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Basic (2003) More at IMDbPro »

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Basic -- * Easy non-stop routine for effective and fast results * Burn more fat through proper breathing * Shape your abs during the whole session while working the rest of the body * Acquire better posture immediately
Basic -- 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.
Basic -- 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.


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Down 22% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
James Vanderbilt (written by)
View company contact information for Basic on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 March 2003 (USA) See more »
Deception is their most dangerous weapon. See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
(73 articles)
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User Reviews:
Not a tight enough film to handle all the twists it wants to do See more (285 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Travolta ... Hardy

Connie Nielsen ... Osborne

Samuel L. Jackson ... West

Tim Daly ... Styles

Giovanni Ribisi ... Kendall

Brian Van Holt ... Dunbar

Taye Diggs ... Pike

Dash Mihok ... Mueller

Cristián de la Fuente ... Castro

Roselyn Sanchez ... Nunez

Harry Connick Jr. ... Vilmer
Georgia Hausserman ... Pilot
Margaret Travolta ... Nurse #1
Dena Johnston ... Nurse #2

Nick Loren ... Helicopter Pilot
Cliff Fleming ... Helicopter Pilot
Steven Maye ... CID Officer
Jonathan Rau ... G.I. on the Tarmac
Tait Ruppert ... Jeep Driver (as Tait Rupert)
Timothy S. Wester ... Doctor

Chris Byrne ... MP
Curtis Ricks ... MP
Charles L. Fails ... MP

Directed by
John McTiernan 
Writing credits
James Vanderbilt (written by)

