Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. 100
    As profound and intelligent as it is moving, and that makes this memorable motion picture one of 1996's best.
  2. Intelligent, involving and serious, it is as honestly emotional as Hollywood allows itself to get, a story of the search for wartime truth whose own concern for the genuine makes all the difference.
  3. 88
    In Washington's haunted eyes, in the stunning cinematography of Roger Deakins (Fargo) that plunges into the mad flare of combat, in the plot that deftly turns a whodunit into a meditation on character and in Zwick's persistent questioning of authority, Courage Under Fire honors its subject and its audience.
  4. 88
    The end of the film understandably lays on the emotion a little heavily, but until then Courage Under Fire has been a fascinating emotional and logistical puzzle--almost a courtroom movie, with the desert as the courtroom.
  5. Denzel Washington is riveting.
  6. A large-scale military drama with a quiet, almost mournful center.
  7. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    80
    A sober, intelligent drama with surprising integrity.
  8. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    80
    This is - gasp! - a Hollywood movie actually daring to bare its teeth at silly American flag-waving.
  9. Despite its underlying predictability, Courage Under Fire manages warmth, intelligence and a healthy share of surprises.
  10. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    80
    Edward Zwick's high-minded new outing offers plenty of old-fashioned movie virtues such as believable action, plausible psychology, fully played-out confrontations and honest emotions.
  11. 80
    A downright entertaining combo of mystery, melodrama and action adventure.
  12. This is a good, solid, intelligent drama about the ambiguities of what does and doesn't constitute courage under fire
  13. Edward Zwick directed this reasonably thoughtful drama, helped by Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan in the main roles.
  14. 75
    A film that wins on 'Courage' of its convictions. {12 July 1996, p. D1]
  15. At the end of Courage Under Fire, you feel torn between admiration and annoyance with the filmmakers.
  16. Reviewed by: Alison Macor
    67
    While the account of Walden's heroics doesn't necessarily move from legend to fact, it does push the bounds of truth and raise interesting questions about the function of truth for the survivors of war.
  17. 60
    Patrick Sheane Duncan's script deftly weaves together the stories of Serling and Walden, and Zwick remarkably sidesteps the trap of sticky sentiment--an idea further carried forth by Ryan's admirably against-type (and shamefully unsung) performance.
  18. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    60
    The film seems to want us to pin a medal to its own chest.
  19. I sat through "Courage" with interest, but I wasn't particularly moved or riveted with suspense.

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