Rules of Engagement

March 31st, 2000


more trailers Rules of Engagement

Ben Kingsley appears as ambassador MourainDirector William Friedkin with producer Richard D. ZanuckAnne Archer and Terry Jastrow at event of Rules of EngagementBlair Underwood appears as Captain LeeBruce Greenwood appears as William SokalTommy Lee Jones stars as Colonel Hayes Hodges

An attorney defends an officer on trial for ordering his troops to fire on civilians after they stormed a U.S. embassy in a third world country.

Release Year: 2000

Rating: 6.2/10 (22,972 voted)

Critic's Score: 45/100

Director: William Friedkin

Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Guy Pearce

Hayes Hodges finds his career aspirations dashed when he's wounded in Vietnam combat. He then returns to America and becomes a disillusioned lawyer who goes up against the service to defend Colonel Terry Childers, who is accused of inciting an incident that leaves many demonstrators dead. Hodges in no position to decline: Childers heroically saved his life back in Vietnam.

Writers: Jim Webb, Stephen Gaghan

Tommy Lee Jones - Col. Hayes 'Hodge' Hodges
Samuel L. Jackson - Col. Terry L. Childers
Guy Pearce - Maj. Mark Biggs
Ben Kingsley - Ambassador Mourain
Bruce Greenwood - National Security Advisor Bill Sokal
Anne Archer - Mrs. Mourain
Blair Underwood - Capt. Lee
Philip Baker Hall - Gen. H. Lawrence Hodges
Dale Dye - Gen. Perry
Amidou - Dr. Ahmar
Mark Feuerstein - Tom Chandler
Richard McGonagle - Judge Col. E. Warner
Baoan Coleman - Col. Binh Le Cao
Nicky Katt - Hayes Hodges III
Ryan Hurst - Capt. Hustings

Taglines: A hero should never have to stand alone.

Release Date: 31 March 2000

Filming Locations: Alexandria, Virginia, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $60,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $15,011,181 (USA) (9 April 2000) (3155 Screens)

Gross: $61,322,858 (USA) (6 August 2000)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The opposing attorney for Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones) is Maj. Biggs. In U.S. Marshals, Gerard (Jones) has a deputy named Biggs.

Continuity: In the opening scene where Hodges' platoon is pinned down by Vietnamese fire; as Hodges is leaning over to his radioman to respond to Childers first call on the radio, his front left magazine pouch changes from open to closed between shots.

Colonel Hayes Hodges: [final arguments of the defense]
Colonel Hayes Hodges: [presenting a photo of the embassy to juries] That is sovereign United States territory as much as if it were in Ohio or Maryland. Colonel Childers didn't volunteer to go over there, he was ordered to go over there because he was the best man for the job. We armed him, we trained him, we sent him over there to risk his life to save other Americans and then ask him not to return fire...

User Review

A good ride, good actors, some flaws.

Rating: 8/10

Last week, as I considered ordering this DVD, I checked the IMDB rating and saw a "fair" 6.5. Since I like Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, I placed the order. Like most roller coasters, I found it to be a good ride and Jones and Jackson did very credible jobs. The flaws in the movie have been correctly pointed out by numerous other reviewers. I was somewhat surprised that some of the most critical reviews were by US viewers. I fully understand how non-US citizens would be irritated by the stereotypes. I found it to be a very exciting movie from my particular perspective (US citizen, military family, male over 45). The scenes of combat when the marines are ordered to the US embassy in Yemen to safeguard our state department personnel were VERY well done, even to the point of gripping. The court scenes and conflicts of evidence or lack of evidence were interesting to me and I also understood, but did not agree with, the aims of the State Department. I don't think some of the reviewers are aware of what a person might do in such an extremely stressful situation as that of Colonel Childers (Jackson). It was fascinating to me to see what he did do and how he and others looked back on it. I would have given Rules of Engagement a 9 or 10, but for the flaws. It's a good movie though and well worth renting. It's an 8.