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Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down (2001)

December. 28,2001
| Action History War

When U.S. Rangers and an elite Delta Force team attempt to kidnap two underlings of a Somali warlord, their Black Hawk helicopters are shot down, and the Americans suffer heavy casualties, facing intense fighting from the militia on the ground.


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I read the Black Hawk Down book. And after watching this movie I felt it was rushed. But after realizing it was nearly 2 1/2 hours I thought they did an excellent job. Very Accurate.


A slow start until the operation starts, however, then it is non-stop action. The switching between the front-line and the bosses back at base was well done.

Brent Burkwell

The only reason I didn't give this the full thumbs up is that I would have had the real story turn out a bit different. Atto or whatever his name was, the captured arms dealer, wouldn't have been smoking a cigarette, smugly as if to say I told you so, instead he would have been in the stocks, the type used in the dark ages, no water and when he asked for water, he would have been "water-boarded" until he cried for his mama. If it were up to me, the US military's only rule of engagement would be win at all costs, always make a move before the enemy. But idiots in Washington won't allow that, they're too worried about what the rest of the world might think. For instance, Russia and China, both regimes that persecute their own people. No, the only time the USA should go to war is if we intend to win period, no rules of engagement, no rules what so ever, war isn't fair, it shouldn't be, make it brief and make sure we come home every time as the winner.


I was thrilled by this film in the theater when it first came out, and I've subsequently watched it, or sections of it, dozens of times at home. Each time, I admire its brilliant direction, editing, sound, music, the rhythm of the action, and the sheer beauty of many of the shots. Ridley Scott has made some classic films and (more recently) some disappointing ones. This, I think, is his best.But it's definitely confusing as hell, and even after all these viewings -- even after having read Mark Bowden's book (which the film follows very closely) -- I have trouble keeping track of all the various characters: the Deltas, the Rangers, and their complicated movements around war-torn Mogadishu.Most confusing of all -- something that puzzles me each time I see the film (and which the book fails to clear up) -- is why this poorly planned military operation was ever okayed in the first place. As depicted on screen, it seems the most harebrained scheme imaginable, because it's so ridiculously vulnerable, just one tiny step away from utter failure.All it takes to screw up the mission is a lone RPG fired at one of the low-flying helicopters. And hovering in the air just above the rooftops, the choppers make the easiest of targets; a single strike with a rocket can bring one down, and when one goes down (followed shortly afterward, of course, by a second), the entire mission turns into a colossal disaster.Sam Shepard, playing the general in charge, is, as always, an impressive figure, but you want to shout at him, "You idiot! What were you thinking?"