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Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

PG-13  |   |  Action, War, Drama  |  30 November 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 82,908 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 405 user | 130 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

A Navy navigator is shot down over enemy territory and is ruthlessly pursued by a secret police enforcer and the opposing troops. Meanwhile his commanding officer goes against orders in an attempt to rescue him.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Admiral Piquet (as Joaquim De Almeida)
Marko Igonda ...
Petty Officer Kennedy
Admiral Donnelly
Aernout Van Lynden ...
Aernout Van Lynden
Red Crown Operator #1
Red Crown Operator #2 (as Shane Mikael Johnson)
Don Winston ...
Red Crown Operator #3


Fighter navigator Chris Burnett wants out: he was looking for something more than the boring recon missions he's been flying. He finds himself flying the lone Christmas day mission over war-torn Bosnia. But when he talks pilot Stackhouse into flying slightly off-course to check out an interesting target, the two get shot down. Burnett is soon alone, trying to outrun a pursuing army, while commanding officer Reigert finds his rescue operation hamstrung by politics, forcing Burnett to run far out of his way. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


His only weapon is his will to survive. See more »


Action | War | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for war violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


Release Date:

30 November 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Im Fadenkreuz - Allein gegen alle  »

Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,736,133 (USA) (30 November 2001)


$59,068,786 (USA) (19 April 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In response to Lt. Burnett's request to leave the Navy, Admiral Reigart (Gene Hackman) asks him what he's going to do .. "are you gonna fly commercial jets? .. troll the friendly skies in a bus?" "Fly the friendly skies" is a slogan of United Airlines; in the 1990's, Hackman was the principal voice-over artist for United. See more »


When Stackhouse ejects, the spring apparently cuts through his left leg. However, when he's on the ground, the field dressings are applied to his right leg. See more »


[Last lines]
Chris Burnett: [Aboard the helicopter after the rescue mission] Hey, Admiral! You're holding a letter for me. I'd like to have it back!
Admiral Reigart: I think I can find it!
[Reigart hands Burnett the letter. Burnett then crumples the letter, which had stated his intent of leaving the Navy. The rest of the crew look on happily and amused. The song 'Rescue Blues' by Ryan Adams fades in]
See more »


Referenced in The Benchwarmers (2006) See more »


The Rescue Blues
Written by Ryan Adams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Survival game by Owen Wilson against Servian soldiers
21 February 2008 | by See all my reviews

This is a taut and compelling film based on true events ; it focuses a pair of brave pilots , two crack fighter pilots , the Air Force Lieutenants Burnett (Owen Wilson) and Stackhouse (Gabriel Match) . The F-14 Fighter pilots have only seen the war from 40.000 foot until they're shot down behind enemy lines , in Bosnia territory . Now the Admiral McMahon (Gene Hackman) in charge to get him out , before the Servian soldiers (Olek Kupra) and enemy forces bombing the area . However US commanding doesn't want intervene but is about a peace treatise . Stranding two pilots in enemy territory , now in order to survive , there starts a game of survival . They must fight the rebel forces that threaten their lives and retrieve photographs about massacres .

It's an adrenaline-fueled adventure with spectacular flight-scenes, suspense , tension and lots of entertainment . What's important here are the aircraft flights , shooting , noisy action and breathtaking combats . Fantastic , memorable aerial cinematography and overwhelming pursuits are the main assets of this story . Although it displays a ridiculous finale in ¨Rambo¨ style . The movie follows the wake from Bat 21 (Peter Medak with Gene Hackman , Danny Glover) in similar premise though developed in Vietnam . The picture delivers an excessive stirring camera with continuous Steadicam and it produces some headache to spectator . Hyperactive musical score adequate to action by Don Davis (Matrix) . The film is based loosely on the experiences of USAF Captain Scott O'Grady, who was shot down near the town of Mrkonjic Grad in northern Bosnia in June 1995 and was stranded in Serb-held territory for six days before being rescued by US Marines. O'Grady brought a lawsuit down on 20th Century Fox for damages to his character , he claims he didn't curse as much and never disobeyed orders . The flick was professionally directed by John Moore in his first film . Later on , he achieved successes with ¨Flight of Phoenix¨ (2004) and ¨The Omen¨ (2006) . Followed by an inferior sequel titled ¨Behind enemy lies II : Axis of evil (2006)¨ by James Dodson with Nicholas Gonzalez and Keith David and other inferior third part . Rating : Acceptable , no dull , but is quite excitement .

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