Hodges
Samuel L. Jackson
as Col. Terry L. Childers
Ben Kingsley
as Ambassador Mourain
Blair Underwood
as Capt. Lee
Anne Archer
as Mrs. Mourain
Guy Pearce
as Maj. Mark Biggs
Mark Feuerstein
as Tom Chandler
Philip Baker Hall
as Gen. H. Lawrence Hodges
Bruce Greenwood
as National Security Advisor Bill Sokal
Nicky Katt
as Hayes Hodges III
Jihane Kortobi
as Little Girl
Ryan Hurst
as Corporal Hustings
Richard McGonagle
as Judge Col. E. Warner
Hayden Tank
as Justin Mourain
Chris Ufland
as Ambassador Aide
Jody Wood
as Juror #6
Dale Dye
as Gen. Perry
as Dr. Ahmar
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Critic Reviews for Rules of Engagement

All Critics (96) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (61)

Audience Reviews for Rules of Engagement

  • Jun 01, 2015
    Intense and provocative, Rules of Engagement is a captivating political thriller. Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Guy Pearce, and Bruce Greenwood, the film features an all-star cast. When U.S. Army Col. Terry Childers is court-martialed and setup to take the fall for a protest rally that turned into a massacre at an American embassy, he calls on an old friend to take his case and prove his innocence. Unfortunately the script is a little weak, particularly the trail scenes; as nothing especially dramatic happens to sway the case or create momentum. Additionally, the truth of the "massacre" is revealed fairly early on, undercutting the tension. Yet there's still a good amount of suspense and intrigue to the investigation and the trail. Rules of Engagement has its flaws, but overall it's an entertaining and compelling film.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 08, 2015
    Much like, "Rampage", Friedkin's direction and the script outrageously stack the deck in favor of a troubling argument. It's not that I believe he shouldn't have his opinion, it's that the film never for one second allows the alternative point of view any ground to stand on.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 28, 2010
    This is a very good military-oriented film with shades of A Few Good Men. It's not as good as A Few Good Men, but it's still very entertaining, and had a great cast. Samuel L. Jackson is awesome as usual, and Tommy Lee Jones and Guy Pearce are at their personal bests here, in my opinion.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 11, 2009
    <i>Rules of Engagement</i> is about a very sensitive subject, which is why I suspect it has such low ratings. If you can get past that, I thought the story was really very good. Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson and Guy Pierce did a great job acting! I feel this is a movie worth seeing. It shows some of the not so simple choices soldiers are forced to make, in a time of chaos. Also the possible consequences one might have if they make the wrong decision. I've seen a lot of comments comparing this to A Few Good Men, but it's been too long since I've seen that to compare.
    Barbara A Super Reviewer

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