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Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

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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.


John Moore


Jim Thomas (story) (as James Thomas), John Thomas (story) | 2 more credits »
4,898 ( 158)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Owen Wilson ... Burnett
Gene Hackman ... Reigart
Gabriel Macht ... Stackhouse
Charles Malik Whitfield ... Rodway
Joaquim de Almeida ... Piquet (as Joaquim De Almeida)
David Keith ... O'Malley
Olek Krupa ... Lokar
Vladimir Mashkov ... Tracker
Marko Igonda ... Bazda
Eyal Podell ... Petty Officer Kennedy
Geoff Pierson ... Admiral Donnelly
Aernout Van Lynden Aernout Van Lynden ... Aernout Van Lynden
Sam Jaeger ... Red Crown Operator #1
Shane Johnson ... Red Crown Operator #2 (as Shane Mikael Johnson)
Don Winston 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


In War There Are Some Lines You Should Never Cross. See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

30 November 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Im Fadenkreuz - Allein gegen alle See more »


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,736,133, 2 December 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$59,068,786, 21 April 2002

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$91,753,222, 31 December 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The jet scraps are actually two old Soviet MiG 21s that the production bought for five thousand dollars. See more »


At the beginning where the jet is being prepared for takeoff from the carrier, thrust has been applied and the jet is only seconds away from being launched when the engines shut down. Seconds later when Burnett and Stackhouse are walking away from the plane, the nosewheel can clearly be seen turned significantly to the left and the launch bar is not connected to the catapult, even though seconds earlier it was ready to launch and the plane has not moved. See more »


Bazda: [Bazda and Lokar are watching real life Serb General Ratko Mladic express his confidence in the Cincinnati Accords, which is aimed at keeping peace in Bosnia. All following characters are speaking in Serbian] Coward. He placates these people, and why? Because they occupy our country?
Miroslav Lokar: He's a politician, Bazda.
Serb General: [In English] I welcome the announcement that NATO will leave the region.
Bazda: He tells us to keep the Muslims at bay. Then he tells the world that we won't fire a shot.
Miroslav Lokar: We can't fight everyone at...
See more »


Referenced in The Amazing Race: I Feel Like I'm in, Like, Sicily (2010) See more »


Atom Bomb
Written by Michael James Bryant, Michael James Tournier and Jonathan Howard Fugler
Performed by Fluke
Courtesy of Virgin Records Ltd./Astralwerks Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great sets and good suspense and action make for a worthy viewing
22 June 2003 | by NearstarsSee all my reviews

I enjoyed this film. It was a great mix of action and suspense, with some very realistic cinematography.

Basic plot - the Bosnian War is coming to an end, and from a US Navy carrier in the Adriatic, Owen Wilson and his pilot fly out on the last recon mission of the war, but are taken down by a surface-to-air missile. The rest of the film is about Wilson trying to get rescued while he is chased down psycho-genocidal Bosnian Serbs. You see, Wilson's plane took pictures of something the Serbs didn't want seeing.

The film is augmented by some superb cinematography, and very realistic sets, which really capture the cold and miserable setting in which the story is depicted.

I have to admit that Owen Wilson was an odd casting for the role, but he surprised me by not grossly annoying me too much, and seems to carry the serious role pretty well.

Gene Hackman carries well the role of the Admiral, frustrated when attempts to rescue Wilson are blocked by his NATO-command boss over "political-sensitivities".

The Serbs, particularly the psycho paramilitary guy in the tracksuit, are nasty, efficient and ruthless, and whilst I've noticed some criticism of this film for it being jingoistic and anti-Serb, one has to question whether this depiction *was* inaccurate or not... From what I recall the Bosnian Serb military were not nice people, and this film reminding us of that, I believe, is a perfectly valid point.

There is a lack of realism at times in the film, especially toward the end, where Wilson seems to dodge a million bullets emerging from an entire brigade, including armour vehicles etc., but don't let this detract. It's definitely worth a view.

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