Parents' Guide to

Black Hawk Down

By Kelly Kessler, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Excellent but very violent depiction of a risky rescue.

Movie R 2002 144 minutes
Black Hawk Down Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 18 parent reviews

age 10+

War film thats educational and shows the need for good planing

age 15+

Amazing War Movie Has Violent Scenes

Black Hawk Down is an amazing true story. The writing, directing, and acting are all top notch. The other good news is that, for a war movie, the content in Black Hawk Down is pretty consistent. There are around 20 uses of the f-word, which is less than you’ll hear in half an hour at high school. The violence does include the following, but keep in mind that the context of this being a war movie is key for all of these instances: a man is disintegrated by a rocket, a man is blown in half showing visible intestines (very briefly), a soldier is shot in the head showing a bloody wound (also brief), a man is impaled by an rpg, a man has his thumb blown off in bloody fashion, a soldier has his femoral artery operated on in a scene that shows plenty of very gross arterial blood spray, a solider find a severed hand in the rubble of a crashed helicopter and keeps it in hopes of finding the man who lost it, a man has his arm blown off, a man is shot in the neck showing blood, and there are lots of casualties by use of firearms. There isn’t usually much blood when people are shot, though. Though the movie does have these scenes of at times disturbing violence, the message is undeniably that war is ugly, and that these soldiers are brave, selfless men that fought proudly for their country, even with the forces of evil stacked against them. It can’t be stated enough that once again, even though this film contains some foul language, and, at times bloody violence, the inspiring themes and important messages about selflessness, bravery, and honor trump anything else you might consider objectionable, though it is reasonable to wait until mid-teens to watch this movie. Because of these messages, I can not in good faith mark this movie for too much violence or language, and I highly recommend it to any man or women who is curious about just how far the human will can extend when the safety of their friends and family is at risk.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (18 ):
Kids say (47 ):

Directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, Thelma and Louise, Gladiator), BLACK HAWK DOWN is a fast-paced trip through blood and guts. Scott's desire for realism comes through in the film's connections to the real US Rangers. Many of the pilots used in the film participated in the actual 1993 conflict. The film does a fine job of creating viewer sympathy for its characters.

Although the action scenes truly serve as the leading lady, the film uses recognizable celebrities to create identification with their characters. Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, and Tom Sizemore provide known faces to a few men caught in the chaos. The film was rewarded for its dramatic battle scenes with Academy Awards for Best Sound and Best Editing.

Movie Details

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