The Hurt Locker (2008)

Drama, Thriller, War
Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce
During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.
A well-acted, intensely shot, action filled war epic, Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker is thus far the best of the recent dramatizations of the Iraq War.
  • Summit Entertainment Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 10 Oct 2008 Released:
  • 12 Jan 2010 DVD Release:
  • $15.7M Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

TIFF 2008: The Hurt Locker - World class war-action cinema10/10
Simply put, action ace Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" is a near masterpiece of suspense and unrelenting intensity.

Her first film since 2002's "K-19: The Widowmaker," The Hurt Locker is definitely a return to form from the director of probably the greatest (in this man's humble opinion) surfer-action movie of all time "Point Break." The film follows Bravo company, a team of bomb technicians situated right in the heart of the Iraq war's modern IED warfare. Jeremy Renner, mostly known for impressive performances in "S.W.A.T" and "The Assassination of Jesse James," gives his most riveting performance yet as the lead, Staff Sergeant William James, a reckless but brilliant soldier who has taken down almost 850 bombs.

What separates this film from the bulk of mainstream cinema that has tackled the Iraqi situation is that it doesn't simply exist as a political polemic, or even a reminder of the humanitarian horrors that plague the Iraqi people.

Instead, Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal give us a story that transcends politics and can be seen as almost a straight up kick-ass action pic. The film is plotted by increasingly dangerous and fully realized defusion sequences, all of which were shot from beginning to end in single takes with DOP Barry Ackroyd's cameras continuously roving around set in order to create a tense realism that translates well to the screen.

Very elaborate attention to detail and mise-en-scene is in every frame of the pic, with Bigelow choosing to shoot in Jordan and locations being less than 10 KM away from the Iraqi border. And from a searing heat wave ranging up to 49C to actual Iraqi refugees used as extras to impeccable sound design and special guest cameos by Guy Pearce, David Morse and Ralph Fiennes, Bigelow has succeeded in creating an entirely memorable and visceral experience that will surely leave its mark in the pantheon of the very best war spectacles put to film.
A Perfectly Shattering Film Going Experience10/10
Kathryn Bigelow concocts a masterpiece of a film without tricks or gimmicks, at least none to be detected and that in itself is a triumph. Realistic yet poetic like the works of the great masters. It enters and fits a genre and at the same time is unique, unexpected. It shutters, moves and alters every sense, like a powerful drug. I saw it last night and I'm going to see it again tonight. Last night Jeremy Remmer came to speak to the audience in a face to face moderated by Sam Rockwell, great idea but it change my perception of Remmer in the film, of his character. Although he praised Kathryn Bigelow, he said things like "I don't tell her how to direct and she doesn't tell me how to act" Watching the film I felt that childish arrogance belonged to the character by his personal appearance showed it belonged to the actor. In any case, it works on the screen. A character you warm up to almost immediately in spite of his contradictions. Remmer will remind you at times of Robert Redford and others of Michael J Pollard. He is truly terrific so try to avoid his personal appearances not to contaminate that impression. The rest of the cast works wonders and the brief cameos by Guy Pearce and Ralph Finnes are the most organic and unobtrusive cameos I've ever seen in my life. All in all extraordinary. I predict, even if we're only in June, that Kathryn Bigelow risks to be the first female director to win the Academy Award. She certainly got my vote.
The Brilliant Explosion Of Kathryn Bigelow10/10
I spent the entire film grabbing the arms of my seat. I was there in Irak, steps away from my death and the death of those around me. The tension, the suspense is at times breathtaking, literally. "The Hurt Locker" is a miracle and the definitive consecration of a great filmmaker, Kathryn Bigelow. This is also a rare occasion in which I went to see the film without having read a single review or knowing anything about it. One should try to do that more often because the impact of the surprise translates into pure pleasure and in this case, sometimes, you have to look away from the unmitigated horror. Jeremy Renner is a real find. He is superb. A kind soul, wild man with enough arrogance to make him appear reckless and yet his humanity precedes him. People may commit the mistake of avoiding this gem thinking that it's just a war film. Don't. It isn't. It's a great, engrossing film about human emotions, not to be missed.
Kathryn Bigelow's Masterpiece9/10
I am truly sadden that this film got bashed so much. I hear reviews saying this film "sucks" or it has too many inaccuracies. Movies like Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List have also "some" inaccuracies in them. (They are Masterpieces) It is pretty sad this film has been getting this bashed. It doesn't deserve to be.

The Hurt Locker is full of suspense and is directed beautifully by Kathryn Bigelow. I'd have to say this is movie truly captures the Iraq War. What a dangerous war it was for our soldiers. This movie shows us what our soldiers went through. This isn't bashing the American soldiers at all or even War. It gives us a great deal of appreciation for our troops who are risking their lives every single day for Us, Freedom and the U.S.A.

The true purpose of this movie is to not just praise the soldiers. But for one of the military's unrecognized heroes which are the technicians of the bombs squads who risk their lives to save others. This is the purpose of the movie to let everyone know what these people do.

This time and I know all of you out there, don't want to hear it, the critics are actually right. This movie is fantastically directed by Kathryn Bigelow and she rightfully deserved her Oscar for best director.

I know many Avatar fans out there probably rated this movie a 1, without even seeing it because it won Best Picture and Avatar didn't. This movie seems its suffering from the curse of Best Picture. More people have watched Avatar than the Hurt Locker. So of course this film has gotten bashed by so many. I think SOME of the bad reviews are the Avatar Fanboys who are just angry Avatar didn't win Best Picture.

Please don't just go along with the bad reviews this film has gotten from IMDb. Just try and watch this film.

The Hurt Locker is a war epic, that I hope it becomes appreciative as time passes. 9/10 Highly recommended.
The work of a master filmmaker10/10
The Hurt Locker is a serious character study and a taut, suspenseful action thriller at once.

The subject matter itself - the work of a bomb expert, possibly one of the most nerve-racking jobs on the planet - yields most of the suspense but Bigelow manages to squeeze out every bit of tension of the premise.

This film to me was very apolitical - though set in Iraq, it is distinguished from most of the Iraq-themed war films in that it concentrates much more on the job itself than the political environment. Iraq seemed more like a backdrop - any other war would do, The Hurt Locker does not preach about this one specifically.

The story is deeply emotional, depicting a thoroughly disturbed individual's life in hell. Jeremy Renner gives an incredibly powerful performance as an EOD officer completely hooked on adrenaline stemming from his everyday close shaves with death.

All aspects of film-making are top-notch, from the brilliantly subversive screenplay through vivid cinematography, masterful directing and perfectly paced editing.

In its storytelling the filmmakers wisely break with traditional Hollywood narrative techniques. There is no clear antagonist, no rising action, no obvious character development and no climax. And yet the film manages to be more interesting, tense and suspenseful than any Hollywood action thriller I've seen in years while making a powerful, yet subtle statement about the insane addiction that is war. Kudos for everyone involved for making this film without compromising.

This is pure quality, cinematic storytelling at its best, a thinking man's actioner.