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Black Hawk Down Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Black Hawk turns nightmare into great cinema.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    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.

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  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Functions mainly as an action extravaganza, and a numbingly depersonalized one at that.

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Even an audience moved to tender patriotism might wonder how Scott, a proven master of ''Gladiator''-size visual showmanship, could have bombed away the personality of every man fighting until he's left with nothing more than pure combat.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    It's one of the most ferociously convincing physical re-creations of warfare ever put on screen.

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  • See all Black Hawk Down reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 17+

Violent depiction of a risky rescue; adults only.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film is extremely violent. If parents do allow their teens to watch, they should be aware that the sad and often violent scenes are traumatic. While it does not include as much foul language as often found in contemporary war films, the violence is extremely graphic and non-stop. American soldiers are bloodily and graphically killed from the beginning until the end. This film is in no way recommended for kids under seventeen.

  • Families can talk about issues regarding life, death, war, and honor. Why did the soldiers return to the ground to continue fighting? Do you think it was right to send soldiers there in the first place? How may this conflict relate to ones in the present? Parents may also want to discuss this film's historical accuracy by comparing it against a documentary that covers the same events.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The film does show valiant attempts by Special Forces troops to rescue their trapped comrades, but it does not really investigate the causes of the conflict. It also avoids dealing with the number of Somalis that were killed in the maneuver. This may complicate the portrayals of both the Americans and the militia.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: EXTREMELY graphic deaths of soldiers (dismemberment, beatings, impaling, etc.). Killing of civilians, starvation, the killing and roasting of a wild boar.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false3

    Language: Swearing by soldiers (but actually less than one might expect).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue