I place Courage Under Fire in the same class with A Few Good Men as "A military movie that would have been a lot better if the people writing/directing it had actually done a bit of research on the military." Let me hasten to add, I enjoyed Courage Under Fire, but I had two gripes:
(1) In the scene where the Meg Ryan character dies while charging the Iraquis and firing an M16, we can see down the muzzle of the rifle, and the "muzzle" is a mere pinprick. Obviously, this is a blank gun. A small thing, but jarring to those who know guns, at a key moment in the film.
(2) The entire premise of the movie is bogus. An Army helicopter pilot played by Meg Ryan has been killed in combat, and has been nominated for a posthumous Medal of Honor. Denzel Washington's character is tapped to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death. This is a political hot potato because, if he recommends her award, she will become (drum roll) THE FIRST WOMAN EVER AWARDED THE MEDAL OF HONOR.
False. Historically, factually false. Dr. Mary Edwards Walker of the Civil War Union Army was awarded the Medal of Honor on November 11, 1865. This is, um, kind of an important point. Either the folks making this movie didn't know that, in which case they're sloppy, or they chose to ignore it, in which case they're willfully dishonest.
Did I mention I enjoyed this movie?