Parents' Guide to

Rules of Engagement

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Tense but shallow military drama heavy on violence, language

Movie R 2001 128 minutes
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RULES OF ENGAGEMENT presents extreme graphic violence designed to shock and horrify, and it certainly succeeds in doing that. Unfortunately, even older teens who can handle the gore and prolific swearing won't be left with much to think about. The strong cast is serviceable but never really transcendent. The plot provides a lot of tension, and there's a fair amount of suspense over Childers' fate, but it isn't enough to sustain interest. The story takes on a lot: a disastrous battle in Vietnam, a rescue mission in Yemen gone bad, a long-term friendship, an investigation, a court-martial, politicians saving their careers. But the attempt to provide breadth only shortchanges depth and leaves the viewer mainly frustrated by the sense that there was a better movie in there somewhere.

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