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"BLACK HAWK DOWN"
(2001) (Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
*Minor Extreme Extreme Extreme Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Mild None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Mild Minor Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action: U.S. Rangers and Delta Force soldiers try to make their way out of a hostile foreign city and avoid the heavily armed locals after a planned brief military operation goes awry and turns into a several day ordeal.
PLOT:
It's October 1993 and U.S. military forces have remained in Somalia as part of a peacekeeping operation in response to the food hoarding measures taken by Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid that have left more than 300,000 people dead. As run by Maj. Gen. William F. Garrison (SAM SHEPARD), the forces - comprised of young Army Rangers and veteran Delta Force soldiers - set out on a mission to seize two of Aidid's lieutenants from a crowded marketplace in the capital city of Mogadishu.

Among those heading out are Staff Sgt. Matt Eversmann (JOSH HARTNETT), an idealistic Ranger who's just been placed in command of his unit; Ranger Spec. Grimes (EWAN McGREGOR), a desk clerk who has yet to see any combat; and Lt. Col. Danny McKnight (TOM SIZEMORE), a veteran who isn't crazy about the limited support they'll receive. They're led by Capt. Mike Steele (JASON ISAACS), their ground commander, and accompanied by the likes of Staff Sgt. Jeff Struecker (BRIAN VAN HOLT), Ranger Pvt. First Class Todd Blackburn (ORLANDO BLOOM), and Specs. Shawn Nelson (EWEN BREMNER) and Lance Twombly (THOMAS HARDY).

Representing the Delta unit is Sgt. First Class Hoot Gibson (ERIC BANA), whose legendary status precedes him, along with Sgt. Jeff Sanderson (WILLIAM FICHTNER) and Delta snipers Sgt. First Class Randy Shughart (JOHNNY STRONG) and Master Sgt. Gary Gordon (NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU).

Their plan is to sweep into the city, seize their two targets and avoid the heavily armed locals, all in under an hour. Yet, things quickly go out of control when Blackburn falls from one of the choppers, setting off a chain of disastrous events that include two of the Black Hawk helicopters piloted by Chief Warrant Officer Mike Durant (RON ELDARD) and Chief Warrant Officer Cliff Wolcott (JEREMY PIVEN) being shot down.

From that point on, and as Garrison observes from his command post, the various American soldiers try to get to the crash sites, rescue their injured men, and get out of the city as hordes of armed citizens close in and open fire on them over the next two days.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into military-based films or are fans of director Ridley Scott ("Gladiator") or anyone in the cast, they probably will (although the film seems most attractive to male teens).
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For intense, realistic, graphic war violence, and for language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOSH HARTNETT plays a young and idealistic Ranger whose mettle is tested when he assumes command of his unit and must deal with being stuck in the middle of a precarious situation that drags on for some time. He uses some strong profanity and shoots and wounds or kills some people, much like most everyone else listed here.
  • EWAN McGREGOR plays a desk clerk who finds himself in combat for the first time. He also uses some strong profanity.
  • TOM SIZEMORE plays the cool-under-pressure veteran who helps lead the troops into and out of battle. He uses some strong profanity and smokes.
  • ERIC BANA plays a Delta soldier whose legendary status precedes him.
  • WILLIAM FICHTNER plays a Delta Sgt. who realizes he must take control of the situation when his superior officer doesn't.
  • EWEN BREMNER and THOMAS HARDY play soldiers who find themselves separated from the others and must make their way to safety by themselves.
  • SAM SHEPARD plays the Major General who oversees the operation and must deal with things getting out of control. He smokes cigars a few times.
  • RON ELDARD plays one of the pilots shot down in the city.
  • JASON ISAACS plays the Rangers ground commander.
  • JERMEY PIVEN plays the first pilot to be shot down.
  • BRIAN VAN HOLT plays a ranger who survives the first round of battle and then returns on the rescue mission.
  • ORLANDO BLOOM plays a private whose fall from a chopper precipitates the disastrous chain of events that follow.
  • JOHNNY STRONG and NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU play two Delta snipers who stand up against long odds and a lot of resistance in defending one of the downed choppers.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated war film. Violence is listed as extreme due to nearly nonstop violence, where many people are wounded or killed by military action (massive amounts of gunfire, explosives, etc.).

