MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 247 this week

Black Hawk Down (2001)

7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 241,031 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 1,084 user | 198 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

123 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 26 Jun 2011
 
a list of 32 titles
created 12 Sep 2011
 
a list of 39 titles
created 11 Mar 2012
 
a list of 50 titles
created 29 Nov 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 10 Mar 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "Black Hawk Down" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Black Hawk Down (2001)

Black Hawk Down (2001) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Black Hawk Down.

User Polls

Won 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Balian of Ibelin travels to Jerusalem during the crusades of the 12th century, and there he finds himself as the defender of the city and its people.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Liam Neeson
Pearl Harbor (2001)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Pearl Harbor follows the story of two best friends, Rafe and Danny, and their love lives as they go off to join the war.

Director: Michael Bay
Stars: Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Russian sniper and a German sniper play a game of cat-and-mouse during the Battle of Stalingrad.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Stars: Jude Law, Ed Harris, Joseph Fiennes
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An American military advisor embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly
Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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.

Director: John Moore
Stars: Gene Hackman, Owen Wilson, Gabriel Macht
Robin Hood (2010)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 13th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Matthew Macfadyen
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it.

Director: Randall Wallace
Stars: Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe, Greg Kinnear
The Patriot (2000)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.

Director: Roland Emmerich
Stars: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Special-Ops commander leads his team into the Nigerian jungle in order to rescue a doctor who will only join them if they agree to save 70 refugees too.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Bruce Willis, Cole Hauser, Monica Bellucci
King Arthur (2004)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A demystified take on the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Clive Owen, Stephen Dillane, Keira Knightley
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at The Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in WWII.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Barry Pepper, Joseph Cross
Defiance I (2008)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Wex
...
...
...
...
Yurek (as Thomas Guiry)
...
...
Edit

Storyline

Action/war drama based on the best-selling book detailing a near-disastrous mission in Somalia on October 3, 1993. On this date nearly 100 U.S. Army Rangers, commanded by Capt. Mike Steele, were dropped by helicopter deep into the capital city of Mogadishu to capture two top lieutenants of a Somali warlord. This lead to a large and drawn-out firefight between the Rangers and hundreds of Somali gunmen, leading to the destruction of two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters. This film focuses on the heroic efforts of various Rangers to get to the downed black hawks, centering on Sgt. Eversmann, leading the Ranger unit Chalk Four to the first black hawk crash site, Warrant Officer Durant who was captured after being the only survivor of the second black hawk crash, as well as many others who were involved. Written by Matthew Patay: revised by Brady Schloz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

somali | warlord | helicopter | somalia | army | See more »

Taglines:

Rangers Lead the Way. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for intense, realistic, graphic war violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 January 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La caída del halcón negro  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$92,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$976,530 (Germany) (11 October 2002)

Gross:

$976,530 (Germany) (11 October 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

| | (8 channels)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When screenwriter Ken Nolan first read Mark Bowden's book, he was so determined to work on the film version that he called up the studio and said "I'll do anything, I'll wash Jerry Bruckheimer's car". See more »

Goofs

The call to prayer in the beginning was called after the sun had risen. In Islam, there are no calls to prayer after sunrise until after noon. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dan Busch: There. Technicals, nine o'clock.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no studio logos at the beginning and the only opening credit is the title. See more »


Soundtracks

Dhibic Roob
Written and Performed by Omar Sharif
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Outstanding

When you break it down and look at it both honestly and cynically (assuming that that is possible for a minute), there are really only two kinds of war movie: pro and con. The underlying theme of virtually every war movie - particularly since APOCALYPSE NOW - generally comes down to an analysis of the 'value' of war, of its worth. It's pointlessness, or its need. Is the action of battle warranted because of the attempt to find peace, or is war never justifiable, no matter what the intention?

Pro or con?

What is interesting is that since the Second World War, this underlying message that is found in nearly all war pictures has slowly changed from the former to the latter. This again is generally shaped in two ways. Either we see the play-by-play results following the issuance of what appears to be a bizarre and foolhardy set of orders from high command (i.e., APOCALYPSE NOW or SAVING PRIVATE RYAN). Or we get a glimpse of being right in the action as it all falls apart: hearing the bullets whizzing past our noses, reeling from the impact of RPG's and gazing blankly as the bodies begin to mount (PLATOON, say). BLACK HAWK DOWN, directed by Ridley Scott and accurately following the true story of the best-selling book by Mark Bowden, very much adopts the latter perspective.

On October 3, 1993, a small unit of U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force troops were dropped by helicopter into hostile territory in Mogadishu, Somalia, with what is perceived to be a straightforward mission: the capture of two lieutenants of the Somali warlord, General Aidid. The unit is under command from Major William Garrison (Sam Shepard), and headed by Staff Sergeant Matt Eversmann (Josh Hartnett) in his first direct experience of frontline leadership. He also has a personal goal - to ensure everyone comes back alive.

Yet, these things are never as easy as they appear - hence the development of the book and the film - and when 18-year old frontline rookie Todd Blackbird is injured early on, the entire mission begins to fall apart. More U.S. troops are injured, and when Somalis down two Black Hawk helicopters, the mission changes completely: it's now a rescue operation.