Produced by
Moritz Borman .... executive producer
Anson Downes .... associate producer
Linda Favila .... associate producer
Brad Fischer .... co-executive producer (as Bradley J. Fischer)
Andy Given .... co-producer (as Andrew D. Given)
Basil Iwanyk .... executive producer
Jonathan D. Krane .... executive producer
Mike Medavoy .... producer
Arnold Messer .... producer (as Arnie Messer)
Lee Nelson .... co-producer
Louis Phillips .... co-producer
Nigel Sinclair .... executive producer
Dror Soref .... co-producer
Michael Tadross .... producer
James Vanderbilt .... producer
Original Music by
Klaus Badelt 
Cinematography by
Steve Mason 
Film Editing by
George Folsey Jr. 
Casting by
Patricia McCorkle  (as Pat McCorkle)
Production Design by
Dennis Bradford 
Art Direction by
Gary Kosko 
Set Decoration by
Vera Mills 
Costume Design by
Kate Harrington 
Makeup Department
Allan A. Apone .... makeup artist: Mr. Jackson
Adam Brandy .... key second unit makeup artist
Michelle Bühler .... makeup artist: Mr. Travolta (as Michelle Buhler)
Lee Grimes .... makeup artist: additional photography
Lisa Miller .... makeup artist
Peggy Nicholson .... key hair stylist
Robert L. Stevenson .... hair stylist: Mr. Jackson
Yolanda Toussieng .... hair stylist: Mr. Travolta
Brian Wade .... special makeup effects crew (uncredited)
Production Management
Terra Abroms .... post-production supervisor
Daniel R. Chavez .... executive in charge of post production
Mauri Freed .... unit manager
Borjan Jovanovich .... assistant production manager (as Boki Jovanovich)
Justin Moritt .... unit production manager
Julian Valdes .... unit manager: Panama unit
Sandy Watterson .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Capra III .... first assistant director: additional photography
Mischa Hausserman .... second unit director
Anel E. Moreno .... assistant director
Jesse Nye .... second second assistant director
Douglas Plasse .... second assistant director (as Douglas T. Plasse)
Michael Tadross Jr. .... second second assistant director
Julian Wall .... first assistant director
Art Department
Jason Arteaga .... scenic foreman
Bruce Bisbey .... art department coordinator
Amanda S. Burns .... construction production assistant
Rex Christensen .... on-set dresser
James P. Crapser .... propmaker gang boss
Peter Damien .... propmaker foreman
Michael J. Flynn .... greensman
Kate Forry Guanci .... carpenter (as Kate D. Forry)
Douglas Fox .... property master
Geoffrey S. Grimsman .... set designer
James Hayward .... set dresser
Michael Hendrick .... set dresser
Jude Kahle .... scenic artist
Paul D. Kelly .... assistant art director
Richard A. McCarthy .... plaster department head
Jeff 'J.Mac' McDonald .... greensman
Herman McEachin .... scenic charge
Jody McFarland .... scenic artist
William D. McLane .... greensman
Arturo Mendez .... signs painter
Deborah Palmer .... assistant art director
Dan Pemberton .... construction coordinator: additional photography
Jeremy Alan Read .... greensman
Julia Starr Sanford .... set designer (as Julie Sanford)
Christopher Scheetz .... construction coordinator: Panama
Jeffrey Schlatter .... construction coordinator
Roger Sherman .... scenic artist
Tim Steinouer .... props
Joseph E. Stone .... art supplier
Johnny Thombleson .... scenic artist
Gary Tuers .... assistant property master
Alan S. Reynolds .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
David E. Campbell .... sound re-recording mixer (as David Campbell)
Michael C. Casper .... additional sound re-recording mixer (as Michael Casper)
Mike Chock .... sound effects editor (as Michael Chock)
Harry Cohen .... sound effects editor
Patrick Cusack .... assistant sound editor
Andrew DeCristofaro .... supervising sound editor
Marc Deschaine .... adr assistant
Joe Dorn .... adr supervisor
David Esparza .... sound effects editor
Ken Fischer .... sound effects editor (as Ken Fisher)
Angela Hackner .... sound recordist
Denise Horta .... adr editor
Eileen Horta .... adr editor
Mark Johnston .... sound recordist
Nicholas Vincent Korda .... adr editor (as Nicholas Korda)
Sean Landeros .... sound recordist
Daniel J. Leahy .... additional sound re-recording mixer (as Daniel Leahy)
Jason Miller .... sound utility
Chris Navarro .... adr recordist
Tom Nelson .... production sound mixer
Nancy Nugent .... dialogue editor (as Nancy Kyong Nugent)
Michael Payne .... supervising sound editor
John T. Reitz .... sound re-recording mixer (as John Reitz)
Stephen P. Robinson .... sound effects editor (as Steve Robinson)
Gregg Rudloff .... sound re-recording mixer
Mike Schmidt .... utility sound
Ann Scibelli .... sound designer
Ann Scibelli .... sound editor
Kim Secrist .... sound effects editor
Gregg Silk .... second engineer
John C. Stuver .... supervising dialogue editor
Becky Sullivan .... supervising adr editor
Shawn Sykora .... foley supervisor
Eric Thompson .... adr mixer
Tim Walston .... sound effects editor
James Ashwill .... foley mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Conrad V. Brink Jr. .... special effects coordinator (as Conrad V. Brink)
Ken Gorrell .... special effects technician
Thomas Kittle .... special effects technician
Richard Scioli .... special effects technician
Patrick Tantalo .... special effects technician
Kathleen Tonkin .... special effects technician
Tim Tonkin .... special effects technician
Robert Vazquez .... special effects foreman
Visual Effects by
Joseph Bailey .... digital compositor: big red pixel
Jeremy Bloch .... digital artist: big red pixel
Clay Dale .... CG animator: Pixel Magic
Steven Fagerquist .... visual effects compositing artist
Patrick Flanagan .... digital compositor: Pixel Magic
Tarn Fox .... digital compositor: big red pixel
Jim Gorman .... digital compositor
M.K. Gururaj .... visual effects producer: DAMFX
Nate Haggard .... digital compositor: Pixel Magic
Mike Hardison .... CG supervisor: Pixel Magic
James David Hattin .... digital compositor: OCS/Freeze Frame/Pixel Magic
Bonnie Kanner .... visual effects executive producer: Pixel Magic
John G. Kirby .... digital artist: big red pixel (as John Kirby)
Marc Kolbe .... visual effects supervisor: DAMFX
Jonah Loop .... visual effects producer: big red pixel
George Macri .... visual effects producer: Pixel Magic
Ray McIntyre Jr. .... visual effects supervisor: Pixel Magic
David B. Moulder .... visual effects coordinator (as Dave Moulder)
Brad Moylan .... digital compositor: Pixel Magic
