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3,640 Ratings

Black Hawk Down

Directed by Ridley Scott
United States, 2001
War, Drama, Action


In 1993, U.S. Special Forces sent to Somalia to bring down a dangerous faction leader find themselves in the middle of an explosive firefight and must struggle to survive.

Our take

Ridley Scott’s scarred, burnt, bleached and blistering story of an American military micro-catastrophe has been one of cinema’s most influential visions of modern warfare. Released mere months after 9/11, it has defined how we imagine (and film) the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and the war “on terror.”

Black Hawk Down Directed by Ridley Scott

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

2002 | 2 wins including: Best Film Editing

2002 | 2 nominations including: Best Director

American Film Institute Awards

2002 | 5 nominations including: Movie of the Year

National Board of Review

2001 | Winner: Top Ten Films

BAFTA Awards

2002 | 3 nominations including: Best Cinematography

Critics reviews

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. When all the faces of “our guys” tend to blur together, the viewer tends to become more of a voyeur gazing at the sheer horror of war.
December 18, 2001
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By plunging the audience directly into the conflict and refusing to offer a big picture, he’s left himself open to charges of sensationalism, but Black Hawk Down is ultimately too punishing an experience to be mistaken for something from the House of Bruckheimer. However, it’s also too punishing an experience to be strictly enjoyable, and the emphasis on tactical nuts and bolts makes the whole project seem strangely pointless.
December 01, 2001
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What are people saying?

  • HKFanatic's rating of the film Black Hawk Down

    Having not seen "Black Hawk Down" in sixteen years, I feel as though I've slept on this as one of Ridley Scott's stylistic masterpieces. While it's fascinating to relate the movie to the then-impending invasion of Iraq, Scott largely adheres to the ethos of Eric Bana's character: "Once that first bullet goes past your head, politics and all that shit just goes right out the window." A relentless onslaught of a film.

  • Christopher M. Jones's rating of the film Black Hawk Down

    It's too long by a fair margin and, bizarrely, the stakes lower as the mayhem intensifies. Still, there's a straightforward bravado and kineticism to the filmmaking that I deeply respect. It's impressive to think of the effect this must have had on the AAA gaming industry.

  • Stefan Drees's rating of the film Black Hawk Down

    An ambivalent and problematic film. It wants to be an anti-war film but works with the vocabulary of the war film using perfect choreographed action sequences and more. Sound and music are based on the typical genre sound signatures and tell us about the pathos of soldierly heroism. The anti-war mood is reserved for moments with melancholic used ethnical sound elements and emotionalized pictures in bluish light.

  • PolarisDiB's rating of the film Black Hawk Down

    The action drives narrative beats. Despite cross-cutting between arenas of conflict over a long time with many different characters, editing keeps everything logical and you can follow what's going on. The cast is a who's who of early millennium male actors. With weirdly beautiful shots, Ridley shows up his brother by proving that an action movie can be exciting and dynamic without being cut to shit. --PolarisDiB

  • Nicholas Gregory's rating of the film Black Hawk Down

    The many military characters melding together as an army of one during battle makes thematic sense, but this aspect only gives it the primal human emotion of survival, as the lengthy war carnage gets thin and repetitive. Despite the fight for your life authenticity, the American soldiers doing it feel not like individuals, but are only podiums for talking points during the quiet. There’s no real sense of affinity.

  • Jérémy Poirier's rating of the film Black Hawk Down

    Gritty and realistic as hell but yeah, it kinda glorifies war. But so does many films released before and after this one. But this film really puts you out there and never lets you down (only the Black Hawk is. ha!). The viewer is stuck as a mere helpless observant of everything. It is a terrifying spectacle of action with a well developed cast of characters. The chaos is beautifully directed by Scott.

  • DrFirestone's rating of the film Black Hawk Down

    The cinematography is solid, visually impressive, great music and sound. It's a decent action/war film, however, about halfway it starts to drag a bit, especially the fighting scenes. Classic American heroes killing the bad guys scenario, well... in this particular case it's Delta Force vs men in flip flops + AK-47 supported by women and children and also a few Toyota pickup trucks. K/D: 1000-19: result!

  • comeandsee's rating of the film Black Hawk Down

    a really fantastic piece of film. the respect and love which went into the memory of this event is clear. the acting and script are both first class, and the dark world view goes against the cliches which plague war movies so often. the ending prevent the film from becoming a masterpiece, but with a superb cast, this movie is one of the best presentations of modern war.

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