[3] Conversely Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian complained that the film was "lazily plotted, grotesquely dishonest, and dripping with a creepy strain of Islamophobia". Ambassador to Yemen when a routine anti-American demonstration at the embassy erupts in rock-throwing, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire. Jones and Jackson work well together, bringing more conviction to many scenes than they really deserve. In his practice, he represents members of the military in courts-martials. Remarkable, though, how well Jones, Jackson and director William L. Friedkin are able to sustain interest and suspense even while saddled with an infuriating screenplay. Can the second 'Survivor' live up to the first? What could have been a taught and explosive courtroom confrontation between Hodges and Sokol fizzles. Faced with court-martial and life in prison, Childers finds himself abandoned by his chain of command and the National Command Authority. That's against the rules of war but understandable, in this story anyway, under the specific circumstances. This adds usefully to the suspense (movie stars are usually found innocent in courtroom dramas, but this time we can't be sure). [7], Friedkin later stated the film "was a box office hit but many critics saw it as jingoism". Visiting the abandoned embassy and some of the wounded, he notices an undamaged security camera and scattered audio cassette tapes. Some of the lapses can't be discussed without revealing plot secrets. Nevertheless, Hodges muddles his way to an acquittal for his friend on the murder charges despite the efforts of the Marine prosecutor, effectively and authentically played by Guy Pearce. It's a democracy and I don't believe for a moment they support terrorists any more than America does. Jackson plays U.S. Marine Colonel Terry Childers, who is brought to court-martial after men under Childers' orders kill many civilians outside the U.S. embassy in Yemen. That Hodges has forgotten the reason for his anger? Hodges meets with Mourain’s wife, who admits Childers acted valiantly but refuses to testify. April 22, 2000 At his pre-retirement party at the Camp Lejeune Officers Club, he is honored by his old friend, Colonel Terry Childers, now the commanding officer of a Marine Expeditionary Unit. He persuades his old friend Hodges to represent him in the courtroom drama that occupies the second half of the film. This works fine as an illustration of an ancient movie cliche about a fight between friends, but what does it mean in the movie? The film centers on a relationship forged throughout the adult lifetimes of two Marine colonels, Hays Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones) and Terry Childers (Samuel L. Jackson). [6] Director William Friedkin, however, dismissed accusations that the film was racist: Let me state right up front, the film is not anti-Arab, is not anti-Muslim and is certainly not anti-Yemen.

Hodges makes a fact-finding visit to Yemen, and sees children who were victims of Childers' order to fire (the scene echoes one in "The Third Man"). The movie succeeds in capturing the details of a successful military operation and showing the possible political fallout from such an operation. In a tense, gripping and well-filmed military expedition, Childers leads his Marines into harm's way to make contact with a cowardly U.S. ambassador, played effectively by Ben Kingsley, and ultimately to extract the ambassador, his wife, played by Ann Archer, and son from the soon-to-be-overrun U.S. Embassy. The prosecution presents Colonel Binh Le Cao, the Vietnamese officer whose life he spared, as a rebuttal witness, testifying that Childers executed an unarmed prisoner of war. Much depends, during the trial, on a missing tape that might show what really happened when the crowd was fired on. Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert gave the film two and a half stars out of five, praising its "expert melodrama" while complaining about an "infuriating screenplay". Hodges fights back. They have a bitter brawl--two middle-aged men, gasping for breath--while we try not to wonder how a lame attorney can hold his own with a combat warrior. Childers and his unit are deployed to Southwest Asia as part of an Amphibious Readiness Group, called to evacuate the U.S. The drama lags, however, once it enters the courtroom where Rules of Engagement is neither accurate nor compelling."[5]. Instead, he turns to his best friend, Col. Hays Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones), a self-described "weak lawyer," to defend him at his trial. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

Sokal burns a videotape revealing the crowd was armed and fired on the Marines, and forces Mourain to lie on the stand that the crowd was peaceful, and that Childers ignored his orders and was violent and disrespectful to him and his family. Arab Americans Denounce Paramount's Racist Film "Rules of Engagement", adc.org; Film; Friedkin Tries Again for the A-List, nytimes.com; References to use. Hodges, whose wounds make him unfit for action, gets a law degree and becomes a Marine lawyer. They fought side by side in Vietnam, where Childers saved Hodges' life by shooting an unarmed POW. Rated R Fictional Movie With little time to prepare a defense, Hodges goes to Yemen, where witnesses and police claim that the Marines fired first on the unarmed crowd. Finally, with his last strength, Hodges throws a pillow at Childers, and the two bloodied men start laughing. Leaving the courthouse, Cao and Childers salute each other.

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