COURAGE UNDER FIRE is about friendly fire during the Gulf War. Denzel Washington plays Lt. Col. Nat Serling, who mistakenly shot and destroyed an American tank during the war. Guilt ridden, he is given an assignment by Gen. Hershberg to investigate if a medal of honor should be awarded to deceased, medevac helicopter pilot Captain Karen Walden. This medal would be the first for a woman in combat. Serling discovers that the captain’s character is questioned by members of her team. Eventually, Serling hears the whole story, involving a second episode of shameful friendly fire which reveals the medal-worthy courage of the Captain.
This movie is filled with gunfire, bombing, blood, burning, and excessive obscenities and profanity. Both Meg Ryan and Denzel Washington perform with cool precision. The movie might be seen as an endorsement for women in combat, but the real story is about a man who needs to find truth in order to set himself free. The real Truth, of course, is Jesus Christ, and the Lt. Col.’s healing may have been speeded by allowing himself to receive true grace. Yet, his search for goodness and truth seems to be guided by his faith-honed conscience. In its own way, the movie does parallel spiritual warfare and freedom in Christ.
(B, C, LLL, VVV, A, D, M) Moral worldview of courage, truth & honor with two positive depictions of Christian prayer; 54 obscenities & 12 profanities; extensive violence associated with war including massive gunfire, tank fire, explosions, napalm dropping, men on fire, helicopter crash, threats with gun, & car crashes into train resulting in suicide; no sex; no nudity; alcohol use & abuse; chewing tobacco; and, lying & deception