Serious Ethical Decisions in "Black Hawk Down" Film Review by NMcRae

A review and analysis of the ethical decision using the 2001 film "Black Hawk Down."
# 145824 | 2,649 words | 1 source | APA | 2010 | AU
Published on Nov 29, 2010 in Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.) , Ethics (General) , Military (Military History)

$59.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper reviews and analyzes the 2001 film "Black Hawk Down," which was directed by Ridley Scott. By outlining, in chronological order, 10 ethical decisions made by U.S. military personnel in the movie, the paper argues that ethical decision making is both ambiguous and subjective. The paper delves into each of the 10 ethical decisions. For example, the paper discusses the scene of an American soldier manning a machine gun atop a Humvee. The soldier is being shot at, and he can either shoot back or not shoot back; he chooses the latter. Next, the paper asserts that these decisions can be validly argued to be both good and bad, depending on the individual's perspective and ethical beliefs. The paper concludes that it was proven that good ethical decision-making is not a concrete science, but perhaps more of an art form, full of gray areas.

From the Paper:

"This serious ethical decision can be argued to have been a good one. A Hedonist could argue that while the Somali would be quite unhappy with being shot, the two soldiers would be happy that they don't have to worry about the threat of that individual Somali. As this was the decision that meant the maximum happiness for the maximum amount of people, this decision was a good one according to the hedonist argument. Believers in preventative attacks could argue that the soldiers conducted a preventative attack on the suspicious Somali as he was holding a weapon and running on a battlefield, and hence the decision to fire was a good one. It could also be argues that the circumstances were extreme in that the soldiers were alone and surrounded by hostile Somalis. In this case, extreme tactics must be employed in order to stay alive. Hence, by this argument, the soldier made a good ethical decision."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Scott R. Black Hawk Down, 2001, motion picture, Revolution Studios, Santa Monica

Cite this Film Review:

APA Format

Serious Ethical Decisions in "Black Hawk Down" (2010, November 29) Retrieved July 23, 2017, from

MLA Format

"Serious Ethical Decisions in "Black Hawk Down"" 29 November 2010. Web. 23 July. 2017. <>