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Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

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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.


John Moore


Jim Thomas (story) (as James Thomas), John Thomas (story) | 2 more credits »
3,526 ( 420)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Owen Wilson ... Burnett
Gene Hackman ... Reigart
Gabriel Macht ... Stackhouse
Charles Malik Whitfield ... Rodway
Joaquim de Almeida ... Piquet (as Joaquim De Almeida)
David Keith ... O'Malley
Olek Krupa ... Lokar
Vladimir Mashkov ... Tracker
Marko Igonda ... Bazda
Eyal Podell ... Petty Officer Kennedy
Geoff Pierson ... Admiral Donnelly
Aernout Van Lynden Aernout Van Lynden ... Aernout Van Lynden
Sam Jaeger ... Red Crown Operator #1
Shane Johnson ... Red Crown Operator #2 (as Shane Mikael Johnson)
Don Winston Don Winston ... Red Crown Operator #3


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. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In War There Are Some Lines You Should Never Cross. See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for war violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »




Release Date:

30 November 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Im Fadenkreuz - Allein gegen alle See more »


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,736,133, 2 December 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$59,068,786, 21 April 2002

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$91,753,222, 31 December 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Gene Hackman came up with the idea for Reigart to smoke so he would have a weakness. See more »


When the three helicopters are returning to the carrier, there is a scene showing two of them veering off to the left. Both helicopters in the scene have one engine. Then the view changes, showing all three helicopters from rear and all there have two engines. See more »


Admiral Reigart: Our man is down behind enemy lines, now what the fuck is the problem?
Admiral Piquet: [Yelling] Do you have any idea how much damage this incident may cause to the peace process?
Admiral Reigart: All I know, Admiral, is that the American people want their pilot back.
Admiral Piquet: Exactly! Americans, all you care about is your own damn pilots! What happens when the fighting starts again? Will America recommit its forces to stop a major war? No, you don't have any control over that little detail, do you? You might have helped save your man ...
See more »

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. See more »


The Rescue Blues
Written and Performed by Ryan Adams
Courtesy of Lost Highway Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great sets and good suspense and action make for a worthy viewing
22 June 2003 | by NearstarsSee all my reviews

I enjoyed this film. It was a great mix of action and suspense, with some very realistic cinematography.

Basic plot - the Bosnian War is coming to an end, and from a US Navy carrier in the Adriatic, Owen Wilson and his pilot fly out on the last recon mission of the war, but are taken down by a surface-to-air missile. The rest of the film is about Wilson trying to get rescued while he is chased down psycho-genocidal Bosnian Serbs. You see, Wilson's plane took pictures of something the Serbs didn't want seeing.

The film is augmented by some superb cinematography, and very realistic sets, which really capture the cold and miserable setting in which the story is depicted.

I have to admit that Owen Wilson was an odd casting for the role, but he surprised me by not grossly annoying me too much, and seems to carry the serious role pretty well.

Gene Hackman carries well the role of the Admiral, frustrated when attempts to rescue Wilson are blocked by his NATO-command boss over "political-sensitivities".

The Serbs, particularly the psycho paramilitary guy in the tracksuit, are nasty, efficient and ruthless, and whilst I've noticed some criticism of this film for it being jingoistic and anti-Serb, one has to question whether this depiction *was* inaccurate or not... From what I recall the Bosnian Serb military were not nice people, and this film reminding us of that, I believe, is a perfectly valid point.

There is a lack of realism at times in the film, especially toward the end, where Wilson seems to dodge a million bullets emerging from an entire brigade, including armour vehicles etc., but don't let this detract. It's definitely worth a view.

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