Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. 89
    Absolutely harrowing, shocking in its sudden revelatory immediacy, and very, very well done, Black Hawk Down is one of the best depictions of the outright lunacy inherent to battle I have ever seen.
  2. 75
    Black Hawk Down, in the end, is a docudrama. But it's sensationally well done, and it opens up a battlefield that needed to be documented.
  3. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Character is almost wholly subordinated to a blast-furnace rendering of the hell into which they're dumped. Seldom will you see so many US military body parts strewn around a movie screen.
  4. 80
    Though passionate, doesn't pity or flatter the rank and file.
  5. 100
    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.
  6. It's one of the most ferociously convincing physical re-creations of warfare ever put on screen.
  7. Perhaps they truly believe war is an inescapable aspect of human life. If so, why make movies that rub our faces in its horror? If artists have no antidote to war's evil or insight into the suffering it brings, their motive in depicting it must be merely to sensationalize its terrors and make money from the morbid fascination it holds for audiences. We deserve better.
  8. 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.
  9. 60
    It’s a true endurance test, far too grim to be considered exciting, but not really informative enough to enlighten us about the effect of our presence in Somalia in 1993.
  10. 60
    In the end, neither the appealing cast -- nor the force of Scott's stunning imagery is enough to make us understand why these men died.
  11. 100
    His is a triumph of pure filmmaking, a pitiless, unrelenting, no-excuses war movie so thoroughly convincing it's frequently difficult to believe it is a staged re-creation.
  12. 88
    An overwhelmingly tactile experience. Scott brings you so close into the action, the grit and smoke and blood seem to spill off the screen and into your head.
  13. Doesn't just kick your ass. It pummels your entire body; it leaves you trembling.
  14. What we need to remember, what Black Hawk Down reminds us, is that there are no safe missions when you're chasing bad guys. Especially when you have to chase them down a hole.
  15. A beautifully filmed, scrupulously authentic but strangely evasive exercise in combat ultra-realism.
  16. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    As brilliantly shot as it is brutally single-minded, this is a war movie shorn of all its usual accouterments: the battle is the plot.
  17. Throw in the music -- a wall-to-wall whorl of Eastern modal dirges, thumping rock and Celtic-y skirl -- and you've got a veritable cinematic rhapsody of war.
  18. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Scott superbly re-creates the sense of individuals facing astounding odds, with barely a few minutes' respite over a 12-hour battle.
  19. 88
    One hell of a ride. For better or for worse, it will leave you stunned and reeling.
  20. 90
    A personal best for producer Jerry Bruckheimer, a triumph for Scott and a war film of prodigious power. You will be shaken.
  21. 60
    An endless battle scene in search of a movie. It's every bit as harrowing -- and also every bit as pointless and misguided -- as the botched military mission it depicts.
  22. It is an exceptional accomplishment.
  23. Rivets our interest for its entire lengthy running time. And it does this without any of the usual war movie clichés, false heroics, barracks-humor nonsense or grandstanding absurdities.
  24. 50
    Sitting through the accomplished but meaningless Black Hawk Down is like being trapped in an action film version of "Groundhog Day," condemned to sit through the same carnage over and over.
  25. 100
    I've rarely seen so selfless a collection of performances and, in a war movie, so general an absence of rhetoric or guff. [25 & 31 Dec 2001, p. 127]
  26. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    It takes its place on the very short list of the unforgettable movies about war and its ineradicable and immeasurable costs.
  27. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    No doubt captures some of the horror and the chaos of the actual situation, but it makes for a loud, often confusing, and always bloody two and a half hours.
  28. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Black Hawk turns nightmare into great cinema.
  29. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Goes down like stiff medicine, leaving one feeling exhausted relief when it's finally over.
  30. 40
    It's a Jerry Bruckheimer art film, perhaps the most extravagantly aestheticized combat movie ever made.
  31. Functions mainly as an action extravaganza, and a numbingly depersonalized one at that.
  32. The next worst thing to being there. That's how real it feels.
  33. You're drawn in, like it or not. You can't get away from the immediacy. Or the feeling that you're getting sucked in, too.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 239 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 102
  2. Negative: 11 out of 102
  1. jennyb
    Feb 26, 2009
    Black Hawk Down is a movie worth seeing. Non-stop packed action, and thrill. You really see what these soldiers go through. I would rate this movie in my own top 2! Very well done!! Full Review »
  2. Dec 26, 2011
    Ridley Scott's true-story-based "Black Hawk Down" is too broad for the picture. During a monotonous 2 hours, the so called 'realism' is seen in his never ending battlefield where the U.S gets all the respect and bad-ass deaths with last line memorable quotes spurring out from their tongues. BUT. I still give credit for his decision to portray a battle lost by the US. I think it's one of the first non-bias-tried movies. Full Review »
  3. Mar 22, 2012
    When i saw this movie i was absolutely impressed. A true Ridley Scott masterpiece, thrilling until the very end with excellent actors performance. In my eyes one of the best war movies I have seen which still did not loose its actuality Full Review »