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The Hurt Locker More at IMDbPro »

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285 out of 465 people found the following review useful:


Author: reppageki from Iraq
28 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Some unrealistic movie spoilers included.

From real life experiences, this movie continued to disappoint from the very beginning. I'm currently deployed on my second tour to Iraq as an infantry man. This film has nothing near what would happen in real life occurrences. From the very start to name a few: the bomb cart, the EOD elements rolling out solo with no escorts, the EOD staff sergeant sneaking of VBC, having sleeves rolled the entire time in ACUs, to where i had to call it quits on my 2 dollar haji copy, the sniper scene. The list would continue, however, it is unnecessary to list things wrong happening with a time span of 2 minutes before more things were incorrect; and the point was made.

This movie is for people and critics to watch that have no understanding or experience with deployments or the military.

People with military background or knowledge of the military will be disappointed with the inaccuracy.

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407 out of 719 people found the following review useful:

Hurt Locker best picture- NOT!

Author: eric seligson from New York, United States
31 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like a latter day Ayn Rand, Bigelow is la major muy macho in her depiction in the film of a few tough American hombres stuck in Iraq defusing roadside bombs set by the ruthless, relentless, child-killing Arab terrorists. As Bigelow posits the Iraq war as the backdrop of the grand stage of human drama, one veteran bomb expert gets blown up and another shows up to replace him in the dusty, hot, ugly rubble that is Iraq, and a new hero is born.

The new guy is what John Hershey described in his book, and later the movie, The War Lover, as a sadistic wingnut who actually isn't fit for civilian life, and requires the stimulation of war to sublimate and suppress his errant sexual desires. The war lover can only fully function in war, peacetime suffocates him. While Hershey chastised the war lover, (played in the film by Steve McQueen in one of his greatest roles) Bigelow glorifies him. The army needs war lovers, they are the bulwark of defense against our enemies. We can't handle the truth, that it is war lovers who are the best soldiers, the toughest men. According to the unironic Bigelow, regular men are pussies, the war lover is a special breed, the last of the cowboys. So what if he wants to bare-back his men, or fondle an Iraqi boy? He is a throwback to the sex-and-death cult of war. In war, sex is a thankless, loveless, don't-ask, don't-tell kind of male bonding. Bigelow has no opinion on this; she just limits the options of masculinity in this ham-fisted attempt at realism. Only a war-lover can win the moral struggle between right and wrong, between American innocence and Arab perfidy. Bigelow disguises her racism and arrogance behind the ingenuous facade of journalism. She's just another gung-ho yahoo depicting a brutal war against civilians as a moral triumph of the spirit.

On the political front, Bigelow returns to the western genre and its relentless clichés again and again, ad nauseam: the wonderful world of the open frontier, which happens to be some one else's country. ("You can shoot people here" says a soldier ); the tough but human black guy companion, the soldier with a premonition of death, the gruff, possibly crazy commanding officer, the college-educated fool who tries to befriend the enemy. You name it, Bigelow resurrects it.

The man-boy love is palpable in scenes with the cute Arab boy who befriends the war lover, but Bigelow plays it straight; she doesn't consummate the sex, just sanitizes it. What Bigelow really wants to show us is the ugly, sneering face of the Arab enemy. Any Iraqi who isn't pure evil is either demented, hostile or up to no good, anyway. They all deserve to die for their impudence, and many of them do in this glib gore-fest film. The Iraqi women are all hysterical, they only make their presence known by screaming. They could be male stunt men in drag for all I know, you never see their faces. There is no female presence at all on base or in battle, although female casualty rates in Iraq would certainly disprove this.

Bigelow goes through all the motions one by one. She glorifies war, she canonizes the sadist nut-case hero. The cowboys, surrounded by the subhuman Indians, prove their mettle by doing God's work and subduing the wretched terrorist-infested hellhole with sheer bravado and suicidal mania. Toward the end, I felt like rooting for the Indians. In Bigelow's world, though, no mercy or understanding ever makes it through. The Iraqis are dehumanized par excellence. The slaughter of civilians is just the dramatic backdrop to our hero's psycho sexual struggle. Every U.S, bullet finds its mark. You have to love the guy, the war lover. It's just his way, he is the true hero. He's just a guy trying to get things done the hard way, and so what if he lusts for boy tang on the side.

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213 out of 333 people found the following review useful:

hot garbage

Author: jhajala from United States
29 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just rented this today....heard lots of good reviews beforehand. WOW!! What a pile of steaming poo this movie is!! Does anyone know the address of the director so I can get my five dollars back???? Finally someone bumped "Stop-loss" from the 'Worst Iraq War Movie Ever' number one spot. To be fair, I don't think there are any good Iraq war movies anyway, but this was REALLY bad.

I won't get into any technical inaccuracies, there's a hundred reviews from other GWOT vets that detail them all. If the director bothered to consult even the lowliest E-nothing about technical accuracy however they could've made the movie somewhat realistic....maybe. I guess the writer should be given the "credit" for this waste of a film. He or she obviously hatched the plot for this movie from some vivid imagination not afflicted with the restraints of reality. Does anybody but me wonder what the point of this movie was? Was there a message? Seriously though.....WTF????

