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.
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Critic Reviews for Black Hawk Down
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.
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.
A relentless immersion in combat strikingly realized but none too pleasurable to sit through.
[Scott] does a reasonable job sketching the complicated and contradictory political context, but attempts to bring in the odd Somali perspective are grossly inadequate.
A first-rate war movie that presents its subject so horrifyingly well that it doesn't need to probe or preach.
[D]efinitely worth seeing for those amazing battle sequences.
Audience Reviews for Black Hawk Down
Ridley Scott takes on the subject of war. Everybody does their best as a technologically advanced American crew of expert soldiers work to extricate key figures in a dirtwater African town torn apart in a civil war --- until it all goes wrong, big-time. Hold onto your seats, it's going to be a bumpy ride, hoorah. Blistering combat, don't say I didn't warn you. For giggles try to spot the foreigners playing Yanks, I dare you. Having a weekend allnighter? Do a doubleheader with Zulu, with Michael Caine, another whiteys against the rampaging darkies show.
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.
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.
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