The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
The plot twists, reversals, false accounts, unreliable narrators and conflicting testimonies that make up the story of Basic are just not worth revisiting, unless one wants to tie one's brain into a knot for no discernible reward.
The latest example of a thriller in which the beginning and the end make at least a tiny bit of sense, but the connecting stuff in between is just an inscrutable muddle of dumb twists, red herrings and ho-hum shockeroos.
If we can't trust the narrators of the flashbacks, whom can we trust? Certainly not a director and screenwriter (James Vanderbilt) whose narrative approach is to repeatedly lay down a rug and pull it from under us.
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.
John Travolta and Connie Nielsen play the film's truth seekers, and each is interesting enough to carry an audience through an overly mechanical screenplay with little on its mind other than deceiving viewers.