Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down

4.7 78
Director: Ridley Scott, Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Jason Isaacs

Cast: Ridley Scott, Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Jason Isaacs

     
 

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A quickly forgotten chapter in United States military history is relived in this harrowing war drama from director Ridley Scott, based on a series of Philadelphia Inquirer articles and subsequent book by reporter Mark Bowden. On October 3rd, 1993, an elite team of more than 100 Delta Force soldiers and Army Rangers, part of a larger United Nations peacekeeping force,

Overview

A quickly forgotten chapter in United States military history is relived in this harrowing war drama from director Ridley Scott, based on a series of Philadelphia Inquirer articles and subsequent book by reporter Mark Bowden. On October 3rd, 1993, an elite team of more than 100 Delta Force soldiers and Army Rangers, part of a larger United Nations peacekeeping force, are dropped into civil war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia, in an effort to kidnap two of local crime lord Mohamed Farah Aidid's top lieutenants. Among the team: Staff Sgt. Matt Eversmann (Josh Hartnett), Ranger Lt. Col. Danny McKnight (Tom Sizemore), the resourceful Delta Sgt. First Class Jeff Sanderson (William Fichtner), and Ranger Spec. Grimes (Ewan McGregor), a desk-bound clerk getting his first taste of live combat. When two of the mission's Black Hawk helicopters are shot down by enemy forces, the Americans -- committed to recovering every man, dead or alive -- stay in the area too long and are quickly surrounded. The ensuing firefight is a merciless 15-hour ordeal and the longest ground battle involving American soldiers since the Vietnam War. In the end, 70 soldiers are injured and 18 are dead, along with hundreds of Somalians. Black Hawk Down was voted one of the top ten films of the year by the National Board of Review prior to its limited Oscar-qualifying release. On the basis of his work in this film, co-star Eric Bana, a relatively unknown Australian actor playing Delta Sgt. First Class "Hoot" Gibson, won the lead in director Ang Lee's version of The Hulk (2003).

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A gripping dramatization of the abortive 1993 U.S. military operation in Somalia, Africa, that resulted in the Ambush in Mogadishu, Black Hawk Down earns high marks for its hyperrealistic representation of modern-day conventional warfare. Director Ridley Scott re-creates the fateful October 3rd mission in painstaking detail, capturing the horrifying chaos that ensues during armed conflicts on unfamiliar urban battlegrounds. Portraying the U.S. Army Rangers who fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Scott's talented ensemble cast helps make the events all the more real. Especially strong are Josh Harnett as Staff Sergeant Matt Eversmann and Tom Sizemore as the grizzled veteran Lt. Colonel Danny McKnight. Also superb are Ewan McGregor, Ron Eldard, Jason Isaacs, and Sam Shepard. To his credit, Scott remains politically neutral on America’s role in the Somalian civil war. He doesn’t engage in the moral equivocation so fashionable among some Hollywood directors who’ve depicted failed U.S. military operations; instead, Black Hawk Down focuses on the heroic efforts of American soldiers committed to covering their buddies’ backs and bringing everybody home, dead or alive. Scott’s darting camera and rapid cutting make it occasionally difficult to follow the action, but that’s an intentional choice designed to emphasize the maddening confusion of warfare at close quarters. Sturdily mounted, brilliantly acted, and almost unbearably suspenseful, this powerful film shows the events of a fateful engagement in a new and considerably brighter light. The DVD edition includes a behind-the-scenes featurette, production notes, and an assortment of theatrical trailers.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
A riveting account of a devastating battle that resulted from controversial United Nations involvement in Somalia's civil war in 1993, this war picture from director Ridley Scott displays the filmmaker's reliable eye for startling visuals and effective translation of words into pictures. Whether he's employing map-like aerial views of a re-created Mogadishu in order to help the viewer understand how the action's unfolding or using documentary film techniques to reinforce the story's "you are there" realism, Scott's eclectic style synchronizes perfectly with his subject matter's brutal, mindless violence and moral equivocation. The sole drawback of this strategy is that it minimizes the individual soldiers' personal stories, challenging the audience to remain emotionally invested in a group of characters that struggle to move front and center. It's human beings on both sides, after all, that are being fed to the sausage grinder of battle here, but the suffering and bloodshed are not handled with the same emotional skill as the physical action. This seems to be a conscious choice on the part of the filmmakers, who have created a piece that is far more about the logistics of a chain of tragic events than a heartfelt plea for understanding or even an antiwar statement. In a fictitious drama, such a creative decision would be a fatal one, but projects such as the television miniseries Band of Brothers (2001) demonstrate that identifiable characters and emotional beats are expendable (to a degree) in the service of telling an important fact-based story in as accurate a fashion as possible. Black Hawk Down is not the best war movie ever made, but it is one of 2001's best and one of the most truthful about what war is like in the ultra-political, high-tech here and now.
Entertainment Weekly
Driven by scenes of gripping, unflinching battle, touched by the director's talent for communicating through the colors he chooses. Lisa Schwarzbaum
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert

