Josh Hartnett in Black Hawk Down

Gladiator and Black Hawk Down are jaw-dropping realizations of the cinematic potential of battles. Lots and lots of battles. Or just one long battle in the case of Black Hawk Down, Ridley Scott’s 2001 war film about America’s closest combat battle since Vietnam. Masterfully shot, the camera takes us from character to character, wandering the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia as U.S. military personnel attempt to capture a Somali warlord. A Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter goes down (spoiler!), which causes nothing but trouble as the fighting continues into night and soldiers are left on the ground with little air support.

On the flip side, the battles of Scott’s Gladiator, which took home five Oscars in 2001 including Best Picture, are fought a bit closer to the heart as Maximus (Russell Crowe) seeks revenge upon the Roman empire for its betrayal and murder of his family.  As much as Crowe has to offer in brute strength (wow!) and personal honor, it’s Joaquin Phoenix that steals the show as Commodus, thumb held out in front of him, grinning menacingly as he stares down the fearful yet titillated crowds of Roman citizens.

Both films are visual masterworks that demand to be seen on the big screen. Experience every explosion, swipe of the sword, burst of bullets, and grunt of effort in 35mm at the Walter Reade Theater this weekend as part of our complete retrospective of Scott’s films!

Gladiator screens Sunday, May 27 at 6:00pm and Friday, June 1 at 12:45pm. Black Hawk Down screens Monday, May 28 at 1:00pm and Saturday, June 2 at 6:15pm.  See them together, or any two films in our complete Ridley Scott retrospective, and save with our double feature package!

CONTEST: Suggest your own creative double feature of Scott films for a chance to win free tickets! There are two ways to enter:

1.   Tweet your double feature using the hashtag #DoubleScott along with a link to the series page.
2.   Post your double feature on Facebook with a link to the series page and email a link or screenshot to

Entries close Friday, May 25 at noon. Winners will be randomly chosen from all entries and contacted on Friday afternoon. Good luck!