Rules of Engagement (2000)
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A hero should never have to stand alone.
|Part war movie, part courtroom thriller, this gripping drama finda a war hero put on trial for a rescue mission gone terribly wtong, with only his doubtful friend and fellow marine to represent him.|
"Wow! What a great film! Larry King, USA Today
Editor's NoteWilliam Friedkin unleashes his flare for tense action and gripping suspense in RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, an exciting military legal thriller that examines the moral gray area of combat experience and reflects on the ethos of the American military in the late 20th century. When the U.S. embassy in Yemen is stormed by anti-American protesters, Marine Colonel Terry Childers (an intense Samuel L. Jackson) rescues Ambassador Mourain (Ben Kingsley) from the explosive siege, and under fire from snipers within the crowd, he orders his men to return fire, resulting in many civilian casualties. To appease international outrage at an apparent war crime, the U.S. government court-martials Childers for violating the Marine's "rules of engagement," and his only hope rests on Marine lawyer Colonel Hayes Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones), a veteran who owes Childers his life for, ironically, a war crime committed by Childers in the Vietnam War. An intense, chiaroscuro courtroom drama and brutal combat film, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT takes a difficult look at the moral ambiguity of life in combat and the value of guilt, honor, and loyal sacrifice in the duty to one's country.
Cast & Crew
|Tommy Lee Jones|
|Samuel L. Jackson|
|William Friedkin - Director|
|William A. Fraker, et al. - Director of Photography|
|Mark Isham - Musical Score|
|Scott Rudin, et al. - Producer|
|Stephen Gaghan - Screenplay|
|James Webb - Story By|
Plot SummaryWhen a routine security mission at the U.S. embassy in Yemen goes awry and 85 civilian demonstrators are killed, decorated Marine Colonel Terry Childers is court-martialed for breaking the "rules of engagement" by a nervous national security adviser. Childers calls upon his old buddy from Nam, military lawyer Hays Hodges, to defend him in court. Determined to get to the truth, Hodges must rely on his soldier's instincts as he follows an explosive trail of cover-ups and half-truths that lead to the highest corridors of power in this action-packed drama from the director of THE FRENCH CONNECTION and THE EXORCIST.|When anti-Western demonstrators surround the U.S. embassy in Yemen, decorated U.S. Marine Colonel Terry Childers (Samuel L. Jackson) is ordered to secure the premises and "baby-sit" the embassy's staff. Upon arrival, the soldiers find the embassy besieged by snipers and an unruly mob. Childers leads a daring rescue of the ambassador (Ben Kingsley) and his family but in the process loses three men. With bullets flying from all directions and the not-so-peaceful demonstrators breaking down the embassy's gate, he orders his men to open fire on the crowd. When the smoke clears, 83 Yemen civilians lay dead, including many women and children. Back in the States, National Security Advisor Bill Sokal (Bruce Greenwood)--hoping to deflect criticism from the U.S. government and defuse a mounting international crisis--appoints young gun "New Yawk" military lawyer Major Biggs (Guy Pearce) to prosecute Childers for violating the Marine's "rules of engagement." Facing life in prison and possible execution if convicted, Childers calls upon cynical military lawyer Colonel Hays Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones), an old friend whose life he saved in Vietnam, as his reluctant advocate. But with the evidence stacked against Childers, Hodges must draw upon his soldier's instincts to defend his client from both the political careerists in need of a scapegoat and his own troubled past.
|"They're going to crucify you."----Col. Hayes Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones) to Col. Terry Childers (Samuel L. Jackson)|