Behind Enemy Lines

November 30th, 2001


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Owen Wilson starsStill of Owen Wilson in Behind Enemy LinesIn a race against time and a deadly enemy, Burnett (OWEN WILSON) and Babic (KAMIL KOLLARIK) traverse a Bosnian forest. Still of Owen Wilson in Behind Enemy LinesStill of Gene Hackman in Behind Enemy LinesOn location in Slovakia, OWEN WILSON (left) confers with director JOHN MOORE on the set of BEHIND ENEMY LINES.

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.

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 6.2/10 (45,465 voted)

Critic's Score: 49/100

Director: John Moore

Stars: Gene Hackman, Owen Wilson, Gabriel Macht

Fighter navigator Chris Burnett wants out: he was looking for something more than the boring recon missions he's been flying. He finds himself flying the lone Christmas day mission over war-torn Bosnia. But when he talks pilot Stackhouse into flying slightly off-course to check out an interesting target, the two get shot down. Burnett is soon alone, trying to outrun a pursuing army, while commanding officer Reigert finds his rescue operation hamstrung by politics, forcing Burnett to run far out of his way.

Writers: Jim Thomas, John Thomas

Owen Wilson - Lt. Chris Burnett
Gene Hackman - Admiral Leslie McMahon Reigart
Gabriel Macht - Stackhouse
Charles Malik Whitfield - Capt. Rodway, USMC
David Keith - Master Chief Tom O'Malley
Olek Krupa - Miroslav Lokar
Joaquim de Almeida - Admiral Piquet (as Joaquim De Almeida)
Vladimir Mashkov - Sasha
Marko Igonda - Bazda
Eyal Podell - Petty Officer Kennedy
Geoff Pierson - Admiral Donnelly
Aernout Van Lynden - Aernout Van Lynden
Sam Jaeger - Red Crown Operator #1
Shane Johnson - Red Crown Operator #2 (as Shane Mikael Johnson)
Don Winston - Red Crown Operator #3

Taglines: Mission: to evade and survive


Official Website: Fox |

Release Date: 30 November 2001

Filming Locations: Koliba Studios, Bratislava, Slovakia

Box Office Details

Budget: $40,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $18,736,133 (USA) (2 December 2001) (2770 Screens)

Gross: $59,068,786 (USA) (21 April 2002)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Branko Tomovic was considered for the role of Bazda.

Errors in geography: When Burnett sits in the back of the pick-up truck you can see yellow road marking lines. In Bosnia, where the story takes place, these lines are white, not yellow.

Chris Burnett: [to Reigart] Sir, I signed up to be a fighter pilot. I didn't want to be a cop. And I certainly didn't want to go walking a beat on a neighborhood nobody cares about.

User Review

A superb and touching action film...

Rating: 8/10

These are my first comments here on Imdb, although I've rated dozens of films. I usually don't do this, since I think there are much more competent people out there than myself. This is a rare exception, since this particular film depicts events which recently took place in my country and some neighboring ones. Furthermore, the majority of the cast is from several Slavic countries, mine included (Croatia).

All in all I liked the film very much. I gave it 8/10. The action sequences and visual effects are superb. The American cast is average, but good. However, it's the other cast that really excels. The 2 factions in the war-torn Bosnia are depicted superbly. Especially the "bad guys". To be able to appreciate this to the full extent, unfortunately, you'd have to live here for some time and get to know the mentality of the Balkan peoples. I've seen the DVD edition, which is excellent in itself and remember a director's commentary on their choice of cast. He said that they chose Slavic actors because they would never get the same character expression with American ones. That is perfectly true. Not because ones are better in acting than the others, but it's the question of the underlining mentality. It's very difficult for people brought up in countries which have known democratic societies for many generations to imagine how it is to be surrounded by such atrocities in a relatively small geographic area and all happening at the turn of the millennium. The mixture is very strange and produces some bizarre situations, saturated with dark humor. Like the scene where the American pilot asks Bosnian teenagers for some water, and they give him Coke instead. Or where children routinely cross over anti-personnel mines. Similar situations really did occur many times in such a surrounding.

My point is that the film does get superficial and even shallow sometimes, but in all the director and the crew did a terrific job seen from the point of view I'd just explained. Even the character lines (in perfect local dialect) are so real that my wife and I forgot it's an American film when we watched it... Indeed a rare combination of great action sequences and touching scenes in a local warfare.