6.5/10
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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.

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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

There are degrees of truth. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Release Date:

28 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Básico y letal  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,511,960 (USA) (30 March 2003)

Gross:

$26,536,120 (USA) (4 May 2003)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Mike Medavoy's choice of director was John McTiernan which was based on the director's adept use of the camera as a narrative presence in his films. It was particularly apt for this story in which incidents are told and retold from differing points of view. McTiernan said: "In this kind of story, the camera has to be active and comment on what's going on. The approach and the angles change, depending on whose version of the story we're watching. A soldier who is a dumb innocent in his version, becomes the mastermind in another character's retelling of the story. So the narrative style, has to subtly shift every time. It's like you're moving deeper and deeper into the jungle, if you will. It all has to accelerate, intensify, and play at a higher voltage as you go forward." See more »

Goofs

When the doctor is in the jail cell waiting for transport, his lips do not match the words he's singing ("nobody ever had to scratch my back"). 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...
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Connections

Featured in Basic: A Director's Design (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Natural Blues
Written by Moby (as Richard (Moby) Hall), Vera Hall & Alan Lomax
Performed by Moby
Courtesy of V2 Records, Inc./Mute Records Ltd.
Contains a sample from "Trouble So Hard"
Written by Vera Hall & Alan Lomax
Performed by Vera Hall
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Still shaking my head...
28 July 2003 | by (Austin, TX) – See all my reviews

I'm still shaking my heads hours after seeing this lousy movie. First of all, the acting was great. End of compliments. It's one of those movies where something mysterious happens. By way of flashback, we see one soldier's version of the story, and then another soldier's. But then Soldier #1 changes his story to defend himself against what #2 had said. The writer/director at this point hope to get you to go, "Hmmmm, now THIS is getting interesting. I wonder what REALLY happened out there?" At this point, you really do wonder. But then both soldiers change their stories, they implicate a doctor who tells (then changes) HIS story. They implicate a colonel who tells(then changes) his story. Then both soldiers, for the 42nd time, change their stories. By this point, you'll be like "Who the hell cares what happens." You'll no longer wonder...you just won't care. It's a good thing that you don't care what happens, because the ending makes no sense whatsoever.


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