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Rule of Engagement (2000)

Rule of Engagement (2000)




Tommy Lee Jones

Samuel L. Jackson

Guy Pearce

Bruce Greenwood

Blair Underwood


Directed by William Friedkin


This movie drags so much, that if you are not in an upright position, you will probably sleep off while watching. The script is very unrealistic and its own setup was not compelling. Then when they get to the courtroom where the main plot is meant to unravel, even there the whole process failed to win me over.

The movie spends half the time setting up a probably unrealistic view of an incident, based on a successful military mission. Pushing the blame on the commander of a team and ventured to sacrifice that man for doing something that happens to be so gruesome that only one man saw the reason for it to be done.

Many other soldiers were on the roof and it made no sense that none saw the bullets from the ground. After the incident, it made no sense that none of the soldiers in whatever record they wrote mentioned seeing on the ground after the shootings any fire weapons. Then the idea that a country will sacrifice one of its own for doing what I saw was the minimal action based on the situation at hand seems so unconvincing, even though it is possible, but this scenario was off.

Then comes the court case, after waiting an eternity to see it happen, the drama was lacking the needed catch and the whole event was just on its head. Then the prosecutor acted like he had a personal agenda against the defendant.

The plot is about Colonel Childers (Samuel L. Jackson) who was sent on a mission to rescue an ambassador. On getting to the site the whole embassy was in turmoil with shootings which led to the death of three marines. Childers noticed that the shootings were coming from the ground as well as from snipers so he ordered his men to shoot the attacking crowd.

Back at home the government decided to push the blame on Childers. Hiding evidence that can exonerate him and getting the ambassador to lie that the protest was peaceful.

Childers called his old war body to come defend him in this case, to save him from being court-martialed.

The courtroom drama is not mainly on Childers and his actions. No, the drama is about Childers and the extent the government will go to blame a man for doing something although gruesome, but last resort to save face politically.

The movie was not successful critically and commercially. Seeing it again now after so many years I can understand why it never stood out for me as a courtroom drama worth recommending to anyone.


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