Black Hawk Down
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this film is extremely violent. If parents do allow their teens to watch, they should be aware that the sad and often violent scenes are traumatic. While it does not include as much foul language as often found in contemporary war films, the violence is extremely graphic and non-stop. American soldiers are bloodily and graphically killed from the beginning until the end. This film is in no way recommended for kids under seventeen.
What's the story?
In the early 1990s a humanitarian crisis in the country of Somalia brought international attention to the region. On October 3, 1993 the United States military sent approximately 120 members of US Special Forces to capture the warlord General Aidid or any of his top lieutenants. This supposedly quick operation turned into a two-day frantic mission and withdrawal. BLACK HAWK DOWN depicts the costly rescue attempt by US Rangers and Delta Operators sent to retrieve men trapped when their black hawk helicopters were downed. Trapped in a Somali war-zone, the soldiers struggle to regroup, save their wounded, and avoid the sights of a frenzied and armed militia. Through hostile fire, already injured men re-enter the war-zone in a valiant attempt to "leave no man behind."
Is it any good?
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 (Halloween H20, Pearl Harbor), Ewan McGregor (Star Wars: Episodes I-III, Moulin Rouge), and Tom Sizemore (Heart and Souls, Saving Private Ryan) 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.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about issues regarding life, death, war, and honor. Why did the soldiers return to the ground to continue fighting? Do you think it was right to send soldiers there in the first place? How may this conflict relate to ones in the present? Parents may also want to discuss this film's historical accuracy by comparing it against a documentary that covers the same events.