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Basic (2003)

John Travolta , Samuel L. Jackson , John McTiernan  |  R |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 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: 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: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009L1TA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,881 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

Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Taye Diggs, Giovanni Ribisi. John McTiernan's double-crossing, multi-layered military thriller about a DEA agent's investigation into the disappearance of American troops while on a training mission in Panama. 2003/color/99 min/R.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 46 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 24 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 13 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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Whirlwind Ride! February 14, 2004
The hell of this entertaining movie is that one likes it despite the fact that it is centered around such a preposterous plot that one finds the denouement at the end so unbelievable as to wonder if one had confused a "caper" movie" like "The Heist" for a gritty melodrama in which soldiers and others are butchered, murdered, shot point blank, etc. as are some of the protagonists in this strange tribute to Travolta's sheer star power and screen magnetism. Yet it does work, much along the lines of other preposterous action plots Travolta has been involved with, such as "Broken Arrow" or even "Phenomenon". And as with both of these other previous outings, the intrepid John-Boy surrounds himself with an excellent supporting cast, which helps to frame the action and spin the yarn along toward its unlikely and unexpected conclusion.
Thus, Samuel L. Jackson plays the central figure in the unfolding drama, an unforgiving, unapproachable, and somewhat sadistic Drill instructor who takes the trainees out on a dangerous exercise in which all but two wind up dead. The two left are somehow involved in all that has transpired out in the jungle, and Travolta is called in to help sort it out for an old friend (Timothy Daly), who is now the Base Commander. With the aid of the scrumptious Connie Neilson, the chase for the truth is on. Yet while the viewer is taken on a whirlwind cascade of facts so contrived, confusing, and calculated that one wonders if there is a manufactured maelstrom machine operating here. It is, as they say, an enigma wrapped in a mystery and confounded by a riddle. When one discovers just what is really going on, one realizes he or she has been suckered by the screenplay and the actors, and that according to the director's depiction, nothing is really what it seems to be. It is a neat way to spend a diverting hour or so watching Travolta do his star thing, but nothing anyone could possibly mistake for reality-based drama. Pass the popcorn, and enjoy!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff
Creative. Love John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson! Kept me interested. Had an interesting ending :) It was also easy to follow
Published 1 month ago by greensgoddess
3.0 out of 5 stars A great movie
It kind of sucks that it did not play on my ps3! Luckily I have a drive in my PC that is region free, other then that is was great the audio is good as is the video quality
Published 1 month ago by Michael Benveniste
5.0 out of 5 stars ACTION NEVER STOPS!
Published 2 months ago by Beth
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift
This movie was also a gift to the woman i am dating helping her to rebuild her collection that was takin by ger ex and it is a great movie
Published 3 months ago by Thomas
2.0 out of 5 stars Samuel L. Jackson - Has to be good...Wrong
Ending leaves one wondering. No clear story line here. Excitement dwindles fast. Romance with John Travolta predictable. Don't waste your time.
Published 3 months ago by Richard E Martinez
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Travolta Movie
Good plot, action and surprise at the ending. Travolta is his usual outstanding actor, though he does tend to overact at times.
Published 3 months ago by Tom Reese
2.0 out of 5 stars story line is confusing
Guess we will have to watch it again, and see if it makes sense the second time. Just hard to follow.
Published 3 months ago by Sande Clement
5.0 out of 5 stars keeps you wondering
great movie. no one seems to know of this flic, but after seeing it they all agree.... good one, suspense to the very end.
Published 4 months ago by Keith Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated
Very well acted. Keeps you guessing until the very end. You will want to watch over and over to catch everything in the story. Please buy.
Published 6 months ago by Gabby
5.0 out of 5 stars There are layers of truth...
This is the best movie that I have had the privilege of watching in a long time. The twists are unbelievable,but that is the way of life. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Dale B.
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