Rules of Engagement
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
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… More

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 36%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"At the end we have a film that attacks its central issue from all sides and has a collision in the middle."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"What distinguishes Rules is its use of xenophobia to bolster its legal arguments, and presumably tap audience's deep-seated prejudices."
‑ Steve Murray, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Something is missing"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"Whereas a TV version of the same material might flounder, this slick, big-budget film works because there is legitimate doubt as to both the level of guilt of the accused and the outcome of the trial."
‑ Jon Niccum,
"Hey, dazzle us with a movie, don't shove it down our throats."
‑ Prairie Miller, Playboy Online
"Rules of Engagement never engages us."
‑ Jay Carr, Boston Globe
"At its best, Rules Of Engagement is merely bad."
‑ Paul Clinton (,
"If the makers hadn't stuck so closely to the rules, this film would have been far more engaging."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"A thriller set in Yemen that turns into an ethical examination of the use of force by the military."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"A silly courtroom thriller that comes dangerously close to remaking [Joel] Schumacher's A Time to Kill."
‑ Chuck Rudolph, Matinee Magazine
"Written with such murderous gravity, certainty and gloomy solemnity ... that it tends to kill our interest."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"At their best, [Jackson and Jones] are merely two of the most cunning, commanding performers in all of movies."
‑ Susan Stark, Detroit News
"Not exactly a triumphant return to form for maverick director William Friedkin, but it's not bad, either."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"It has the gumption to open a huge ethical can of worms without the first idea what to do with them."
‑ Rob Vaux, Flipside Movie Emporium
"A disservice to those soldiers it would celebrate."
‑ Randall King, Winnipeg Sun
More reviews for Rules of Engagement on Rotten Tomatoes

More Like This

A Few Good Men
Black Hawk Down