Craig A. Mumma .... visual effects supervisor: DAMFX (as Craig Mumma)
Heather Neuberger .... visual effects post assistant
Robert Rossello .... visual effects supervisor: big red pixel
Ray Scalice .... general manager: Pixel Magic
John E. Sullivan .... visual effects consultant (as John Sullivan)
Kondareddy Suresh .... rotoscope artist
Devin Uzan .... digital compositor: Pixel Magic
Hank Amos .... stunts (as Henry Amos)
Kevin Ball .... stunts
Daniel W. Barringer .... stunts
Nick Brandon .... stunts (as Nicholas Brandon)
Chris Byrne .... stunts (as Christopher Byrne)
Wally Crowder .... stunts (as Wallace Dwight Crowder)
Gary Davis .... stunt coordinator
Cheryl Wheeler Duncan .... stunts (as Cheryl Wheeler)
Kiante Elam .... stunts
Jason Gray .... stunts
Thirl Haston .... stunts (as Thirl R. Haston)
Mike Justus .... stunts
Robert Lennon .... stunts
Douglas Neithercut .... stunts
J.J. Perry .... stunts (as Jordan Perry)
Steven Ritzi .... stunt coordinator (as Steven T. Ritzi)
Dennis Scott .... stunts (as Dennis R. Scott)
Doug Snively .... stunts (as Douglas Snively)
Todd Rogers Terry .... stunts
Dirk Vahle .... stunts
Chris Byrne .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Eric Amundsen .... second assistant camera: "a" camera
Miles Anderson .... gaffer: Los Angeles
Kurt Beckler .... grip
Travis Burdick .... camera production assistant
Shiloh Eck .... grip
Morris Flam .... gaffer
Ryan French .... electrician
Joe Humphreys .... electrician
Kevin Jackson .... rigging best boy electric
Nils Johnson .... key video assist operator
Gordy Jorian .... additional electrician
Clay Liversidge .... rigging gaffer
Jim McConkey .... Steadicam operator
Jim McConkey .... camera operator
Larry McConkey .... camera operator
Larry McConkey .... steadicam operator
James McMillan .... key grip
Jack Nealy .... electrician
Gene Page .... still photographer
George Patsos .... key grip
Scott Rathner .... assistant camera: "a" camera
Louis Smith .... additional second assistant camera
Michael J. Walsh .... balloon lighting supervisor
Marc Wostak .... electrician
John Wruck .... best boy
Casting Department
Brenda Egedy Kolb .... extras casting (as Brenda Egedy)
Ed Lewis .... casting associate
Dani Super .... casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
James P. Cullen .... costumer: Mr. Travolta (as Jimmy Cullen)
Suzy Freeman .... assistant costume designer
Askia Won-Ling Jacob .... costumer: Mr. Jackson
Kate Sawyer .... seamstress
Emae Villalobos .... costumer
Megan Walker .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Steve Calalang .... dailies colorist
Donald Dowd .... assistant editor
Mo Henry .... negative cutter
Michael Ilasi .... post-production assistant
James Nichols Jr. .... assistant editor
Robert Raring .... color timer (as Bob Raring)
Mark Scovil .... assistant editor
Brad Wilhite .... associate editor (as Brad E. Wilhite)
Music Department
Christopher Brooks .... supervising music editor (as Christopher S. Brooks)
Ramin Djawadi .... composer: additional music
Ramin Djawadi .... music arranger
Jay Duerr .... music editor: temp score
Marylou Eales .... music coordinator
Ian Honeyman .... technical score assistant
Stephen Krause .... score mixer
Jill Meyers .... music clearances
Craig Pilo .... musician
Joel Sill .... executive music producer
Transportation Department
Danny Mortenson .... transportation coordinator
Timothy Stephens .... driver
Tim Whisenant .... transportation: John Travolta
Other crew
Maricarmen Arauz .... production assistant: Panama
Tobin Armbrust .... production executive
Dilvio Bonilla .... location assistant
Karen Bosma .... assistant production coordinator (as Karen L. Bosma)
Josef Brandmaier .... banker
Daniel R. Chavez .... executive in charge of post
Patrick Curd .... production assistant
Raisa De Alba .... production assistant: Panama
Rob Dickerson Jr. .... production assistant
Tom Fallon .... location manager
Alicen Fonseca .... production assistant
Rebecca Garrison .... assistant: Mr. McTiernan
Mitch Harbeson .... location manager
Barbara Harris .... looping group
Michael Ilasi .... intern
Terry Ladin .... production coordinator (as Terry Ellen Ladin)
L. Luquette .... military expert
Rob McEntegart .... executive vice president, business affairs: Intermedia Films
Mark Moran .... assistant: John McTiernan
Kory O'Donnell .... assistant: Mr. Tadross (as Kory A. O'Donnell)
Ilene Pickus .... script supervisor
Oak Porcelli .... assistant: Mr. McTiernan
Patricia Story .... unit publicist (as N. Patricia Story)
Susan Such .... executive assistant: Mr. Travolta
Leonard L. Thomas .... assistant: Mr. Jackson (as Leonard Thomas)
Trish Vengoechea .... assistant accountant (as Patricia Vengoechea)
Dixie D. Walker .... production accountant
John H. Whisenant .... assistant: Mr. Travolta
Rebecca White .... assistant accountant
Rob Williams .... synthesizer programmer
Robert Milo Williams .... synthesizer programmer
Jeff George .... assistant to producers (uncredited)
Michael J. Harker .... completion bond company representative (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for violence and language
98 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:MA | Austria:14 | Brazil:14 | Canada:14A (Alberta/British Columbia/Manitoba) | Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) | Canada:14A (Ontario) (DVD rating) | Canada:AA (Ontario) (original rating) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Denmark:15 | Finland:K-15 | France:U | Germany:16 | Hong Kong:IIB | Iceland:16 | Malaysia:U (cut version) | Malaysia:18SG (uncut version) | Mexico:B15 | Netherlands:16 | Netherlands:12 (TV rating) | New Zealand:R16 | Norway:15 | Peru:14 | Philippines:PG-13 | Singapore:NC-16 (original rating) | Singapore:M18 (re-rating) | South Korea:15 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | Switzerland:14 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:14 (canton of Vaud) | UK:15 | USA:R (certificate #39367)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Every time the story of the bunker is retold, each person has a different partner.See more »
Factual errors: Ranger Training is conducted by the Ranger Training Battalion, who wear the 75th Ranger Regiment scroll patch. Sgt. West, their trainer, was wearing a patch from the 193rd Infantry Brigade.See more »
[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...
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Broken Arrow (1996)See more »
Comparsa de Los MuertosSee more »


