10 War Movies Like Black Hawk Down
Table of Contents
Black Hawk Down is a pretty excellent war movie and if you need your next fix, we have it.
You Are Reading :10 War Movies Like Black Hawk Down
In 2001, Ridley Scott continued his illustrious career with one of the best war movies ever made, Black Hawk Down. The Oscar-nominated film told the story of the 1993 raid in Mogadishu, also known as the Battle of Mogadishu. The film was mostly commended for its technical accomplishments, recreating the effects of war authentically and urgently.
Black Hawk Down was also commended for its massive cast, which starred Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, and Ewan McGregor, but also featured future stars like Ty Burrell, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Tom Hardy. With this ensemble and technical achievement in mind, the ten war movies listed below are most similar to Black Hawk Down.
10 12 Strong
12 Strong is similar to Black Hawk Down in the sense that the war sequences are treated like action movies. Whether that’s the right direction to take for a war movie is debatable, but there’s no denying the Ridley Scott influence on this 2018 Nicolai Fuglsig film.
12 Strong also features an ensemble cast of character actors, including Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, and Michael Peña. The bench in 12 Strong isn’t quite as deep, in terms of performers, but it’s still comprised of an admirable bunch.
9 13 Hours
Speaking of war movies that start with a number in the title, 13 Hours is the Michael Bay take on a Black Hawk Down type film. It wasn’t Bay’s first foray into the war genre, but it was certainly a bombastic film aligned with the Bay sensibility.
It also centers around a core group of soldiers who engage on a mission. Like 12 Strong, the film’s message is muddled. But John Krasinski’s lead turn is certainly in the lineage of someone like McGregor.
8 The Thin Red Line
The Thin Red Line is a welcome departure from the noisy, effects-heavy war films listed so far. Granted, it still has plenty of epic war moments, but it takes plenty of time to be pensive and contemplative about acts of valor.
It also features what is quite possibly the greatest war cast ever assembled. The pedigree of Terrence Malick enticed Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, George Clooney, Woody Harrelson, Nick Nolte, John Travolta, and John C. Reilly into the mix. Does a cast in a war film get better than that?
7 The Hurt Locker
The Hurt Locker was Kathryn Bigelow’s war film that won Best Picture following its release. As such, it is a thought-provoking take on a war film that goes a little deeper than Black Hawk Down dared to go.
It also features a number of tense moments that are right on par with the breath-catching moments of Black Hawk Down. The team depicted on screen has a lot in common with the team of the Ridley Scott film: highly competent and highly anxious.
Dunkirk’s major connections to Black Hawk Down come in the technical wizardry on display throughout. Impressive editing, immersive sound. They’re all a part of the visceral war experience in cinemas.
Granted, Christopher Nolan always had a movie like this in him, but there’s no doubt that Black Hawk Down was an influence. It helped pushed the war genre the necessary degrees in the direction for Nolan to jump off of.
5 Pearl Harbor
Returning to Michael Bay, his epic war film, Pearl Harbor, came out in the same year as Black Hawk Down. Both were based on true stories, but Pearl Harbor was definitely the more hotly-anticipated of the two in 2001.
However, Pearl Harbor did not receive much critical fervor. It still has a passionate following, though, and it makes for a great compendium to Black Hawk Down. Not to mention, both films star Josh Hartnett!
4 Zero Dark Thirty
Kathryn Bigelow is back on the list, as well, with her other Oscar-nominated true story war film. While the morality behind Zero Dark Thirty is a little more dubious, there’s no denying the similarities between it, The Hurt Locker, and Black Hawk Down.
Still, it features an impressive ensemble that is well within the template from Ridley Scott’s 2001 film. Chris Pratt, Mark Duplass, Stephen Dillane, and James Gandolfini make up the sprawling group of actors headed by Jessica Chastain.
3 Saving Private Ryan
Often considered the greatest war film ever made, Saving Private Ryan probably belongs on any list about must-see war movies. Like Black Hawk Down, it has incredible effects and a must-see cast.
But Saving Private Ryan is different. It has immaculate heart and it dives into impressive character development, as well as gut-wrenching themes about legacy and sacrifice. It’s like Black Hawk Down to the nth degree.
2 Lone Survivor
Eric Bana is a part of Lone Survivor, just as he was in Black Hawk Down. But that’s not the only similarity between the two. It’s also the story of a mission that doesn’t go exactly as planned and requires a great deal of cooperation to endure the consequences of that.
Granted, the story is more oriented around Mark Wahlberg’s performance than an ensemble piece. But the heart of Peter Berg’s film is still found in the dynamics of others.
When looking for a war film that is similar to Black Hawk Down, Fury is absolutely the top contender. David Ayer’s 2014 film is more contained than Black Hawk Down, but it focuses on what a group of strangers who become the most important people of the day can achieve together.
Starring Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, and Jon Bernthal, Fury is one of the more underrated war films in recent memory. It carries the torch of war films that deserve a bigger audience from Black Hawk Down.