MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 16 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 237,132 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 1,082 user | 196 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...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 29 Aug 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 20 Oct 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 14 Apr 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 06 May 2012
 
a list of 29 titles
created 23 Dec 2012
 

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 & 31 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

9th Company (2005)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Young Soviet Army recruits are stuck in the bloody war in Afghanistan, that was started by politicians.

Director: Fedor Bondarchuk
Stars: Artur Smolyaninov, Aleksey Chadov, Konstantin Kryukov
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore
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
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view.

Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, and 3 more credits »
Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton
The Warlords (2007)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

It's a heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on "The Assassination of Ma," a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) story about ... See full summary »

Directors: Peter Chan, Wai Man Yip
Stars: Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro
Das Boot (1981)
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann
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 | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Norway, WWII: A group of British and German soldiers find themselves stranded in the wilderness after an aircraft battle. Finding shelter in the same cabin, they realize the only way to survive the winter is to place the rules of war aside.

Director: Petter Næss
Stars: Florian Lukas, David Kross, Lachlan Nieboer
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle vs. the Nazi Germany Air Force for control of British air space to prevent a Nazi invasion of Britain.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A historical telling of the failed attempt to capture several bridges on a road to Germany in World War II, in a campaign called Operation Market-Garden.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Sean Connery, Ryan O'Neal, Michael Caine
Midway (1976)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A dramatization of the battle that turned out to be the turning point of the Pacific Theatre of World War II.

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn
Red Cliff II (2009)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In this sequel to Red Cliff, first minister Cao Cao convinces Emperor Han to initiate a battle against the two Kingdoms of Xu and Wu, who have become allied forces, against all expectations... See full summary »

Director: John Woo
Stars: Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang
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:

Leave No Man Behind. 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

None of the film was made in Somalia but in the similar looking cities of Rabat and Sale in Morocco. No Somali actors are included in the cast. Somalia then and today remains a dangerous and unstable country. See more »

Goofs

Before the mission starts, such as when he is making impressions of Captain Steele, Pilla is referred to as "Specialist" (E-4) and wears the corresponding rank. However, during the mission when he is manning the turret in a Humvee, Pilla is referred to several times as "Sergeant" (E-5). 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Friday Night with Jonathan Ross: Episode #14.6 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Ul Iyo Dirkeed
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 179 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
What does the soldier say to the other one when he asks for a drink? salihe66-144-508280
Discuss Black Hawk Down (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page