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Basic (2003)

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A D.E.A. Agent investigates the disappearance of a legendary Army Ranger Drill Sergeant and several of his cadets during a training exercise gone severely awry.

Director:

John McTiernan
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4,003 ( 1,466)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Georgia Hausserman ... Pilot
Margaret Travolta Margaret Travolta ... Nurse #1
Dena Johnston ... Nurse #2
Nick Loren ... 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:

Deception is their most dangerous weapon. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Production Notes | Sony Pictures

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Básico y letal See more »

Filming Locations:

Costa Rica See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,511,960, 30 March 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$26,536,120, 4 May 2003

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$15,999,250, 31 May 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main production company, producing this film, was Phoenix Pictures. Giovanni Ribisi, who plays Second Lieutenant Levi Kendall in this movie, later appeared in Flight of the Phoenix (2004). At least three crew members - First Assistant Director Julian Wall, Art Department Coordinator Bruce Bisbey, and Second Assistant Director Douglas Plasse - worked on both movies. See more »

Goofs

Although all the interrogations take place over the course of one night, the clock on the wall of the room shows three different times of day, out of order. 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

References Broken Arrow (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Black Betty
Adapted & Arranged by Peter Beckett
Performed by Player featuring Peter Beckett
Produced by Peter Beckett for Right Hook Productions
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not the best movie in the genre, but it could have been a lot worse
19 July 2005 | by philip_vandervekenSee all my reviews

Even though I had some doubts about this movie before watching it, I definitely wanted to give it a try. There were several reasons for that. One of those reasons is because Samuel L. Jackson plays an important role in it. That man on his own is already reason enough to watch a movie, but I also knew that it was directed by John McTiernan, who also made "The Hunt for Red October", "The 13th Warrior" and "Die Hard: With a Vengeance". Three movies that I've seen and liked very much. The only one that didn't really do it for me was "The Thomas Crown Affair", but with an average of three out of four, I could only hope for the best with this movie.

"Basic" starts with showing us how army sergeant West takes six of his special troops on a training mission into the Colombian rain forest, from which only two return alive. When the rescue mission arrives, they see one soldier killing another and carrying a wounded comrade. As soon as they are back on the base, the interrogation of Dunbar - one of the two survivors - starts. But he refuses to talk to anyone else than another Ranger who he doesn't know yet. That's where former Ranger and current DEA agent Hardy comes in. He is able to get a confession out of Dunbar, but as he digs deeper, he only finds more and more prove of contradictions and illegal practices...

This is one of those movies that you have to watch when you can keep your mind to it from the beginning until the end. If you think that you'll need to take a break in between, you better don't even start watching it because the entire story is so confusing and so many plot twists make it almost impossible to watch it, unless you can keep focused. But don't think that this means that this movie isn't any good. It's especially thanks to the many twists that I kept watching, because the interrogation scenes and the 'action scenes' on the base didn't always do it for me. What I also liked about this movie was Samuel L. Jackson's performance. He was really nice as the tough sergeant West. You could see that the man enjoyed playing this role. John Travolta wasn't bad either, but I've already seen him play better roles.

Overall this isn't a bad movie. Thanks to the mysterious story and the many twists it is hard to keep track, but when you are able to do so, you'll have fun watching it. Still, not everything about this movie was that strong and that's why I give this movie a 6.5/10. It isn't the best movie in the genre, but could have been a lot worse than this.


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