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.

Director: John McTiernan (Die Hard, Predator, The Hunt for Red October)

Writer: James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider-Man, Zodiac, The Lost World: Jurassic Park)

Release Date: March 28, 2003

Domestic Box Office: $42.8 million

Basic (2003)

The Good:

  • The cast is excellent, with John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, and Connie Nielsen all giving strong performances.
  • The film is well-made, with suspenseful action sequences and a dark, atmospheric tone.
  • The plot is clever and twisty, keeping viewers guessing until the very end.

The Bad:

  • The film is a bit overlong, clocking in at just under two hours.
  • Some of the twists are a bit too predictable.
  • The film’s violence may be too much for some viewers.

Top 5 Cast:

  • John Travolta as Tom Hardy
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Sgt. Nathan West
  • Connie Nielsen as Lt. Julia Osborne
  • Harry Connick Jr. as Pete Vilmer
  • Taye Diggs as Pike

“You’re not a soldier anymore, Hardy. You’re a DEA agent.” – Lt. Julia Osborne

Critical Reviews:

  • “A well-made, suspenseful thriller with a clever twist.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
  • “A dark, atmospheric thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
  • “A slick, stylish thriller that delivers on its promise of suspense and excitement.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
  • “A flawed but entertaining thriller that is worth a watch for the cast alone.” – James Berardinelli, ReelViews
  • “A disappointingly formulaic thriller that fails to live up to its potential.” – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

Cinematic Importance: Basic (2003) is a well-made, suspenseful thriller that is worth a watch for the cast alone. However, the film is ultimately let down by its predictability and its overlong running time. Despite its flaws, Basic is still an entertaining film that is sure to please fans of the genre.