Courage Under Fire Blu-ray Review – Gripping War Drama From 1996?

It’s time to head back to 1996 as I take a look at another of Denzel Washington’s films. This time it’s a war film that also stars Meg Ryan, Matt Damon and Lou Diamond Phillips.

The blu-ray came out in the UK back in 2007 but does that mean its worthy of a purchase and more importantly is the film any good. I mean it should be with that cast right? So without further ado here’s my Courage Under Fire blu-ray review.

  • Courage Under Fire (1996)
  • Genre: War, Drama
  • Directed by Edward Zwick
  • UK Rating 15
  • Discs: 1
  • Released By 20th Century Fox
  • Blu-ray Released: 9 April 2007
Courage Under Fire blu-ray review


Lieutenant Colonel Serling (Denzel Washington) is involved in a friendly fire incident whilst commanding a Tank group during the Gulf War. Following this incident he is left guilt ridden as the truth is withheld whilst an investigation takes place. In the meantime he is asked to investigate the alleged heroic act of helicopter pilot Captain Karen Emma Walden (Meg Ryan).

At first it seems all of the surviving crew have nothing but praise meaning she is in line to become the first woman awarded the Medal of Honor albeit posthumously. However following a series of interviews he discovers a number of inconsistencies. What really took place?

Style / Direction

The films directed by Edward Zwick whilst the cinematography is handled by Roger Deakins. The film tells the story through flashback scenes in which a Medevac Huey Captain is killed. This works extremely well as Washington’s character goes about interviewing all of the surviving members of the crew.

Music / Audio Effects

The music is composed by James Horner.

Acting / Characters

Denzel Washington plays a guilt ridden Lieutenant Colonel given the task of investigating a seemingly heroic act that should result in the first woman being awarded the Medal of Honor. He delivers yet another stand-out performance that sees him struggle with his own demons. At the same time he is given an assignment in which he is determined to ensure the truth comes out. In doing so he thinks he can come to terms with his own situation and guilt.

Meg Ryan takes on the role helicopter pilot Captain Karen Emma Walden which is shown in flashback form. She does ok with the role without delivering a stellar performance.

Arguably the best acting other than Washington comes from her squad consisting of the likes of Matt Damon and Lou Diamond Phillips. They both turn in outstanding performances that really are at the heart of the story / cover-up.


  • Denzel Washington as Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Serling
  • Meg Ryan as Captain Karen Emma Walden
  • Lou Diamond Phillips as Staff Sergeant John Monfriez
  • Matt Damon as Specialist Andrew Ilario
  • Bronson Pinchot as Bruno, a White House aide
  • Seth Gilliam as Sergeant Steven Altameyer
  • Regina Taylor as Meredith Serling
  • Michael Moriarty as Brigadier General Hershberg
  • Željko Ivanek as Captain Ben Banacek
  • Scott Glenn as Tony Gartner, a Washington Post reporter
  • Tim Guinee as Warrant Officer One A. Rady
  • Tim Ransom as Captain Boylar
  • Sean Astin as Sergeant Patella
  • Sean Patrick Thomas as Sergeant Thompsoni
  • Ned Vaughn as First Lieutenant Chelli

Conclusion: Courage Under Fire (1996) Film Review

There’s little doubt that Courage Under Fire is a powerful and tense yet gripping affair that is told exceptionally well. The acting in particular that of Denzel Washington is simply outstanding. It rare to see him turn in a bad performance but here he plays a guilt ridden Lieutenant Colonel that decides he must do the right thing and in doing so he might find redemption.

The ones well worth a look I highly recommend you make time to see it.

If you enjoyed my Courage Under Fire blu-ray review so far you may want to check out the following films:

Conclusion: Courage Under Fire Blu-ray Review

The Blu-ray came out back in 2007 but fortunately the picture quality is flawless meaning this is a must have for fans of the film. On the extras side of things there really only a trailer, director commentary worth bothering with.


  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary by Director Edward Zwick

Popcorn Cinema Rating: Courage Under Fire (1996)





Courage Under Fire (1996) is available now on Blu-ray from Amazon.

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Courage Under Fire Blu-ray Review

Courage Under Fire (1996) Trailer

For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…

Clip may not representative of the blu-ray version

That concludes my Courage Under Fire blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:

What Do You Think?
Summary: Courage Under Fire (1996) Blu-ray Review
Courage Under Fire Blu-ray Review

Movie title: Courage Under Fire (1996)

Duration: 112 mins

Director(s): Edward Zwick

Actor(s): Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, Lou Diamond Phillips, Matt Damon, Bronson Pinchot, Michael Moriarty

Genre: War, Drama

  • Movie Rating
  • Blu-ray Picture Rating
  • Extras


A tense and gripping war drama.