Black Hawk Down - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Black Hawk Down Reviews

Top Critic
Lisa Alspector
Chicago Reader
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.
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
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.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
January 2, 2009
A relentless immersion in combat strikingly realized but none too pleasurable to sit through.
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Time Out
June 24, 2006
[Scott] does a reasonable job sketching the complicated and contradictory political context, but attempts to bring in the odd Somali perspective are grossly inadequate.
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
July 20, 2002
A first-rate war movie that presents its subject so horrifyingly well that it doesn't need to probe or preach.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
January 24, 2002
[D]efinitely worth seeing for those amazing battle sequences.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
January 22, 2002
The next worst thing to being there. That's how real it feels.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
January 22, 2002
It represents a particularly limiting application of hard-bitten manly values to experiences that can't help but transcend them.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 19, 2002
One hell of a ride. For better or for worse, it will leave you stunned and reeling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
January 18, 2002
Black Hawk Down superbly visualizes journalist-author Mark Bowden's bestselling 'tale of modern war,' detailing a U.S. military misadventure in the Somalia of 1993.
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Mark Rahner
Seattle Times
January 18, 2002
A good, intense war movie that falls short of being a great one: Once the adrenaline wears off, you realize it's as dramatically satisfying as an MRE food ration.
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Bob Graham
San Francisco Chronicle
January 18, 2002
I can think of no other instance when a country at war has presented on its movie theater screens such an excruciating account of battle, or such a sobering one.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
January 18, 2002
Black Hawk Down has a relentless force that makes character development almost beside the point.
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
January 18, 2002
Black Hawk Down is all dazzling craft and no redeeming art; it's simultaneously a superb piece of filmmaking and a highly suspect film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Susan Stark
Detroit News
January 18, 2002
Black Hawk Down sends you away impressed, properly horrified and then thoughtful about the lessons ignored from the battle it exhaustively describes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
January 18, 2002
Except for the opening 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan and the middle 45 of Pearl Harbor -- produced, like this film, by action overlord Jerry Bruckheimer -- no film has ever dropped us so convincingly into combat.
Top Critic
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
January 18, 2002
Scott keeps bringing home the shocks, using light and sound to underscore the visual tumult.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 18, 2002
Films like this are more useful than gung-ho capers like Behind Enemy Lines. They help audiences understand and sympathize with the actual experiences of combat troops, instead of trivializing them into entertainments.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Jay Carr
Boston Globe
January 18, 2002
Despite all the hard work by an army of craftsmen working on location in Morocco, the film takes the easy way out, subsiding into a thing of technical challenges met rather than attempting to probe the events at a deeper level.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 17, 2002
Compelling account of the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
January 17, 2002
Often moving, always gripping.
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
January 17, 2002
Black Hawk Down, the unflinching depiction of the raid, is a noble victory.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 17, 2002
The action is so rivetingly orchestrated, the crazed chaos of it so palpable, that the movie sucks you in.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
January 17, 2002
Scott boils down the war film genre to its purest, most devastating essence.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
January 17, 2002
This huge $90 million undertaking is a personal best for producer Jerry Bruckheimer, a triumph for Scott and a war film of prodigious power.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
January 17, 2002
Invokes a ferocious cinéma-vérité style to make us not only see, but also feel, the destructive power of modern warfare.
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
January 17, 2002
A stunning depiction of war. So much so that you have to keep reminding yourself that this is not a documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
January 10, 2002
Driven by scenes of gripping, unflinching battle, touched by the director's talent for communicating through the colors he chooses.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
January 10, 2002
It's every bit as harrowing -- and also every bit as pointless and misguided -- as the botched military mission it depicts.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
January 9, 2002
Something is lost in emotional power with a collective, almost abstract hero with whom one cannot make eye contact in the way one does with single-hero narratives.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
January 3, 2002
Limbs explode, guts spill and blood splatters in an endurance test that is numbing, but nothing new.
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
December 28, 2001
No war movie I have ever seen so vividly shows battle from differing perspectives.
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
December 28, 2001
The Somalians feel like props, something to be plugged at a shooting gallery.
Top Critic
Jonathan Foreman
New York Post
December 28, 2001
A beautifully filmed, scrupulously authentic but strangely evasive exercise in combat ultra-realism.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Paul Tatara
CNN.com
December 28, 2001
Look out, everybody: Two of the most pandering, tactless filmmakers in Hollywood history are now teaching us about honor among soldiers.
Top Critic
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
December 27, 2001
Like Mr. Scott's G.I. Jane but this time with an all-boy cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 27, 2001
A triumph of pure filmmaking, a pitiless, unrelenting, no-excuses war movie so thoroughly convincing it's frequently difficult to believe it is a staged re-creation.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
December 25, 2001
A studied composition in flying debris, fleeing crowds, and detached limbs.
Top Critic
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
December 9, 2001
While visually commanding as a painstaking re-creation, it's a major letdown as a motion picture.