    Various instances of that violence have extremely bloody and/or gory results, as does an impromptu battlefield surgery where an injured man's leg bleeds profusely and is graphically operated on. All of those scenes will probably be disturbing and/or suspenseful to many viewers in their realistic, "you are there" portrayal of wartime violence and many of the men finding themselves in harm's way.

    Profanity is listed as extreme due to the use of at least 31 "f" words, while many other expletives and colorful phrases are also used throughout the film. A brief reference to masturbation is made (with the accompanying gesture), while the pinup of a scantily clad woman is briefly seen. Meanwhile, various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some men smoke.

    Due to the severity of some of the content contained in this film, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific details regarding what's present and occurs in it, particularly if you're still concerned about its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • No use is present, but the following comment occurs: When one soldier sees another filling his canteen with water, he jokingly tells him he might as well take "dope and beer."
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A man finds a body and we then see that he has it wrapped in a sheet, and we then see more dead bodies.
  • Some blood squirts out when people are shot by machine gun fire.
  • We see blood coming from an injured man's nose and ear.
  • A person is hit by something and blown apart.
  • People who are shot are bloody.
  • Those in a crashed helicopter are bloody.
  • A man's finger is blown off his hand (with bloody results).
  • We see a person with a very bloody neck wound, while various dead people are also rather bloody.
  • More people are bloody after being shot or hit by explosions.
  • A person finds a severed hand, while we see another man who's still alive, but the bottom half of him is gone (with very bloody/gory looking wounds to his body).
  • More wounded and dead people are bloody.
  • Shrapnel hits a person and a lot of blood squirts out.
  • A man's face is incredibly bloody.
  • More people who are shot are bloody.
  • An injured man is hit on the head several times and is bloody.
  • A man's leg wound is very bloody and blood then squirts out as others try to work on him. As they try to clamp the artery to prevent the massive bleeding, we see the extremely bloody and graphic wound that they work in and on.
  • Another man has a very bloody mouth.
  • A man carries a dead child who's bloody.
  • A man vomits.
  • A great deal of blood flows onto the floor of a surgical facility.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Those responsible for creating the famine and other political/social strife (and killing others), and attacking the American military men obviously have extreme cases of bad attitudes.
  • Some viewers could see the American military as having both for being involved in another country's business (no matter how wrong the latter might be).
  • One of the men mocks a superior officer (in his absence) before the fighting takes place.
  • Some of the men refer to the Somalis as "Skinnies" (or something like that, presumably referring to their diminished weight).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be disturbing and/or suspenseful to viewers (particularly when containing injured people who are screaming in pain, etc.).
  • The sight of various dead or starving people might be disturbing to viewers.
  • Suspense builds as the forces prepare for their mission and we see the locals all arming themselves in preparation for that.
  • Once the abduction takes place and the locals open fire on the American military forces, most of the rest of the film - save for a few moments - is nothing but one suspenseful scene after another as the military forces try to hold off the onslaught of locals and/or elude and escape from them through the war torn city where bullets and other dangerous ammunition could come from any angle at any moment.
  • That includes the harrowing helicopter crash sequences, one of which involves the chopper spinning out of control with one of the men barely hanging onto its open side.
  • A several-minute scene where men must operate on a man's bloody leg without any anesthetics (accompanied by lots of blood, gore and screaming) will probably be disturbing to viewers.
  • With no room left on the exit vehicles, various American military men try to make it out of the city on foot and encounter various hostile locals along the way.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Machine guns/Handguns/Automatic Weapons/Hand Grenades/Missiles: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill many people and destroy property.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "(He's) F*cked up," "What the f*ck/is this/are you doing?" "You're f*cking me" (nonsexual), "You f*cking assholes," "F*ck you," "Oh, sh*t," "Scare the living sh*t out," "Can't shoot for sh*t," "Scared sh*tless," "You're sh*tting me," "You're not gonna believe this sh*t," "Can't see sh*t," "I'm here to kick some ass," "Hell, yeah," "Sorry ass," "Take a dump," "Skinny ass," "They need to haul ass," "Where the hell do you think you're going?" "Balls" (testicles) and "You bet your ass."
