6.5/10
51,915
290 user 132 critic

Basic (2003)

A DEA agent investigates the disappearance of a legendary Army ranger drill sergeant and several of his cadets during a training exercise gone severely awry.

Director:

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When the daughter of a well-known and well-respected base commander is murdered, an undercover detective is summoned to look into the matter and finds a slew of cover-ups at West Point.

Director: Simon West
Stars: John Travolta, Madeleine Stowe, James Cromwell
Swordfish (2001)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A covert counter-terrorist unit called Black Cell led by Gabriel Shear wants the money to help finance their war against international terrorism, but it's all locked away. Gabriel brings in convicted hacker Stanley Jobson to help him.

Director: Dominic Sena
Stars: John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry
Broken Arrow (1996)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Terrorists steal nuclear warheads from the U.S. military but don't count on a pilot and park ranger spoiling their plans.

Director: John Woo
Stars: John Travolta, Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An attorney defends an officer on trial for ordering his troops to fire on civilians after they stormed a U.S. embassy in a third world country.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Guy Pearce
Ladder 49 (2004)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A firefighter, injured and trapped in a burning building, has flashbacks of his life as he drifts in and out of consciousness. Meanwhile, fellow firefighters led by the Chief attempt to rescue him.

Director: Jay Russell
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, John Travolta, Jacinda Barrett
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In Paris, a young employee in the office of the US Ambassador hooks up with an American spy looking to stop a terrorist attack in the city.

Director: Pierre Morel
Stars: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Pike
...
Mueller
...
Castro
...
Nunez
...
Vilmer
Georgia Hausserman ...
Pilot
Margaret Travolta ...
Nurse #1
...
Nurse #2
...
Helicopter Pilot
Edit

Storyline

Tom Hardy, an ex-Army Ranger turned DEA agent, is drawn into an ever-widening mystery surrounding the disappearance of the feared and often hated Sgt. Nathan West, as well as several of his elite Special Forces trainees on what appears, at first, to have been a routine training exercise during a hurricane in the jungles of Panama. Only two survivors are found, Dunbar, and a badly wounded Kendall, the son of a high-profile Joint Chiefs of Staff official. Neither is willing to cooperate with Capt. Julia Osborne's investigation. So base commander Col. Bill Styles calls in ex-Ranger Hardy, an old friend and a persuasive interrogator. Osborne disapproves of Hardy who is on leave from the D.E.A. after having come under suspicion of accepting bribes from local drug traffickers. She is also uneasy when she learns that Hardy once trained under West and hates him almost as passionately as his current recruits. With time running out, Hardy and Osborne call a temporary, if uneasy, truce. Hardy ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Deception is their most dangerous weapon. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

28 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Básico y letal  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,511,960 (USA) (28 March 2003)

Gross:

$26,536,120 (USA) (2 May 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Second collaboration of John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson, who had appeared in Pulp Fiction (1994). See more »

Goofs

Dunbar tells West that the muzzle velocity of his M16A2 is 700 meters per second. The actual muzzle velocity of that weapon is 975 meters per second. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Osbourne: [narration] The French tried to build a canal here before the Americans. At the height of their effort, 500 workers were dyin' a week from malaria and yellow fever. They couldn't come up with cemetary space fast enough. Not to mention the morale problem all those crosses would have made. So they bought shiploads of vinegar in Cuba, and in each barrel, they sealed one corpse, and then they sold them as medical cadavers all over Europe. And for a while, that was their principal source...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Basic Ingredients: A Writer's Perspective (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Bolero
Written by Maurice Ravel
Performed by Hungarian State Orchestra
Conducted by Ádám Fischer
Courtesy of LaserLight Digital
By Arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Strong, Original, Entertaining
2 September 2007 | by (Manitoba, Canada) – See all my reviews

Tagged by many critics as overly predictable despite trying to be the complete opposite, BASIC is nevertheless a strong, original and entertaining film.

The cast, from big names John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson to lesser-knowns Connie Nielsen and Taye Diggs, ably unravels the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a reviled army sergeant during a hardcore training outing. The episode is recounted in as many ways by as many witnesses, an interesting method that has worked so well in other films such as COURAGE UNDER FIRE. It may all seem confusing at first, but gifted director John McTiernan gradually weaves everything together, though perhaps not as seamlessly as one would ideally prefer.

BASIC is not without its flaws, but they are not as glaring as one might think from professional reviews, or even many of the comments on this website. Its originality is welcome at a time when so many films follow the same cookie-cutter formula.


21 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?