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.
USA Today

No war movie I have ever seen so vividly shows battle from differing perspectives. Mike Clark

Product Details

Release Date:
11/16/2010
UPC:
0043396364271
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
R
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
ABC
Time:
33:21:00

Special Features

Audio commentaries with director Ridley Scott, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, author Mark Bowden & screenwriter Ken Nolan and us special forces veterans; The essence of combat featurettes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Josh Hartnett Ranger Staff Sgt. Matt Eversmann
Ewan McGregor Ranger spec. Grimes
Jason Isaacs Steele
Tom Sizemore Ranger Lt. Col. Danny McKnight
Eric Bana Delta Sgt. First Class "Hoot" Gibson
William Fichtner Delta Sgt. First Class Jeff Sanderson
Ewen Bremner Spec. Sgt. Shawn Nelson
Sam Shepard Maj. Gen. William F. Garrison
Kim Coates Wex
Hugh Dancy Ranger Sgt. First Class Kurt Schmid
Ron Eldard Chief Warrant Officer Mike Durant
Ioan Gruffudd Beales
Tom Guiry Yurek
Charlie Hofheimer Smith
Danny Hoch Pilla
Zeljko Ivanek Harrell
Glenn Morshower Matthews
Gabriel Casseus Ranger Spec. Mike Kurth
Jeremy Piven Walcott
Brendan Sexton Kowalewski
Johnny Strong Shughart
Richard Tyson Busch
Brian Van Holt Struecker
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Gordon
Steven Ford Cribbs
Ian Virgo Waddell
Tom Hardy Twombly
Carmine Giovinazzo Goodale
Chris Beetem Joyce
Tac Fitzgerald Thomas
Matthew Marsden Sizemore
Orlando Bloom Blackburn
Kent Linville Othic
Enrique Murciano Ruiz
Michael Roof Maddox
George Harris Atto
Razaaq Adoti Mo'alim
Treva Etienne Firimbi
Ty Burrell Wilkinson
Boyd Kestner Goffena
Jason Hildabrant Jollata
Gregory Sporleder Galentine
Johann Myers Somali Father
Dana Woods Fales
Abdibashir Mohamed Hersi Somali Spy
Pavel Vokoun Briley
Kofi Amankwah Somali Kid
Joshua Quarcoo Somali Kid
Lee Geohagen Somali son with gun

