Black Hawk Down (2001)



Critic Consensus: Though it's light on character development and cultural empathy, Black Hawk Down is a visceral, pulse-pounding portrait of war, elevated by Ridley Scott's superb technical skill.

Movie Info

A quickly forgotten chapter in United States military history is relived in this harrowing war drama from director Ridley Scott, based on a series of Philadelphia Inquirer articles and subsequent book by reporter Mark Bowden. On October 3rd, 1993, an elite team of more than 100 Delta Force soldiers and Army Rangers, part of a larger United Nations peacekeeping force, are dropped into civil war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia, in an effort to kidnap two of local crime lord Mohamed Farah Aidid's top … More

Rating: R (for intense, realistic, graphic war violence, and for language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Ken Nolan, Steven Zaillian
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 11, 2002
Box Office: $108.6M
Sony Pictures - Official Site


as Eversmann

as McKnight

as Garrison

as Nelson

as Sanderson

as Twombly

as Yurek

as Durant

as Schmid

as Shughart

as Harrell

as Harrell

as Matthews

as Wolcott

as Struecker

as Kowalewski

as Cribbs

as Waddell

as Sizemore

as Blackburn

as Mo'alim

as Firimbi

as Fales

as Wilkinson

as Goffena

as Somali Kid

as Somali Kid

as Somali Father

as Somali son with gun
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Black Hawk Down

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Critic Reviews for Black Hawk Down

All Critics (172) | Top Critics (40)

I also don't know how well this 2001 drama represents the events of October 3 and 4, 1993, though I can see that it represents them in a realist vein, referring to other war movies without becoming frivolous.

Full Review… | November 8, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Black Hawk Down makes that point without preachment, in precise and pitiless imagery. And for that reason alone it takes its place on the very short list of the unforgettable movies about war and its ineradicable and immeasurable costs.

Full Review… | November 8, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

A relentless immersion in combat strikingly realized but none too pleasurable to sit through.

Full Review… | January 2, 2009
Top Critic

[Scott] does a reasonable job sketching the complicated and contradictory political context, but attempts to bring in the odd Somali perspective are grossly inadequate.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It looks fantastic, not least because it boasts helicopter scenes to rival those of Apocalypse Now.

Full Review… | November 8, 2011

Violent depiction of a risky rescue; adults only.

Full Review… | January 2, 2011
Common Sense Media

Audience Reviews for Black Hawk Down

Not just a thoughtless quip-and-rip action blockbuster - decently memorable characters, precise tactical narrative, and a good amount of heart. And surprisingly, bridging the edge of my gore tolerance but not too overwhelmingly violent for me.

Letitia Lew
Letitia Lew

Super Reviewer


An American Black Hawk helicopter is shot down during a raid on a Somali warlord in Mogadishu leading to a desperate rescue mission faced with overwhelming opposition. In Black Hawk Down, Ridley Scott has created one of the most realistic war movies ever made. You really feel like you're in the thick of an urban warzone and the excellent ensemble cast make for very believable protagonists. It's usually a fine line between respect for the bravery of the fighting man and macho, gung ho bullshit, but Scott stays on the right side by focussing on the loyalty between comrades fighting for each others lives rather than the usual "God And Country" crap that many war films fall back on. It laso concentrates on the fact that despite what the propaganda machine may have us believe, modern warfare is, as ever, concerned with the brutal, harrowing deaths of many young men as the film has a lot more in common with The Alamo or Zulu than Jarhead or The Hurt Locker. It takes a lot of stylistic cues from Apocalypse Now making for artful visuals that are attractive without ever compromising the visceral realism of combat and despite a rather dry opening full of military jargon and diagrams, as the situation gets more desperate and the fighting more intense, it gets better and better. It's true the film doesn't really explore the political context of the conflict and the Somali side of the story is largely ignored, but what is presented on film is executed to perfection. One of the best modern war films around.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


Black Hawk Down is one of the many war films I have watched recently. It too is one of the better one's I have watched. It is packed with a lot of talent. Which of course makes this film that much better because the performances are so good. Tom Sizemore is good in this movie and it makes me kinda sad to see his life go to shit, cause he is a tallented actor. Eric Bana was a bad-ass in this movie. He moves like a panther and doesn't seem scared but determined. Ewan McGregor plays Ranger Specialist Grimes. He is very comfortable with his position of being behind the desk and out of the fighting scene. But when his time comes it's a big surprise at how he handles himself in the crossfire.
Plenty of action in this film. It's loaded with plenty of exploisions, blood, and gore. It's sad, funny, and like any war film, scary that people go through this. It's not a movie I would watch again. I just don't watch most war flicks more than once."


Super Reviewer

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