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Black Hawk Down

  • Documentary and factual
  • Drama
  • 2001
  • Ridley Scott
  • 138 mins
  • 15


War drama based on real events, starring Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor and Tom Sizemore. On 3 October 1993, elite US troops were sent into Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, to capture two lieutenants working for the local warlord responsible for orchestrating a famine in the region. The ensuing 15-hour battle saw the deaths of nearly 20 American soldiers, and hundreds of Somalis, after two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down.

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A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Following on swiftly from the release of Behind Enemy Lines, here's another noisy, gung-ho modern war movie. However, the fact that this film is based on the disastrous 1993 "Battle of Mogadishu" in Somalia does not temper its flag-waving, pro-American militarism. The film's poster tagline "Leave no man behind" disguises what was a strategic American mess as chest-beating melodrama - in reality, 18 Americans were killed, as were hundreds of Somalis during a 15-hour firefight. That it should come from a British director is the surprise, though to his credit Ridley Scott has cast many non-Americans in prominent roles - an underused Ewan McGregor, an impressive Jason Isaacs, comic turn Ewen Bremner and charismatic Eric Bana. It's sensitive, cool-headed and intelligent for a Jerry Bruckheimer movie, but for all of Scott's incredible technical skill - you really do feel as if you are there - the battle scenes lack identifiable characters and there is scant insight into the Somalian conflict. In a post-11-September world, its call for "heroes" makes it little more than a recruitment film.



Ranger Staff Sgt Matt EversmannJosh Hartnett
Ranger Spec GrimesEwan McGregor
Ranger Lt Col Danny McKnightTom Sizemore
Delta Sgt First Class "Hoot" GibsonEric Bana
Delta Sgt First Class Jeff SandersonWilliam Fichtner
Specialist Shawn NelsonEwen Bremner
Maj Gen William F GarrisonSam Shepard
Ranger Spec Mike KurthGabriel Casseus
Delta Master Sgt Chris "Wex" WexlerKim Coates
Ranger Sgt First Class Kurt SchmidHugh Dancy
Chief Warrant Officer Mike DurantRon Eldard
Ranger BealesIoan Gruffudd
Chief Warrant Officer Cliff Wolcott Jeremy Piven
Ranger Private First Class Richard KowalewskiBrendan Sexton III
Captain Mike SteeleJason Isaacs
Private First Class Todd BlackburnOrlando Bloom
HarrellZeljko Ivanek
MatthewsGlenn Morshower
TwomblyTom Hardy
GoodaleCarmine Giovinazzo
SizemoreMatthew Marsden
FirimbiTreva Etienne
WilkinsonTy Burrell


DirectorRidley Scott


Theatrical distributor
Columbia TriStar
Released on
English | Arabic | Somali
Violence and swearing.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
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