Black Hawk Down 2001

Critics score:
76 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News: Invokes a ferocious cinema-verite style to make us not only see, but also feel, the destructive power of modern warfare. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: 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. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: [D]efinitely worth seeing for those amazing battle sequences. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: 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. Read more

Susan Stark, Detroit News: Black Hawk Down sends you away impressed, properly horrified and then thoughtful about the lessons ignored from the battle it exhaustively describes. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: Black Hawk Down, the unflinching depiction of the raid, is a noble victory. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: A first-rate war movie that presents its subject so horrifyingly well that it doesn't need to probe or preach. Read more

Elvis Mitchell, New York Times: Like Mr. Scott's G.I. Jane but this time with an all-boy cast. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: The Somalians feel like props, something to be plugged at a shooting gallery. Read more

Mark Rahner, Seattle Times: 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. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A stunning depiction of war. So much so that you have to keep reminding yourself that this is not a documentary. Read more

Lisa Alspector, Chicago Reader: 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. Read more

Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle: Black Hawk Down has a relentless force that makes character development almost beside the point. Read more

Paul Tatara, Look out, everybody: Two of the most pandering, tactless filmmakers in Hollywood history are now teaching us about honor among soldiers. Read more

Steven Rosen, Denver Post: Scott keeps bringing home the shocks, using light and sound to underscore the visual tumult. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Driven by scenes of gripping, unflinching battle, touched by the director's talent for communicating through the colors he chooses. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Black Hawk Down is all dazzling craft and no redeeming art; it's simultaneously a superb piece of filmmaking and a highly suspect film. Read more

Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture: It represents a particularly limiting application of hard-bitten manly values to experiences that can't help but transcend them. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Limbs explode, guts spill and blood splatters in an endurance test that is numbing, but nothing new. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: 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. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: One hell of a ride. For better or for worse, it will leave you stunned and reeling. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: 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. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, It's every bit as harrowing -- and also every bit as pointless and misguided -- as the botched military mission it depicts. Read more

Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle: 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. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: 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. Read more

Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine: 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. Read more

Time Out: [Scott] does a reasonable job sketching the complicated and contradictory political context, but attempts to bring in the odd Somali perspective are grossly inadequate. Read more

Mike Clark, USA Today: No war movie I have ever seen so vividly shows battle from differing perspectives. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: A relentless immersion in combat strikingly realized but none too pleasurable to sit through. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: A studied composition in flying debris, fleeing crowds, and detached limbs. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: Compelling account of the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: The next worst thing to being there. That's how real it feels. Read more