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The Hurt Locker (2009)

A 2009 movie directed by Kathryn Bigelow.

< read all 13 reviews

A great film about a bomb disposal unit in Iraq.

  • Dec 7, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+5

The Hurt Locker represents a turning point for Hollywood: it not only marks the first time a woman has been awarded the Oscar for Best Picture, but also for Best Director, and anyone who has seen this film will surely agree it deserved them both. Bigelow's direction demonstrates a natural command over her subject, despite never having been to war. Her battle scenes deliver tense moments of suspense and terror in this story about a bomb disposal unit, Bravo Company, serving in the Iraq War during 2004.

Mark Boal's award winning script offers an authentic angle as it draws on his experiences as a journalist embedded with a bomb disposal unit in Iraq. Bigelow manages to bring out this authenticity and maintains a sense of realism and intensity throughout the action sequences. One of the ways this is done is by keeping the camera alongside the action at all times, so the viewer feels drawn in. At times the camera jiggles along beside the soldiers as they chase after insurgents, and the viewer feels as if they are holding a portable camera and running with them. At another moment, the team engages in a gun battle in the wilderness, and the camera focuses and refocuses on the distant targets, making you feel as if you are trying to sight through the scope of the gun yourself. This technique helps to build the suspense in the heat of the battle.

Jeremy Renner, who plays the unit's leader, Staff Sergeant William James, is seen by his men as a reckless thrill-seeker, obsessed with cheating death and getting his next adrenaline fix. His two subordinates, Sergeant Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) feel that he is putting their lives at risk, and the audience also begins to question James' sanity. However, before long, we come to realise that James does have a conscience, and that underneath his façade of bravado, there is a man trembling with humanity. We later come to realise that Sergeant James is driven by more than just his job; he has become addicted to war. All three men give excellent, unflinching, performances.

Unlike many of the epic war films that comes before it, 'The Hurt Locker' neither glorifies war, or focuses on the senselessness of war. In fact, the film has no political agenda and avoids making any explicit statements about whether the United States military's presence in the region is legitimate or justified. It simply focuses on the day to day dangers faced by the men who are posted there to do a job, disarming dangerous bombs. But what makes the film, ultimately, is how it approximates the soldiers' feeling of utter anxiety as they fight a war in a place so hostile and hateful of their presence, in which everything and everyone is a potential enemy, and when at any moment, even the ground before you can explode and annihilate you forever.

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More The Hurt Locker reviews
review by . January 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   We have seen several movies about urban warfare. One of my personal favorites is Ridley Scott’s “Black Hawk Down” that chronicles a harrowing incident in Somalia. With the war in Iraq still going on, filmmakers wouldn’t be hard-pressed to capitalize on today’s current events. Movies such as “Brothers” and “Home of the Brave” are some of the few. Director Kathryn Bigelow with screenwriter Mark Boal now chronicles the experiences of …
review by . April 06, 2010
"The Hurt Locker" currently stands as the most critically acclaimed film of 2009 and after seeing it just this week I'm inclined to agree this acclamation wholeheartedly. This really is a work of art from start to finish and has now been moved to the top of my list of movies to own and cherish forever. Since its release it has won numerous awards and has 9 Academy award nominations which they will undoubtedly win come the ceremony in March. The cast comprises of unknowns, but are ones …
review by . January 21, 2010
Brilliant! An Honest and Suspenseful Look Into the Thrill of War!
Generally speaking, watching war films isn't always a fun experience.  After wards they can leave feeling down and depressed and while The Hurt Locker is mostly a serious film, it is filled with subtle humor and will leave you at the edge of your seat the minute the film starts.  Being her first major directing job, Kathryn Bigelow did an outstanding job capturing all the nit and grit of the battlefield that is Iraq.  In such a male dominated field (not directing; being a soldier), …
review by . June 27, 2009
Hurt Locker
 I am still reeling from how good 'The Hurt Locker' is.  It's one of those movies that stays with you and makes you want to talk about it with others - which is why I'm up writing this review.  By far, this film is one of the most intense movies I've seen in a long time.   The writing is superb.  Mark Boal's script flies off the page with a brisk pace and treats the audience as intelligent people who do not need to be force fed.  Tension is the through line here. …
review by . April 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: One of the actors was attractive and a couple of explosions are cool      Cons: Grab a thesaurus and pick out 15 words for boring, all of them will apply      The Bottom Line: 30 shades of brown 30 shades of ennui without content.  Don't bother, waiting in line at the DMV is more exciting.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. The Hurt Locker is a tepid film. It is inconsistent, …
Quick Tip by . July 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Outstanding film. Not a single bad thing about it. One of the best war films in years.
review by . March 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Hurt Locker isn't a bad film in itself and the story of the main character is interesting, as is the menace of the bombs and the faceless duel that seems to ensue. I think that part of the film is clever.    The sets are fantastic and have a realistic gritty feel. Now I have not been to Iraq/Afghanistan myself but in my circle of friends there are two that have been there for tour of duty and keeping this in mind I don't think he story is far fetched as some here say. Things …
review by . March 09, 2010
"The Hurt Locker" has just won the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture and it truly earns it. Here is a war movie that takes no real position on war, and especially no position on the Iraq War, and simply shows the mental and physical brutality and beauty of conflict.    You know the story by now. It centers around a bomb disposal and disarmament team in Iraq who throw themselves into harm's way on a regular basis in order to make life safer for their fellow soldiers and civilians. …
review by . March 06, 2010
Hey don't fret, potential enlistee! Hard as it is to discount the evidence of your senses when bombarded with skillful and costly cinematography, the 'gritty realism' of this film is totally unrealistic, full-bore Hollywood. Yeah, there may be scenes of mayhem similar to the scenes in the film at times, but not with such convenient regularity, not even in Baghdad in 2004. And there were innumerable other implausible or outright false details; just look at the one-star reviews here and not how many …
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Supreme
About the reviewer
Francesca ()
   I'm half English, half Greek, grew up in UK, but live in Greece now. Married with 2 kids, 3 dogs and 3 cats, I run a yacht charter company and occasionally write English text books for … more
About this movie

Wiki

The Hurt Locker is a 2009 American war thriller directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Shot in Jordan, the film is based on recently declassified information about a U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) (bomb squad) team in present day Iraq. The Hurt Locker is written by Mark Boal, a freelance writer who was embedded with a bomb squad.

The Hurt Locker was picked up by distributor Summit Entertainment. The film was released in the U.S. on June 26, 2009 in New York and Los Angeles, going wider on July 24, 2009.

The Hurt Locker follows a U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit as it works to defuse a series of improvised explosive devices (IED) in the streets of Iraq.

When the team's long-time bomb technician is killed, he is quickly replaced with the intelligent but impulsive Sergeant First Class William James. Team members Sergeant JT Sanborn and Specialist Owen Eldridge are initially disturbed by William's reckless behavior, but they learn to work together as a unit. It soon becomes apparent that William actually craves the feeling of mortal danger that he experiences while defusing bombs.

As the unit deals with one explosive device after another, it confronts the unpredictable and extreme violence of a growing Iraqi insurgency. Team members struggle constantly to distinguish enemy insurgents from innocent Iraqis and to protect themselves while avoiding civilian casualties. As the group's tour of duty draws to a close, each member suffers visibly from ...
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Details

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Genre: War
Release Date: June 26, 2009 
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
Runtime: 131 minutes
Studio: Summit Entertainment
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