Rules of Engagement (2000)

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT is a Camp Lejune-set, William Friedkin-directed 
courtroom drama about a career soldier (Samuel Jackson) charged 
with giving the order to fire on unarmed civilians while taking 
sniper fire during an embassy evac in the Middle East.  His just-
about-retired lawyer (Tommy Lee Jones) is an old friend and someone
whose life he saved in 'Nam.  Did Jackson's character make a mis-
take?  Or are these just those people who "get hurt" during war?? 
Or is something *else* going on???  Maybe, maybe, and maybe.  Alas,
finding the answers to these questions is far less engaging that 
the combat sequences that precede them:  a gritty Vietnam flashback
and the edgy-as-Hell rescue mission that starts the whole ball of 
wax rolling.  Jackson and Jones are great, however.  Jackson even 
gets his own "you can't handle the truth" outburst that almost-- I
say *almost*-- makes this otherwise sluggish trip worth taking.  
Gotta love those buzzing flies, too!  Ben Kingsley, Anne Archer, 
Philip Baker Hall, and an ultra-lean (and frankly kinda creepy lo-
oking) Guy Pierce also appear.

Grade: C

Copyright 2000 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: April 9, 2000

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros