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Basic (2003)

John Travolta , Samuel L. Jackson , John McTiernan  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Connie Nielsen, Tim Daly, Giovanni Ribisi
  • Directors: John McTiernan
  • Writers: James Vanderbilt
  • Producers: Andy Given, Anson Downes, Arnold Messer, Basil Iwanyk, Brad Fischer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 8, 2003
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009L1TA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,346 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Basic" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Featurettes: "Basic: A Director's Design," "Basic Ingredients: A Writer's Perspective"

Editorial Reviews

Academy Award(r) nominees John Travolta (Best Actor in a Leading Role, Pulp Fiction, 1994) and SamuelL. Jackson (Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Pulp Fiction, 1994) team up with action director John McTiernan (Die Hard, The Hunt for Red October, Predator) in a white-knuckle "thrill ride with a twist you won't believe!" (MairiAnna Bachynsky, ATV/CTV ENTERTAINMENT) Also starring Connie Nielsen (TheHunted, Gladiator), Giovanni Ribisi (Gone in Sixty Seconds), Brian Van Holt (Black Hawk Down), TayeDiggs (Chicago) and Roselyn Sanchez (Rush Hour 2). A DEA officer (Travolta) is recruited to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a famed U.S. Army drill instructor (Jackson) and a group of cadets on a routine military exercise in the jungles of Panama. But the journey to uncover the truth leads to some dangerous and unexpected places when two rescued survivors tell dramatically different versions of what transpired. "Totally mesmerizing." (Lisa Petrillo, WFOR/CBS (Miami)/EXTRA)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
John Travolta plays Tom Hardy, a ex-military Ranger now DEA agent brought in by an old friend to investigate the disappearances and/or deaths of several Army Ranger trainee's and their legendary drill instructor, Sgt. Nathan West (Jackson), during an exercise at a basic training camp, Fort Clayton, in Panama.
Once Hardy gets there a series of different storys are told and changed by the trainee's that he question's on the events that occurred at this training camp. Which starts to form a huge question in the audiencies mind, WHO'S TELLING THE TRUTH? However by the end there is a huge climax and everything is explained and leaves you in half shock, half amazement. I recommend this movie to anyone who liked 'A Few Good Men' or 'Mission:Impossible'.
'Basic' has terrific performances by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta although a shaky performance by Connie Nielson. It also has great supporting acts from Giovanni Ribisi, Taye Diggs, and Brian Van Holt.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basic - Twists and turns! July 20, 2003
Taken as a whole, this movie is a pretty good one, with plenty of plot twists and turns that aren't too transparent or predictable; for the better part it will keep you guessing as to who the real killer or killers are. While I must admit that I've never really been a big John Travolta fan, I would have to say that his performance in the movie was better than his norm. Samuel L. Jackson's performance is, albeit brief, poignant and in good keeping with his usual high standard of performance. Connie Nielsen does a wonderful job of playing a Provost Marshall. With actors of such high caliber and a high profile director like John McTiernan, whose work includes "Die Hard", "Predator", "The Hunt for Red October" and other such high profile films; this movie does move along at a high pace and it is a well told story.
Conceptually this movie is highly plausible, the plot is well written, the actor's performances are well done and the soundtrack is well suited to the movie. I do have one major problem with this film though. Without searching the credits, I'm going to have to make one of two assumptions about whether or not the filmmakers hired a technical consultant with knowledge about the United States Army or not. I'm guessing here that they didn't hire one because if they did, they wouldn't have had a scene where Samuel L. Jackson is wearing BDU's (Battle Dress Uniform), yelling and screaming at his soldiers, with them calling him Sergeant and then you look at his collar and he's wearing the rank of a Specialist, which is a junior enlisted member, "below" the rank of Sergeant. Later of course, he's wearing the stripes of a Master Sergeant which would be in accordance with how he was being addressed. Then there is the issue of a Ranger squad having a female as a member.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "It's all about telling the story right!" February 19, 2006
The movie is full of twists and turns, in fact just two minutes before the end there is another twist. This is the beauty of this film. While watching this movie, whenever you try to believe something, it turns out opposite and only to find later that it was not correct either. This one is definitely not the typical war movie. It's not the actions, but the script that keeps the audience riveted throughout the movie, and critics will have a hard time in pointing out for a moment that was boring in the entire run.

John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson were average. I mean their performance was as good as any of their other movies. However, the real credit in acting will go to Connie Nielsen. If you have liked the movie "A few Good Men", you will like this movie too. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fair movie with lousy ending March 9, 2004
By A Customer
SOME of the acting is good, if you can overlooked the fact that the provost Marshal's accent comes and goes in every other scene, but the ending ruins a fair movie.
WIthout giving away the "twist" if you accept that the ending, then the entire rest of the film makes no sense what-so-ever. If your one of those people who asks "then why would he have done that?" DONT see this movie.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Who's on First? December 14, 2003
This film spins around and around and around.... First its a murder mystery, then its a conspiracy thriller then its a psychological thriller then it turns into something else entirely at the end.
The producers of this goofy film forgot the basics of filming mysteries: audiences enjoy them more if you actually give them clues and offer up logical plot twists. This mess does'nt do any of that.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great suspense and ingenuity April 7, 2003
Basic is anything but that - it proves to be the very antithesis of its title with its bizarre and constantly twisting and changing storyline. I believe Newton once said: With every cause, there comes an equal or greater effect. Well, while watching this movie you're constantly refiguring the outcomes when the variables continue to change - so much so that it almost makes you dizzy! Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson are dead on as Army Rangers - the supporting cast is superb as well. I was pleasantly surprised by the cleverness of the plot and the good acting.
If you mix Black Hawk Down with The Usual Suspects you come out with Basic. Worth a look-see for all military buffs - just be prepared to pay VERY close attention to detail. One of the best movies I've seen in a while. Enjoy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good travolta movie, awesome twist at the end. sam jackson shines in this movie.
Published 5 days ago by David Dashiell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie to watch over and over!
Published 10 days ago by Ken Haney
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie - of course it is fiction
Good movie - of course it is fiction, so just have fun with it! If you figure out the ending, I mean completely figure out the ending, you should be a writer!
Published 25 days ago by Soccer99
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
sweet movie
Published 1 month ago by Joe S
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
its a good show
Published 1 month ago by john
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great move
Published 2 months ago by Gregory Stevens
1.0 out of 5 stars Basic
The movie Basic is fantastic! BUT...the company that sent the movie
neglected to state that their copy of the movie was from the UK
and would not play on a standard or... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kathy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent movie one of my favorites.
Published 2 months ago by Antoinette Michele Murray
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder, Mystery and Misdirection in the Jungle
This fun action adventure contains many talented actors and a fun if foreseeable twist. John Travolta has been a controversial star. For me, the equation is simple... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jack Zubritsky
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, excellent plot, actors and acting
This is a great movie, lots of plot twists, when under interrogation different characters tell the story of what happened differently, it keeps you guessing. Read more
Published 2 months ago by mr. big
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