Basic - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Basic Reviews

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Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
May 5, 2003
Noisy, dark and headache-inducing, John McTiernan's Basic is one of those brain-twisting legal thrillers that can only be enjoyed by those determined not to worry about things like consistent internal logic
Full Review| Original Score: C
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 28, 2003
By the end, I wanted to do cruel and vicious things to the screenplay.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
March 23, 2003
The movie is so superficial that, once the mystery has been unraveled, all we do is shrug and walk out of the theater, slightly irritated at the waste of time and money.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
March 27, 2003
It relies on one of the most tiresome of movie conventions, the subjective flashback that exists just for the "gotcha!" when we find out that it was unreliable. By the final explanation, we really don't care any more which version is right.
| Original Score: D
Nell Minow
Common Sense Media
September 30, 2010
Basically bad and sorry attempt at a thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Michael Szymanski
April 27, 2003
Nope, nothing subtle here. The whole movie isn't subtle. From the perpetual rain, to the high-anxiety shouting that every character seems to have at some point, to the constant reminder that nothing is as it seems, the movie is continuously doubling back
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
James Rocchi
March 28, 2003
Military mystery has the swagger of Travolta and Jackson when it moves, but there's nothing behind the curtain.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Garth Franklin
Dark Horizons
April 20, 2003
| Original Score: 2/5
Eric D. Snider
April 5, 2003
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
March 28, 2003
The movie is just too busy to be suspenseful.
Brian Orndorf
March 30, 2003
Full Review | Original Score: 3/10
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
August 7, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Frank Ochieng
Movie Eye
March 30, 2003
McTiernan's washout military drama Basic is aptly titled. If any excessive and repetitive spotty military drama is in need of an instant court martial proceeding, then this lumbering and clumsy account needs to be taking into serious consideration.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
April 29, 2009
A poor effort with a confusing story and ridiculous plot twist after plot twist.
Joe Baltake
Sacramento Bee
March 28, 2003
You know the drill. You've seen it before -- sometimes set in a police precinct house -- and you'll no doubt see it again.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Bob Bloom
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
March 27, 2003
The convoluted script provides so many twists and turns that it practically loses its audience. By the finale, you don't remember who was supposed to be dead or alive, nor separate the good guys from the bad guys.
Full Review| Original Score: 2/4
Brent Simon
Entertainment Today
March 31, 2003
Well-staged hokum with no sort of emotional resonance or weight. After some interesting set-up, Basic is basically just a series of pull-rugs, each methodically, professionally -- but coldly -- yanked out from under us.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Danny Minton
KBTV-NBC (Beaumont, TX)
March 23, 2003
Connie Nielsen has an inconsistent southern accent that will grate on your nerves.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Christopher Smith
Bangor Daily News (Maine)
April 1, 2003
The film tries too hard to be something it isn't - a smart, crafty little cross between "The Usual Suspects," "Rashomon" and "The General's Daughter" as directed by John Woo after taking one heady snort of glue.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Jeanne Aufmuth
Palo Alto Weekly
March 24, 2003
A clumsy military thriller that will undoubtedly benefit from its perfectly-timed release date.
| Original Score: 2/4
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