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Rules of Engagement

Top-drawer entertainment. If you see the movie, you'll understand why this isn't a good thing.


The story is typical but still compelling Hollywood military courtroom drama. Samuel L. Jackson plays Col. Terry Childers, a veteran marine in a legal bind after he appears to have slaughtered a group of Yemen demonstrators during the emergency evacuation of an ambassador and his family. To help, he calls on Col. Hays Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones), a retired military lawyer with low self-esteem. After making a trip to Yemen to inspect the scene of the alleged crime, Jones learns that getting his old war buddy off the hook won't be very easy, especially with a hotshot prosecutor (Guy Pearce) to wrestle with. Despite an extremely lame "smoking gun," the high-impact action scenes are a treat and will certainly distract you from the less-than clever plot.


Jackson and Jones are veteran actors and once again, their skills shine in "Rules of Engagement." Jackson is especially powerful in his courtroom scenes, despite a copycat display of rage that's reminiscent of Jack Nicholson's performance in "A Few Good Men." Pearce is equally strong, elegantly pulling off the role of a cunning yet ruthless prosecutor.


William Friedkin clearly knows how to create action sequences that are realistic and gasp-worthy. His courtroom scenes are a bit amateurish and duplicative of "A Few Good Men," but the dialogue moves along nicely to keep you interested.

Bottom Line

Big explosions, rapid machine-gun fire, lame story. Just another action flick from Hollywood.