And for about ninety minutes, you are subjected to some of the most intense, disturbing, graphic, violent and chilling pieces of conflict representation that you will ever see. Remember the Omaha Beach scene in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN? That was about half an hour long. Think of something three times that length, yet more 'realistic' and with (thankfully) no flag-waving. That is the gist of BLACK HAWK DOWN.

Ultimately, one hundred-and-twenty-three U.S. troops were involved in the Mogadishu conflict. Nineteen were killed, and one thousand Somalis also perished.

Unlike RYAN, BLACK HAWK DOWN doesn't build up a core group of characters, focusing on their emotional makeup and depth. No. Instead, we barely know our 'heroes', with very little time devoted to each characters motivation or purpose. And this is a good thing. At first, you find yourself a little bewildered by the sizeable cast, and this isn't helped by the many distant POV scenes that found this reviewer wondering just who he was seeing living and dying. But surely that is an important and crucial element of war - you're involved in these suicidal missions with men you barely know. You don't have time to share your life-stories. You may have only met that week, that day, or within the last hour. And then it's full on.

We get snippets of character data: Eversmann's entire focus is on not letting the team down; Specialist Danny Grimes (Ewan McGregor), for so long tied to his desk simply because he excelled at typing; and Delta Sergeant 'Hoot' Hooten (Tom Sizemore, soon to be playing Bruce Banner in THE HULK), wise despite his years, somehow making more sense of the nonsense than anyone else.

But any characterisation is underplayed and to the point, which is how it should be. The fresh-facedness and naivety of the troops is key to the success of the film, and of the emotional impact therein. As the errors and bodies mount, we get to see the horror of the conflict - the carnage and devastation, relentlessness and never-ending waves of Somali forces - directly through the eyes of the U.S. Rangers and Delta Force squad. I was somewhat stunned by the impact of the movie, both in the way the action grips you and shakes you violently until you want to let go, and in the occasional and very touching soft moments. Indeed, the action is so intense that I found myself at times glazing over, thinking of something else, and with hindsight I put this down to some kind of need for an emotional release; certainly, I cannot fault the film in that sense. It was simply a case of 'too much.'

Throughout the movie both the acting and direction are superb; Ridley Scott has an eye for detail and filmography that is probably unmatched. Even his lesser efforts like HANNIBAL are beautifully shot. And BLACK HAWK DOWN is one of his best efforts to date.

The musical score is also superb, and I was encouraged to hear the Stone Temple Pilot's CREEP near the beginning of the flick. I believe this is the first time I have heard a STP song in any movie.

What is also very welcome is the lack of U.S. nationalism in this picture. Of America saving the day. Unlike, say, brother Tony Scott's TOP GUN - which yes, was making a different point entirely (i.e., let's make some money and recruit some boys to the Navy at the same time) - this isn't about the might of the U.S. There is no wake-leaving in BLACK HAWK DOWN. Real people made mistakes, and real people died.

Speaking of Tony Scott, however, my only minor quibble was Sam Shepard's performance. He was probably in the wrong movie, as all his mannerisms (especially the way he took off his sunglasses in that quick-draw kind of way that stereotypical military types always seem to do) appeared to me to come straight out of TOP GUN. He was a little too 'bleh' for my tastes. For all I know William Garrison could have been exactly like that, but it still seemed a little Hollywood.

I also wasn't completely comfortable as to how the Somalis were portrayed; this movie wasn't really about good versus bad in my opinion, but on the face of it the U.S. are the bad guys here. At least inasmuch as they were at fault. Comparisons are made with Vietnam both in the unnecessary involvement of the U.S. in the Somali civil war, and in the end credits of the film where we learn that the Medal of Honour was awarded to two U.S. soldiers for the first time since the Vietnam conflict. Yet, throughout the film the Somali are seen in only two ways - either a relentless force of bloodthirsty killers, or a simple people trying to stay out of the way. Now yes, this may be what it really was like - I cannot say because I wasn't there - but the overall message didn't fit well with me. They seemed too one-dimensional, a bit TOO bloodthirsty, and that left a bitter taste.

Also as mentioned above the film is often confusing during the extended battle scene, and warrants more than one view. As the blood and dirt begins to pile, you will find yourself wondering who you are looking at, particularly when the perspective is on several soldiers from a distance. But that can be forgiven. This isn't PREDATOR, and while that film is outstanding as a piece of science fiction, it made a great effort to separate the marines so that the viewer would have an easy time following each one.

That, of course, isn't real life, and BLACK HAWK DOWN is, perhaps, as close as we've come yet to an accurate capture of the true feel of war.

Rating: **** 1/2 (out of five)


119 of 180 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
helo types? Alex_RM7
I hate war movie boards. aarontheloner
why no SEALs? carrie_713
Pakistani soldiers in turbans ? bajwa-1
General Garrison's retirement linked to Aidid's death? crockett_john
Blackburn's falling caused chain reaction? jvirga
Discuss Black Hawk Down (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page