Black Hawk Down | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 143 minutes

Drama, War
Reviewers often talk about whether a war movie shows war as it is; I wouldn't know, and I'm not sure how some of my colleagues could either. I also don't know how well this 2001 drama—based on journalist Mark Bowden's book about a U.S. military action in Mogadishu, Somalia—represents the events of October 3 and 4, 1993, though I can see that it represents them in a realist vein, referring to other war movies without becoming frivolous. A mission goes so badly that the brave and overwhelmed soldiers have to rescue one another, but the movie, though passionate, doesn't pity or flatter the rank and file. Nor does it pass judgment on the brass—or ultimately even on offscreen "characters" Mohamed Farrah Aidid and President Clinton. Ridley Scott directed a screenplay by Ken Nolan; with Josh Hartnett and Sam Shepard.

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