Technical Credits
Ridley Scott Director,Producer
Hatimi Ahmed Asst. Director
Blondel Aidoo Executive Producer
Bob Badami Musical Direction/Supervision
Pier Luigi Basile Art Director
Pavel Bezdek Stunts
Malika Boukergane Makeup
Ales Bousi Stunts
Mark Bowden Consultant/advisor
Jerry Bruckheimer Producer
Ana Bulajik-Crecek Makeup
John Collett Stunts
Eugene Collier Stunts
Neil Corbould Special Effects Supervisor
Gergely Csolle Stunts
Eric Etje Stunts
Roberta Federico Set Decoration/Design
Jiri Firt Stunts
Rachid Gaidi Asst. Director
Gianni Giovagnoni Art Director
Gianni Graziano Makeup
Elli Griff Set Decoration/Design
Michal Grun Stunts
Rene Hajek Stunts
Ron Hersey Camera Operator
Jan Holicek Stunts
Sammy Howarth-Sheldon Costumes/Costume Designer
Peter Hric Stunts
Ivo Husnjak Art Director
Slawomir Idziak Cinematographer
Rob Inch Stunts
Charles Ingram Stunts
Roman Jankovic Stunts
Chuck Jeffreys Stunts
Klaus Jindrich Stunts
Martin Kenzie Camera Operator
Ratislav Kotula Stunts
Miroslav Lhotka Stunts
Branko Lustig Executive Producer
Antonio Maltempo Makeup
Branislav Martinak Stunts
Daniele Massaccesi Camera Operator
Arthur Max Production Designer
Emma McGuinness Executive Producer
Lubomir Misak Stunts
Diane Murphy Costumes/Costume Designer
Neil Murphy Costumes/Costume Designer
David Murphy Costumes/Costume Designer
Terry Needham Associate Producer,Asst. Director
Kathy Nelson Musical Direction/Supervision
Ken Nolan Screenwriter
Louis-Marie Nyee Stunts
Peter Olgyay Stunts
Chad Oman Executive Producer
Keith Pain Art Director
Tomas Peterac Stunts
Jan Petrina Stunts
Austin Priester Stunts
Jaroslav Psenicka Stunts
Cliff Robinson Art Director
Monica Sallustio Set Decoration/Design
Alessandra Sampaolo Makeup
Pat Sandston Associate Producer
Stanislav Satko Stunts
Pietro Scalia Editor
Robin Shenfield Executive Producer
Suzanne Smith Casting
Jamal Souissi Production Manager
Mike Stenson Executive Producer
Bonnie Timmermann Casting
Jon Title Sound/Sound Designer
Marek Toth Stunts
Marco Trentini Art Director
Martin Uhrovcik Stunts
Miroslav Valka Stunts
Simon West Executive Producer
Steven Zaillian Screenwriter
Hans Zimmer Score Composer

