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* HomegrownHero: It's about a Rhodesian and a Sierra Leonese surviving the Sierra Leone Civil War... with the obligatory bystander/love interest being an American journalist.
* NightmareFuel: ''Every'' scene, from the start of the RUF raid on Solomon's village up to the final conversation [[spoiler:between Danny and Maddy]].
** 'You risk my life like that again... and I'll peel your face back off your head.' Note that this is said while he's skinning a dead baboon.
** The RUF's method for turning kidnapped children into child soldiers; both horrifying and TruthInTelevision.
*** Every scene the RUF appear in. What's worse [[FridgeHorror as bad as they are in the film, the real-life RUF were even worse]].
* PovertyPorn: {{Discussed}}. Maddy, an American journalist, starts writing a report about the social ravaging caused by the wars in Sierra Leone, but grows frustrated because she feels it won't make real effect, comparing to advertisements of starving children. Guilted by her vexation, the listening Archer starts admitting his inside knowledge of the blood diamond trade, giving her report a stronger call to political action.
* SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: The stuff about diamond mines being run by slave labor because the diamond industry really doesn't care how many puppies are raped in the name of profits? Actually mostly true.
** Fun fact: Supposedly, De Beers diamond company, suspected (though unproven) of making a deal with Executive Outcomes during the conflict, had their sales drop after the film's plot was made public.
** It also emphasizes that even people who have engaged in evil have the potential to [[HeelFaceTurn consciously choose good and redeem themselves]]. This is shown in the film through a real-life home for former child soldiers which, through kind treatment, gives them a chance at a normal life.
* SpecialEffectsFailure: Creator/JenniferConnelly's character had a tear digitally added to her face when [[spoiler:Danny calls her cell phone as he's about to die]]. In a movie filled with plenty of real tears ([[TearJerker probably including some from the audience]]) the fact that this one is fake is ''really obvious''.
** There's also one during the firefight where the press convoy is attacked. The van Danny and co. escape in gets its rear window shattered out by bullets, [[BulletsDoNotWorkThatWay but the front window remains completely intact.]]
*** Jossed, possibly. At least three bullets go through the windshield, one of which kills the driver. As they drive away, the back of their car is faced diagonally toward the shooters in question. Thus, the windshield is the farthest and most obscure target, and so the bullets go through the side and rear windows without crossing the front of the car.

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