Acting with Valor

Courage Under Fire marches over familiar terrain; with the exception of Captain Walden's being a woman, the movie could have been set in any conflict from World War II on. The military coverup angle is far from unique; it formed the basis of films like A Few Good Men and the above-mentioned A Soldier's Story. The outcome of Lieutenant Colonel Serling's investigation is never really in doubt any more than our country's ability to outgun Saddam's ragtag troops was during Operation Desert Storm. For the most part, the men and women in the field performed brilliantly and valiantly in that rout, and they do so here as well. It's the decision-making by the higher-ups that you have to question.

Courage Under Fire.
Written by Patrick Sheane Duncan; directed by Edward Zwick; with Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, Lou Diamond Phillips, Michael Moriarty,and Matt Damon.

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