Black Hawk Down
Time Out saysMogadishu, Somalia, 1993. US Rangers and Delta Force troops descend on a stronghold to snatch lieutenants in Gen Aidid's Habr Gidr clan. The mission involves some 140 men, but when a Black Hawk helicopter is shot down chaos ensues. Surrounded by angry hordes, the troops are trapped in a nightmarish 15-hour firefight in which nearly a thousand Somalis are killed. Scott's film is drawn in harrowingly accurate detail (surprising for an all-star Bruckheimer production) from Mark Bowden's authoritative minute-by-minute account of the Battle of the Black Sea. There's zero backstory, and the last two hours reconstruct the battle as experienced by everyone involved. On a technical level this is accomplished, credible, and (almost) devoid of sentimentality. If you want to know what combat feels like, this is hardcore. Scott honours the troops and doesn't shy from the confusion and cock-up of this misadventure. He also does a reasonable job sketching the complicated and contradictory political context, but attempts to bring in the odd Somali perspective are grossly inadequate.