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Buried

A 2010 movie directed by Rodrigo Cortes.

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A tight little thriller with some serious flaws.

  • Oct 31, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+1
Paul Conroy, a private contractor, working as a truck driver in Iraq, wakes up after an ambush to discover he is inside a wooden coffin buried beneath the desert sand. He has nothing but a lighter, a flask with whiskey, some pills and a cell phone provided to him by his captors. He begins to make desperate calls for help as time drags on and his situation becomes more and more dire.

This is the premise (and a large portion of the plot) of BURIED, an independent film from Spain, starring Ryan Reynolds in what is essentially a one-man show. It's a tense little thriller that is nearly spoiled by some serious flaws. Reynolds gives a fairly convincing performance as a fairly ordinary guy who begins his ordeal in a panic and only gradually finds his way to calm. At least, he's calm for awhile.

The movie is mostly the various conversations he has with the outside world. Grappling with lost signals (and a dying battery), answering machines and a disbelieving bureaucracy. He can't reach his loved ones. He can't convince his captors that he doesn't have $5 million dollars to exchange for his freedom. There's really nothing he can do about his situation…he has no way to break free and must rely entirely on a world of people who aren't quite as motivated as he is.

Director Rodrigo Cortes does a good job of finding as many ways of filming the events of the films as he can. His camera swoops around inside the coffin, yet we always have the claustrophobic feeling. The film has a simple premise (sort of in the way that OPEN WATER was a simple, claustrophobic little film), but Cortes and company grab all they can out of it.

However, even though we can believe that Conroy would frequently panic and make some bad decisions…he makes too many bad choices. When he does reach people on the phone, he does an unbelievably bad job of convincing them that he really needs their help. I can believe him losing his cool once or twice…but he does it fairly consistently. And when he finally DOES reach someone who might be willing to help, he spends a lot of time sharing unneeded information. He knows his battery is running down, yet he often wastes his breath. It got to the point where I occasionally thought, "Well, if he dies, he has no one to blame but himself." (Notwithstanding that he didn't put himself in the coffin.)

Worst of all, though…the film manages to take some pretty nasty jabs at the mission in Iraq and make some attempts at moral relativism. One of the folks working to help Conroy, a hostage expert in Iraq, actually tries to explain away the terrorist acts as the work of people who will simply do anything to survive. "You'd do the same if you were in their situation, Paul," this awful man says. REALLY??? If a time comes when the only way I can think to feed my family is to kidnap folks and bury them alive…go ahead and shoot me. To dare suggest that Americans would be just as bad as these terrorist extremists is a mighty big (and offensive) argument for a little thriller to make. For unsubtle, unearned and unsubstantiated political/social statements inserting themselves where they don't belong, BURIED takes the cake.

The day after seeing the film, what I remember most is not the tension and excitement and fear…but the bad taste in my mouth from the group of Spanish filmmakers and producers who took pot shots at America.

I mention all this, because the film is generally very effective (though not as tense as some other reviews I've read have implied). If you don't mind the politics I mention, by all means enjoy the film. If you find the premise intriguing enough that you think you need to overlook the politics…then you'll have a good time. I just wish someone had warned me.

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More Buried reviews
review by . January 21, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
3 ½ Stars: Trapped In BLACKEST NIGHT....!
…Nope, this is not a review on the upcoming Ryan Reynolds “Green Lantern” flick but a review on “Buried”. Sorry!!      There are three things that always serve me a nice spice of terror. Reality (as in it can happen), hopelessness and above all helplessness. I think helplessness is a more powerful element in human horror, since being helpless means that you can do nothing to help your cause; you can only depend on those around you to get you out …
review by . March 11, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     The last time I saw a movie opening as cool as the one in "Buried" was when I looked upon the super-awesome opening to "Vacancy", which sadly lead to an ultimately mediocre film. I kind of expected that to happen with "Buried"; and then again I kind of didn't. I wasn't exactly thrilled about being locked in a coffin with Ryan Reynolds for a little over an hour and a half, but the film is much more than the premise suggests. The genius behind "Buried" is that …
review by . September 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
95 minutes in a box
BURIED   Written by Chris Sparling   Directed by Rodrigo Cortes   Starring Ryan Reynolds      Jabir: You are terrified so I am terrorist?      I suspect claustrophobia likely affects more people than actually realize it.  Feeling trapped without any real means of escape, either physically or metaphorically, is certainly something we can all agree is unpleasant at the least.  In extreme cases, your breath gets short and …
review by . April 12, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
 Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is an American truck driver that is working as a contractor in Irag in 2006, and one day he wakes up to nothing but pitch darkness. He feels around trying to figure out where he is, and with a lighter lights up to what he finds is a wooden coffin. As anyone would Paul begins to panic, and has starts screaming and banging on the sides of the coffin. Then he hears this buzzing noise and the coffin lights up, and Paul realizes it is a phone that someone has planted …
review by . December 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
      If you're trying to get away from a deadly trap chances to fail are incredibly high. If you're trying to breathe the same air that you "burn" you're seriously out of time. And if you're trying to make a phone call to your loved ones be sure that you'll hardly get them home. These are some so-called "getaway theories" that I noticed from watching this movie. None of them I consider to be fresh news though. But was that a problem for …
Quick Tip by . October 16, 2010
Anyone looking for a little more insight into how BURIED was made should check out my interview with Ryan Reynolds and director, Rodrigo Cortes .. http://blacksheepreviews.blogspot.com/2010/1...iews-ryan-reynolds.html
About the reviewer

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I've got my own site, www.afilmcritic.com, on which I'm posting my reviews. I am 46 years old, married 25 years, two kids (23 & 18) and currently work in accounting/finance. I spent 15 years … more
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Wiki


Buried is an upcoming Spanish-Australia-American indie thriller-horror film directed by Rodrigo Cortés. It stars Ryan Reynolds, Anne Lockhart and Ivana Miño.

Paul Conroy, a truck driver, awakens buried alive six feet underground with nothing but a lighter, a knife and a cell phone. Although he has no idea as to how he got there, he soon starts to remember what has happened to him.

  • Buried is a 2010 thriller film directed by RodrigoCortés. It stars Ryan Reynolds, Anne Lockhart and Ivana Miño.
    The film revolves around Iraq-based American truck driver Paul Conroy (Reynolds), who, after being attacked by a group of Iraqis, finds himself buried alivein a wooden coffin, with only a lighter and a mobile phone to help him escape before the oxygen in the coffin runs out. Since its premiere at the Sundance FilmFestival, the film has generated considerable acclaim.
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    Tags

    Movies, Action Movies, Suspense, Mystery, Thriller, Ryan Reynolds, Rodrigo Cortes, Robert Paterson, Ivana Mino, Jose Luis Garcia Perez

    Details

    Director: Rodrigo Cortés
    Genre: Mystery
    Release Date: 8 October 2010 (USA)
    MPAA Rating: R
    Screen Writer: Chris Sparling
    Runtime: 1hr 34min
    Studio: Versus Entertainment
    First to Review

    "95 minutes in a box"
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