Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19

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Critic Reviews

  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
    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.
  4. 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.
  5. Denzel Washington is riveting.
  6. A large-scale military drama with a quiet, almost mournful center.
  7. A sober, intelligent drama with surprising integrity.
  8. 80
    A downright entertaining combo of mystery, melodrama and action adventure.
  9. Despite its underlying predictability, Courage Under Fire manages warmth, intelligence and a healthy share of surprises.
  10. 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. This is a good, solid, intelligent drama about the ambiguities of what does and doesn't constitute courage under fire
  12. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    This is - gasp! - a Hollywood movie actually daring to bare its teeth at silly American flag-waving.
  13. At the end of Courage Under Fire, you feel torn between admiration and annoyance with the filmmakers.
  14. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Susan Wloszczyna
    A film that wins on 'Courage' of its convictions. {12 July 1996, p. D1]
  15. Edward Zwick directed this reasonably thoughtful drama, helped by Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan in the main roles.
  16. 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.

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