  • One of the men mocks a superior officer (in his absence).
  • A man gives "the finger" to someone else, while another man later makes the gesture for male masturbation.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 31 "f" words (with another character seen mouthing that word with "mother"), 18 "s" words, 9 asses (2 used with "hole"), 7 hells, 3 damns, 1 S.O.B., 7 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "Christ," "Jesus," "Jesus Christ" and "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A person states that it's a good thing a man with an injured hand is right-handed (a masturbation reference). A person then states he doesn't know what he'd do (while making a male masturbation gesture).
  • We briefly see a pinup/poster of a shapely woman in a small bikini.
  • SMOKING
  • Garrison (cigars) and McKnight each smoke a few times, while Grimes smokes once, and various miscellaneous characters also smoke (one smokes cigars several times).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • A local boy accidentally shoots what may be his father.
  • A downed soldier looks at photos of his wife and child, realizing he'll probably never see them again.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The real story, the historical accuracy of the movie in portraying it, and any possible artistic license taken with the facts.
  • Whether America (or other countries) should have been involved in another country's problems.
  • What it would be like to be caught in such a harrowing situation.
  • The sacrifices that the men and women of the military make.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Once the violence breaks out following the abduction attempt, it's pretty much nonstop (shooting at others, etc.) from that point on.
  • Some people push or hit others with sticks to get to some food. A local man then shoots and kills various people with his machine gun.
  • Men open fire on a vehicle, blowing out the engine, and do so to abduct one man.
  • Some people are shot by machine gun fire.
  • A gun battle breaks out between the locals and the American military forces, while a local shoots a missile at a chopper that moves out of the way just in time.
  • A man falls a great distance from a helicopter and lands quite hard on the ground below, severely injuring him.
  • More gunfire takes place between the opposing sides.
  • A missile is fired and explodes.
  • Many men are shot on top of a building and wounded/killed.
  • A person is hit by something and blown apart.
  • A missile hits the back rotor of a chopper, sending it out of control. It then crashes, resulting in some property damage, injuries, and deaths to those onboard.
  • More locals open fire on the military men who return fire, and many people are shot and wounded/killed.
  • Locals open fire on the survivor of a downed helicopter.
  • A man's finger is blown off his hand (with bloody results).
  • A young local boy accidentally shoots and kills what may be his father.
  • Things blow up when hit by the output of a grenade launcher or something similar.
  • A person finds a severed hand, while we see another man who's still alive, but the bottom half of him is gone (with very bloody/gory looking wounds to his body).
  • Many more gun battles take place, with people being shot and wounded or killed.
  • More people are shot and wounded/killed.
  • Enemy fire hits another chopper, causing it to crash as well.
  • More people are shot and killed.
  • Shrapnel hits a person and a lot of blood squirts out.
  • A rocket goes through a person's body.
  • Many more people are shot in more scenes.
  • Downed chopper pilots/passengers repeatedly shoot more locals who keep approaching and firing upon them. One of them is then shot in the head. The one lone soldier then shoots as many locals as he can before being shot several times and killed (with more bloody results).
  • Locals beat up a captured American, hitting him on the head with their guns and dragging him out of his hiding place, but are stopped by an authority figure before they kill him (so that they'll have a prisoner).
  • More people are shot (and wounded or killed) in another gun battle.
  • The locals fire artillery on the American soldiers, who eventually capture and turn the weapon on them, killing many of them.
  • Soldiers slit some of the enemy's throats.
  • More locals are shot and killed on rooftops.
  • The remains of a helicopter are purposefully blown up.
  • Various locals fire upon American men who are on foot and trying to leave the city.
  • A man carries a dead child who's bloody.
  • In the end, we hear that more than one thousand Somalis and a bit less than 20 Americans were killed in the conflict.



  • Reviewed December 18, 2001 / Posted January 18, 2002

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