Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 40 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: When a legendary commander (Jackson) and several of his men turn up missing, the last thing the government wants is a rogue DEA agent (Travolta) investigating the disappearance. As the investigation unfolds, the agent is placed in direct conflict with the Army's official investigating officer (Nielsen) and nothing is as it seems. (Sony) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 33
  2. Negative: 15 out of 33
  1. Buy your ticket, sit yourself down, and let ol' John take you for a ride. You'll have a blast.
  2. 58
    Basic essentially is a fun movie, surprise ending and all. To take it too seriously is to miss the point. Travolta is charming, his performance recapturing the old charisma.
  3. Just not worth revisiting, unless one wants to tie one's brain into a knot for no discernible reward.
  4. 40
    Those expecting a reunion with Jackson, Travolta's “Pulp Fiction” co-star, should be prepared: They don't interact at all, which is a bit like casting Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and not letting them dance together.
  5. 38
    Falls flat on two fronts: It's neither deep and interesting enough to be a brainteaser nor sufficiently thrilling to count as a mindless diversion.
  6. Travolta and Jackson have some effective scenes, but Nielsen is lacking in charisma, and James Vanderbilt's screenplay ought to be court-martialed.
  7. Basic really brings to mind a Travolta film from 2000, "Battlefield Earth," in that it's so astonishingly awful it becomes a sort of kinky pleasure; just when you think Travolta has fallen to the bottom of the barrel, he pulls out a shovel and dons his miner's helmet to see what lies beneath.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 28
  2. Negative: 17 out of 28
  1. TimP.
    May 8, 2006
    A clever thriller from start to finish - highly recommended for those who have a decent attention span. A nightmare for those who don't!
  2. DonnieB.
    Jul 27, 2006
    It is amazing to see how the world is full of sub-intelligent moviewatchers and critics, who find it hard or impossible to understand a more complicated plot then the one of "Lassie". Such people feel insulted by their own weak ability to comprehend anything more complicated than a wooden edge, so in frustration give a 0 for movies that make people think. What would you give for Revolver? A minus 5?? It's a surprisingly good movie, with an excellent script - if you like to think besides chewing popcorn, watch it! Collapse
  3. EmilyA.
    Jan 25, 2007
    I really enjoyed this movie. John Travolta and Sam Jackson are two of my favorite actors. I thought the twist behind it was very creative. At the end I just had to laugh! All the way through the movie you think it is something very serious and then Boom! Expand
  4. Aug 13, 2010
    I am the kind of film viewer who has the knack of losing a plot. Very quickly. So when I came to the end of Basic for the first time, thoroughly confused and befuddled, I supposed it was just me and that I needed to get my brain in gear next time. But it wasn't just me and no amount of brain power seems to help sort fact from fiction in this foggy mystery. Travolta and Nielsen play ex-ranger Tom Hardy and Captain Osbourne who are thrown together to investigate the disappearance of Sgt. West (Jackson) in a training exercise. Cue a baffling maze of twists and turns in which some of the key players are there and then not; some are killed off and then not; one turns out to be another...or not? And so on... but you do have to admire Osbourne for sticking it out and unravelling it all at the end. If it was me overseeing this mess, a bottle of wine and a darkened room would be where I was headed. I enjoyed the dark jungle action sequences, Jackson getting mad and the sort of chemistry Travolta and Nielsen had in their roles, but a lot of this was lost in the fog that shrouded much of this film. If like me, you are attracted by the Jackson / Travolta combo, you may be disappointed to find they share about five minutes on screen. Just don't expect to care much about either of their characters by the time it happens. Expand

See all 28 User Reviews