Black Hawk Down Reviews

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Lisa Alspector
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
November 8, 2011

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.

Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
November 8, 2011

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.

November 8, 2011

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

Kelly Kessler
Common Sense Media
January 2, 2011

Violent depiction of a risky rescue; adults only.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Nick Rogers
September 25, 2010

No film from the Zeroes - hell, maybe ever - more forcefully imparted the horrors of war as thoroughly, coherently and hauntingly. Even justified wars run rampant with monstrosities, and this showed just how critical camaraderie can be in conquering them.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Cole Smithey
August 23, 2009

Black Hawk Down" is a precise vision of how little war has changed in spite of America's high-tech equipment and extensive vocabulary of modern tactics.

Full Review | Original Score: B-
Brandon Fibbs
February 28, 2008

While fine films like Saving Private Ryan depict warfare at its worst, they do not depict warfare in modernity. I cannot imagine a better representation of war, with all of its urban complexities, than Black Hawk Down.

Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Joe Lozito
Big Picture Big Sound
December 27, 2007

Action masters Ridley Scott and Jerry Bruckheimer prove that it is possible to extend the opening twenty minutes of Saving Private Ryan to two full hours. Now all they have to do is spend some of that time creating characters to care about.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Mark Dinning
Empire Magazine
December 30, 2006

Ambitious, sumptuously-framed and frenetic, Black Hawk Down occasionally errs on the confused, but is nonetheless a rare find of a war movie which dares to turn genre convention on its head.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Emanuel Levy
April 26, 2006

Though visually awesome in its gritty portrayal of combat, the film is marred by lack of coherent or engaging story and distinguishable characters to anchor the tale.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Steve Crum
Kansas City Kansan
December 11, 2005

'Black Hawk Down' jerks you around, slaps the side of your head, and kicks your butt back up to keep moving on. [Published 1-26-02]

Full Review | Original Score: A
Judith Egerton
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
June 23, 2004

War is inevitable, and often gruesome, but it also turns brave soldiers into heroes.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Emily Blunt
Blunt Review
March 7, 2004

One helluva war film.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Michael Dequina
Film Threat
January 12, 2004

It's a rather shrewd move to not develop the characters beyond the most limited degree; the cold, wasteful machine-like quality to the destruction comes across all the better without forced melodrama.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Greg Maki
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
January 7, 2004

... A film that needed to be made and needs to be seen.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Nik Huggins
Future Movies UK
November 6, 2003

The immediacy and realism of BHD is the key to its success, largely constructed through superior direction and a good cast, elements that ensure the viewer a harrowing yet enjoyable cinematic experience.

Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Brian Mckay
March 19, 2003

Suffers from all the same old war movie cliché's [and] the same old character stereotypes . . . Thankfully, most of the cast is up to the job

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
John R. McEwen
Film Quips Online
February 8, 2003

Scott and his cinematographer, Slavomir Idziak, take an already incredible true story and imbue it with a global view and an aesthetic sense that even the soldiers who were there didn't enjoy.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Matthew Turner
October 30, 2002

Scott wins points for realism but the overall effect is like watching a two-hour version of the opening 30 minutes of Saving Private Ryan.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jean Lowerison
San Diego Metropolitan
October 21, 2002

Black Hawk Down is a superb example of its genre.

Sight and Sound
June 18, 2012
August 12, 2002

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