Rules of Engagement is a 2000 American film directed by William Friedkin and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson plays Marine Colonel Terry Childers, who is brought to court-martial on charges of disobeying the rules of engagement in a military incident at an American embassy in Sana'a, Yemen, resulting in the slaughter of many civilians by Childers' men.
Screenwriter James Webb is a former Marine combat officer, lawyer and Secretary of the Navy. Webb is currently the senior United States Senator from Virginia.
The film opens with Operation Kingfisher, a disastrous American advance in the Vietnam War, and shows Lt. Terry Childers (Samuel L. Jackson) execute an unarmed prisoner to intimidate an NVA officer into calling off an ambush of American marines, thereby saving the life of Lt. Hays Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones).
The movie jumps to 1996; Childers and his Marine Expeditionary Unit are called to evacuate the United States Ambassador to Yemen from the embassy grounds,...