Basic (2003)

Out Now On-Demand

Deception is their most dangerous weapon.

John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson lead this thriller mystery following a DEA agent’s search for an Army drill sergeant and several of his cadets, who all disappear after a training exercise turned into a bloodbath. Directed by John McTiernan (Die Hard) from an original screenplay by James Vanderbilt, who would go on to write The Amazing Spider-Man and the RoboCop reboot.

Trailers

Directed by

Action, Mystery, Thriller

94mins

Rating: R16 Violence and offensive language

USA, Germany

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

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By the end, I wanted to do cruel and vicious things to the screenplay.

Empire (UK)

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It's difficult to imagine how this could actually be any worse. It manages to spit you out in a poisonous mood somewhere in the hinterland between bored and irritated. Basically bollocks.

Guardian (UK)

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There are no words to say how deeply stupid and ridiculous this film is.

Hollywood Reporter

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An overly mechanical screenplay with little on its mind other than deceiving viewers.

New York Times

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Someone decided to put Rashomon in a Cuisinart along with A Few Good Men, The Usual Suspects and A Soldier's Story, and hit the pulverize button while forgetting to replace the top.

Time Out London

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Hard graft for scant reward.

Variety (USA)

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The picture feels far more dedicated to the proposition that a mystery can never have enough twists than it does to plausibility or dramatic integrity. But the teasing tale is told with such dispatch it will carry willing audiences along.