What are the details of the drug operation?
Why did Dunbar (Brian Van Holt) come back to base with Kendall instead of vanishing?
See more »
56 out of 81 people found the following review useful.
Not a tight enough film to handle all the twists it wants to do, 15 February 2004
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Infamously cruel Sergeant West takes his unit into the Panama jungle on a training exercise. Two days later two of his men return and report the rest dead. When the base investigator makes no process, the base commander calls in shamed DEA agent Hardy. The investigation continues well with both of the two men telling their stories, however Hardy finds that the stories contradict themselves and that the truth is much, much more complex than first appeared.

For the majority of this film everything goes the way you expect it to, but yet it all still works reasonably well. The plot twists in several ways as each contradiction brings out a bit more truth in the overall tale. It is filled with dramatic interrogation scenes which, although clichéd, do still serve to be reasonably gripping. However at some point, and I can't say exactly when it happens, the sheer volume of twists and the leaps we are expected to make simply become too much for the quality of the material and it more or less collapses in on itself.

It isn't that the twists are too much of a stretch, it's that they are too much of a stretch for this film. Usual Suspects has massive twists that bewilder and require big jumps, but that had the acting and script to back it up. Here the same isn't true, the script doesn't do a good enough job of gradually revealing a story to us just to twist it; instead it just seems to be constantly changing the foundations to the point that I felt I was on quick sand rather than a base where the walls kept moving (if you get my meaning). What I'm saying is that the story didn't set itself up well enough to provide killer twists, instead it was constantly pulling small then bigger twist after twist - to the point where I was expecting the next one before it arrived. Not to unfairly compare, but Usual Suspects gradually added layers rather than twists as it builds to a climax. Basic just keeps twisting but eventually gets to the point where it overstretches itself and the twists lose their impact.

The dramatic tone suffers for this reason and, after a good start it all too quickly loses it's impact. Travolta tries hard and for the most part he does OK, but his slick character loses it towards the end, and his final `winks' are not easy to understand. I got the feeling that he didn't understand his character anymore that I did. Jackson gives a better performance in flashback although his character is pretty much a basic sergeant-major cliché, until the ending goes and ruins a fair amount of what he had done up till that point. Nielsen is pretty good but gives a masculine performance in a masculine film. The support cast is actually pretty good although Ribisi damaged his reputation with me by doing some sort of weak effeminate spoof character. Diggs, Holt, Daly and Sanchez all do pretty well and their solid flashback sequences help the interrogation to be more dramatic.

Overall this film is too twisty and some of them really demand jumps that are just not made possible by a script that doesn't do enough to help the audience out. It still manages to be pretty dramatic and enjoyable for at least the first half, but the final third demands too much and twists too much for the material to cope with. Not as awful as other reviews lead me to expect but it collapses alarmingly fast towards the end.

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Ok here is an answer there are no plot holes scout4583
Worst Ending EVER?!? tstone-4
similar movies sugestions kkatic
Tedious sixpaws67
Anyone else CZ or Panamanian? sixpaws67
Connie Nielsen's Accent? swondpooping
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