Black Hawk Down


This thundering movie takes us to Somalia in 1993 when American troops were drawn into a conflict that taught the U.S. Army a painful lesson; 18 soldiers were killed in Mogadishu. Some criticized Ridley Scott for showing the Somalis as nothing but faceless murderers, and of ignoring important aspects of the conflict, but this is primarily an action movie that wants viewers to care for a few soldiers’ desperate struggle for survival. Politics is left aside, meant to be depicted by someone else. The constant shootouts may test viewers’ patience, but it is a forceful, well cast and visually compelling film; this is Hell and you can virtually feel the heat burning.

2001-U.S. 143 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Ridley Scott, Jerry Bruckheimer. Directed by Ridley Scott. Screenplay: Ken Nolan, Steve Zaillian. Novel: Mark Bowden. Cinematography: Slawomir Idziak. Music: Hans Zimmer. Editing: Pietro Scalia. Cast: Josh Hartnett (Matt Eversmann), Ewan McGregor (Danny Grimes), Tom Sizemore (Danny McKnight), Eric Bana, William Fichtner, Ewen Bremner… Sam Shepard, Jeremy Piven, Orlando Bloom, Tom Hardy.

Trivia: Hardy’s feature film debut. Russell Crowe was allegedly considered for a part.

Oscars: Best Editing, Sound.

Last word: “I didn’t actually count them but there were something like 30 speaking parts which all mean something in the process of telling this story. It was really a very complicated jigsaw puzzle, and when I was reading the book I had to use a crib sheet to work out who the hell was who. As we got into the process of refining the script by distilling who meant what, that was actually the hardest part.” (Scott, BBC)


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