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Black Hawk Down 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 78 reviews.
JCWilkerson More than 1 year ago
In October of 1993, in an effort to secure the Somali town of Mogadishu, Task Force Ranger, comprised of Delta Force soldiers and Rangers, are sent in for a mission that is supposed to last no more than half an hour. But when two Black Hawk helicopters are downed by insurgents with rocket launchers many of the members of Task Force Ranger are left stranded in the city. The ensuing battle lasts for 18 hours. The Battle of Magadishu (also known as The Battle of the Black Sea, Black Hawk Down, and for the Somali's The Day of the Rangers) was both a disaster and a success depending on who you talk to. It was a success in that when all was said and done Task Force Ranger accomplished their main objectives. At the same time, it was a disaster because originally the mission was only supposed to take 30 minutes, but in the end lasted 18 hours and cost the lives of 19 American soldiers and somewhere in the range of 500-2000 Somali's. How do you adapt an 18 hour battle into a two and a half hour movie? Very carefully, and had the movie been placed in a less capable director's hands than Ridley Scott's (Alien, Gladiator) this movie could very well have been a disaster. Ridley Scott, though, along with first time screenwriter Ken Nolan, do their best to capture the battle in a truly authentic light, and they do an amazing job. From what I hear (I have a lot more to learn about the battle) this is possibly the most accurate depiction of a battle ever put to film. I would also argue that it's the best example of modern urban warfare put to film as well. The performances in this film are amazing as, despite a hugely recognizable cast (something I might just be saying because many of the actors in this movie have become huge since, and weren't as big at the time) there is no vanity amongst the actors. Their lack of vanity only adds to the realism, and also builds up the feeling of brotherhood as they act out the battle in the field. All in all, if there was going to be an argument against this film it would really only be the fact that there's not much character development. In the end, though, it's not as much about the characters as it is about the units. It's not as much about the battle as it is a reminder that there are still soldiers that carry the DNA of bravery and brotherhood that we saw in the World War II elite. And it's not so much about Somalia as it is about the war fronts we fight on throughout the world whether in Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. If you haven't seen this movie yet, definitely give it a shot. 4.5/5
JJNolin More than 1 year ago
The movie Black Hawk Down is about an America military conflict in Somalia, the Battle of Mogadishu, on October 3, 1993. In a mission that was supposed to take Rangers and Delta Force 30 minutes to remove a brutal drug leader; ended up taking 19 hours to complete, they now were in for the fight of their lives. I like this movie because the way the director was able to show the passing of time. The mission took 19 hours but he was able to show it all in two and a half hours. The special effects in the movie were superb. What I like most about this movie is the way the director showed both the good and the bad to this conflict. While he still kept the movie as accurate as he could with the way some soldiers died, which is pretty graphic. It is very gory and not for the squeamish or faint of heart. Black Hawk Down is a very upbeat, action packed movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It is one of my favorite movies and I would highly recommend that you buy this movie and add it to your collection of movies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story comes to life on the screen. You don't know whether to sit on the edge of your seat or whether to cover your head with a blanket. It seems too horrible to be true, but the ugly truth of the matter is that it is what war is all about. WAR--up close and ugly--as only war can be. But--it's a story you can't pull yourself away from. You're drawn into the human element, and you can't let go.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Black Hawk Down is a great film. To an individual familiar with American operations in Somalia during 1992 and 1993, this movie is remarkably accurate, from the chronology of events down to the smallest details of the special operations troops' uniforms. The film does a tremendous job in showing the heroism of the soldiers of Task Force Ranger, and also gives a good dipiction of the Somali perspective. There are some minor innacuracies, but they contribute to the plot and so are excusable. The film is not only dramatic and exciting, but informative as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was great because there really wasint a happy time ,The graphics and pictures of the realism were the best Ive seen sense braveheart
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best movie I have seen in a really long time. It has awesome special effects, and it's no wonder why practically all the movie go-ers and reporters gave it five stars. I really enjoyed this movie. I would recommend it to almost anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie was something and reminded me of other movies similar like saving private ryan and recently death watch. basically about a group heading over to somolia and thus in the process have unexpected surprises in store.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i saw this film after reading bowden's book and tom wolfe's short mogadishu narrative within ambush at fort bragg. this film is beautifully made, with many fine performances, and contains fast-paced you-are-there action. watching the ''making of'' film is fascinating because you see that so many of these texas and arkansas boys are played by actors from new zealand and scotland. this film truly gains from subsequent viewing because while the many soldiers are given thoughtful and individual treatment by the script, their stories are interwoven and it's easy to confuse them with each other. i love the sequence when elvis and the D boys go out to pick up hoot, and cross blackhawks with durant bringing in the new guy, blackburn. also momorable is steele's exchange with pilla. the film is not overly dramatized; it's actually played rather low-key all told, but is very respectful to the military and quite true to the book. i recommend this film most highly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was well written and directed, but especially played very well by Josh Harnett. Being fond of the Marine Corps, this was a must see movie for me. Not only was this movie action packed, but it was REAL action. Watching a true story is much better than some made up Hollywood junk.
theanimelizzard More than 1 year ago
