Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Drama, Thriller

Behind Enemy Lines (2001) Poster

A Navy navigator is shot down over enemy territory and is ruthlessly pursued by a secret police enforcer and the opposing troops. Meanwhile his commanding officer goes against orders in an attempt to rescue him.




  • Owen Wilson in Behind Enemy Lines (2001)
  • A tracker (VLADIMIR MASHKOV) pauses during his pursuit of a downed American aviator trapped behind enemy lines.
  • Admiral Leslie Reigart (GENE HACKMAN) is torn between his duty to maintain a fragile peace and his desire to rescue an aviator downedbehind enemy lines.
  • Owen Wilson stars
  • On location in Slovakia, OWEN WILSON (left) confers with director JOHN MOORE on the set of BEHIND ENEMY LINES.
  • Gene Hackman in Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

See all photos

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review

User Reviews

4 April 2018 | DeuceWild_77
| "Bat*21" meets "Top Gun" meets "Enemy at the Gates", inspired by the all time classic and often copied, "The Most Dangerous Game" !!
Writers Jim & John Thomas ("Predator"), must have been fans of the jungle war movie, "Bat*21" ('88), the Peter Markle directed film starring Gene Hackman and Danny Glover, based on a book by William C. Anderson, which composed the basis for the story that originated "Behind Enemy Lines", with the help of screenwriters Zak Penn & David Veloz. Throwed in the jingoistic / patriot upbeat feeling of the all american pilots from "Top Gun" ('86) and a cat & mouse game, featuring a sniper, that reminds a bit of "Enemy at the Gates" ('01), released earlier in the same year, and the cult classic, "The Most Dangerous Game" ('32) and the end result is an entertaining action / popcorn flick, far away from some kind of realism, but it's never boring to follow.

Gene Hackman leads the picture in a reverse role of his Lt. Colonel Iceal Hambleton from "Bat*21", here he's taking the Danny Glover's role, helping the navigator Owen Wilson escape from an army of angry Serbians, behind the enemy lines, after his McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet has been shot down in no man's land. Owen Wilson was an evident bad choice for the role, he can't act and his screen personna doesn't fit in a movie like this, but in the actor's defense, he was in good shape and surely can run for his life.

Gabriel Macht is good in his brief turn as the pilot, Wilson's partner, and David Keith and the portuguese actor Joaquim de Almeida, can do their respective military / commanding roles in their sleep, but Russian actor Vladimir Mashkov stole the movie as the bloodthirsty tracker / sniper in a memorable performance in terms of wickedness. He looks and feels like an emotionless predator hunting his prey and sweats charisma on screen.

The movie makes use of a competent cinematography (especially in wide shots from the air) and so-so action scenes, that brings nothing new to the table, but at least it maintain the viewer awake. The C.G.I. is often used and abused... the movie could have been way better if the production used more practical effects and stuntwork.

In short, "Behind Enemy Lines", wasn't made to be a rather serious war movie on the subject matter, but just an escapist action film to please a lazy sunday afternoon at the movies. Some reviewers here got it wrong, sometimes a movie is just a movie, things that happens in fantasyland, and thinking to much into it, will destroy the experience. Grab a few beers and a pack of smokes and just enjoy it for what it is, and i guarantee to you that this movie will never bore...

I give it a 6.5 !!

Metacritic Reviews

Critic Reviews

Did You Know?


None of the actors playing Serbians were actually Serbian; the producers said that they hired Croats as interns and instructors to teach the actors the Serbian language, because they couldn't find any Serbs willing to work on the film due to perceived anti-Serb sentiment shown in the film. Vladimir Mashkov, who played the Serbian sniper Sasha, is Russian, and Olek Krupa, who played the Serbian General Miroslav Lokar, is Polish. Some Slovaks also participated in the film, such as Marko Igonda, who played Colonel Bazda, and Kamil Kollarik, who played a guerrilla who aids Burnett in Hac.


Admiral Piquet: Admiral, what's going on down there?
Admiral Reigart: We have an F18 shot down over southern Bosnia. One pilot is suspected dead.
Admiral Piquet: Who authorized the search and rescue mission?
Admiral Reigart: I did.
Admiral Piquet: Call it off. Stand down, Admiral.
Admiral Reigart: Maybe I didn't make myself clear! We have pilots down!...


When Burnett is interrogated by Muslim guerrillas, he claims he is a soldier that was shot down. Given that Burnett is a navigator, he should not have referred to himself as a soldier, but as a navigator, as soldiers are clearly in most cases ground infantry, and not flying jets.

Alternate Versions

The UK theatrical version had one dialogue substitution (removal of a single use of the word "fuck") to secure the "12" rating. For the DVD/video release, this substitution was waived by the BBFC.


My Weakness
Played while the Bosnians plant trees over the mass graves in the "alternate title" sequence on DVD


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Action | Drama | Thriller | War


Release Date:

30 November 2001


English, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Czech

Country of Origin


Filming Locations

Koliba Studios, Bratislava, Slovakia

Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,736,133 2 December 2001

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


Contribute to this page

Halloween Movies for the Whole Family

From Kiki's Delivery Service and ParaNorman to Coraline check out some of our favorite family-friendly movie picks to watch this Halloween.

See the full gallery

Around The Web


Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on