I don't like war movies, and I usually detest when my family comes home with a new set of hour-by-hour blood and guts movies. But somehow, Black Hawk Down has become one of my favorite movies, almost by accident. The performances are 100% from each actor, and the realism of how they portray their characters is astounding. I love the story itself, mostly I think because many people may not know of it. In this generation, even the most important things in the military and our world are easily being forgotten for "bigger and better" events, yet I think it is important to remember these events, even as we have entered another country in a similar fashion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great movie because of acting, sound, reality, directing, cinematography, action, and Orlando. Read the synopsis to see if it's your kind of movie. There are great action scenes, fights, and realness of what actually happened on that day in Somalia. And it makes you even more proud and in awe of the U.S. soldiers and their job.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully shot, this movie gives you insight into the weaponry, destruction, fear, adrenaline and (most evocatively) confusion on today's modern battlefield. These ''quick'' and flexible firefights are the way wars will be fought for the forseeable future and it is harrowing. It also shows that America's achilles heal throughout the years (evacuating the wounded) is still part of our war culture.
Guest More than 1 year ago
when i went to see black hawk down, i went on opening night with my best friend. we were barely able to get two seats together, the theater was so packed. I didn't know it at the time, but my aunt told me that my uncle's brother was there when black hawk down took place and he knew everyone that was down there. talk about a eye opener! even if you don't support what your government is doing in another country, you should always support your troops and there families. not only was my uncle's brother special forces, but my uncle is an air force colonel and i am very proud of him. just remember that there are people behind the names and suffering behind every death and injury and pray for the families and victims no matter what you believe.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie was incredible. Having read the book twice, once before and once afterward. I have become even more astounded at the quality of this film. I personally felt it should have been nominated for best picture. It was the the best war flick since Saving Private Ryan.
sgtgwj More than 1 year ago
Although some changes were made from the book this is a very good movie which captures the camaraderie within the Army.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is phonominal, with intense gritty action, and in my opinion the most accurate and intense movie of modern war ever put on film. ''...I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy...'' this line from the Ranger Creed is the reason the battle on October 3rd 1993 took place. This film is a testiment to our countries elite warriors. Delta Force, Rangers and the unsung 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment ''Night Stalkers'' all of these groups are represented in a way never seen before in film history. A must own movie if you truly value heroism.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The realism of this war movie is only surpassed by Saving Private Ryan. It doesn't get more bloody and real than this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the action highlights of 2001-2002. But of note is the actor with most of the best lines in the movie. Aussie Eric Bana plays Delta SGT FC Hoot Gibson and possibly has most of the best lines in the film. His portrayal of a native Texan is virtually flawless. He was noticed most recently in the movie ''Chopper'', a true story of an Australian criminal. His dry wit combined with a serious attitude makes him a joy to watch in Black Hawk Down. Many await his protrayal of The Hulk. Well done Eric.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Black Hawk Down is truly a masterpiece. Every actor in the ensemble cast is convincing and Oscar-worthy. The movie brilliantly shows the struggle of both the Somalians and the Americans who try to help them. Its release comes at a perfect time in this new age of patriotism. Some scenes of movie are very graphic and unforgettable. Unlike other war movies that have preceded it, Black Hawk Down really brings you into the fight and the abrupt ending leaves you beat up just like the American Rangers and Delta Force infantry. It is a story of courage and valor that ranks as the best war movie ever filmed. Buy it. You will be watching this one over and over again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this movie to be very graphic, but very well made. I cannot make an educated decision on the realism of the battle scenes as I have never been in combat. But, those scenes looked real enough to give viewers a good idea of how truly horrible war is. Unfortunately, the tragedy surrounding these characters did not end in Somalia. There was one major discrepancy between this film and real life. Matt Eversmann(it may have been another main character) is a made up name. His character was renamed because the man he represents is, in real life, a convicted child molester. His name was changed to avoid embarrassment of our military. Don't believe me? Check out Russ Kick's 50 Things You're Not Supposed To Know. I am sure this name change was highly beneficial to the studio as well. This knocks this movie down a notch in my opinion. Instead of getting an honest portrayal of an imperfect, multidimensional person(i.e. a very good soldier but also a sick pervert), we are shown a glossed up version of a the story in the name of profit, certainly not art.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Puts Saving Private Ryan as my favorite movie in question. People say it's to confusing. That's what war is like. CONFUSING!!!!! The men that were there said it was so realistic,''It looked like someone had taken a video camera in there with us.'' Very good special effects.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I know the true story from the book and spent alot of time researching material and reading the stories from the survivors of that day and night. Awsome movie!! Plus the audio is wonderful. You are in the firefight in this movie, you see what Rangers and Delta do, plus the mind set is DEAD ON perfect. The guys portraying Delta force operators were right on mark with the real men. Plus the sounds were not doctored...for example, the miniguns firing on the blackhawks are the actual sound of the weapon, not a hollywood ''make it sound cool'' dub added in.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was extremely infomative. I wasn't aware of how devastating this war really was. I was kept on the edge of my seat with my fingers crossed thoughout the whole movie. I hope that everyone will enjoy this thrilling movie as much as I did. It made me truly appreciate the work of our armed forces. Thank you, Ridley Scott, for this amazing film!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the movie because it was one of those events that we don't hear much about and after seeing it makes you want to reasearch about it to see what happened in the eyes of the Rangers, and Delta.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Black hawk Down is the greatest movie ever because it gives us an opportunity to see what the American Soldiers had to go through in the Mogadishu fighting .It was also a great movie that touched me alot. Josh Hartnett, Thomas Guiry, and Orlando Bloom were great.