I'm pretty amazed at all the positive reviews really. This film is hard to watch as a vet because of all the glaring inaccuracies but even if one could overlook that, the plot sucks, characters are shallow (to say the least) and the acting is poor at best. It's ironic, I suppose, that this movie is supposed to be about Explosive Ordinance Disposal, because it's the biggest bomb I've seen this year.

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158 out of 230 people found the following review useful:

Boring, irritating and senseless

Author: banteros from United States
7 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There's a good reason why this film pulled in only $16M at the box office. "A full-tilt action picture", "Ferociously suspenseful." Yeah right. If the hype on the DVD cover were true, this film would have rocked the box office. This movie was irritating with it's inaccuracy and boring with it's lack of plot.

It started with the opening scene. It was very gritty, suspenseful and tense... until the guy with the cell phone showed up. "Put down the phone!" Really? I've never been military but even I knew at this point that man would have been instantly shot, as proved by the reviews I've read on here by military types.

And this continued throughout the movie. Time after time this three man bomb squad behaving as if they were the Justice League of America (except for the one time when the nut case on the crew went into Baghdad by himself. At night. For no particular reason, as it turned out.) By the time we got through the sniper scene I was seriously annoyed and just wanted the movie to end so I started fast forwarding in tiny increments.

What a complete waste of time. Why is the Hollywood hype machine pushing this so madly? Is it a longing to make sure James Cameron doesn't win again?

I'm glad I didn't pay to watch this.

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150 out of 216 people found the following review useful:

This is BAFTA's best picture for 2010?

Author: adanathel from Netherlands
25 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am so surprised that this movie is getting awards for absolutely nothing....

This so called realistic and objective movie seems like a propaganda filled stupidity that insults both peace advocates and solders...The Iraqis are portrayed as crazy bombers and the solders are portrayed as independent thrill seekers.

When discussing realism I must say that I'm not in favor of the war down there, I haven't been in the military and have no idea how things are done but...I 'm pretty sure it is not like this. Except for the first scene of the movie the rest seems ridiculous and fake.The squads seem that they don't follow a single rule and do not have a single superior to keep them under control or give them hell because of their stupid heroics.And I may not be a military man but I am an engineer and i know that cars cannot catch on fire by a single bullet and that a butcher doesn't have to get out of his shop and wave his cell phone( so that the men he is trying to kill see him) to detonate a bomb. And if someone thinks "Well its not realistic because its poetic" I tell him: There is a difference between poetic and stupid. The scene when Clive Owen gets out of the building and no-one shoots because of the baby in "Children of Men" is unrealistic because its meant to be poetic.Certainly you don't see something like that in this movie.

From a Cinematic point of view the script is just a series of missions without any reason,The characters do not progress at all and the story is full of clichés. The unexperienced military doctor that does crowd control like an English butler and then dies horribly, the scared solder, the thrill seeker with an underground sense of sensitivity and the list goes on....

As a conclusion...WHY OH WHY DO PEOPLE ACTUALLY LIKE THIS MOVIE...Even if I was a solder i would probably be insulted by this....

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160 out of 246 people found the following review useful:

A Movie to See -- Not to Enjoy

Author: ( from Washington, D.C.
26 July 2010

Except for the first few minutes of "Saving Private Ryan," no film I've ever seen comes closer than "The Hurt Locker" to portraying the randomness, senselessness, brutality and -- yes -- the excitement of battle. With the exception of Ralph Fiennes who makes a brief appearance early in the movie, there are no stars and few recognizable actors in this story about a small group of men whose mission is to defuse improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq. Frequently under surveillance, though not always certain whether it is by curious bystanders or enemies in civilian clothing, these men are at risk every moment they are in the field.

The principal character, Sgt. First Class William James (Jeremy Renner) is one of those who seem to get an adrenaline rush in the face of danger. His colleagues, Sgt. JT Sanborn (Anthony Mackle) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geaghty), see no glamor in their task. Sanborn is a workman-like soldier, trying to do his duty in as safe a manner as possible. Eldridge is in a near-constant state of panic, eager to be somewhere else, any place else. They are not presented as stereotypes, however, nor is anyone else in this absorbing movie. Everyone in the field knows he may die at any moment, and how they manage to hold up in the searing heat of Iraq in a war they aren't asked to understand may be the main point of this film, if indeed it has any point other than War is Hell and the Iraqi War is a particularly terrible slice of Hell.

Kathryn Bigelow deserves every award she won for "The Hurt Locker." It is completely unsentimentalized. There is no moral drawn, except what the viewer concludes based on the judgments he or she brought to the movie and the impact of the story on those judgments. Of its type, it is far and away the best war movie I've ever seen.

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187 out of 303 people found the following review useful:

The only thing more stupid than this film is the artificially high IMDb rating

Author: DJ Graham from Arsenal, London
29 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love a good war film and I fall into the "been there, done that" category. So I would like to think my review is an accurate one (IMHO). Having just watched this film on DVD I can safely say that it was a pile of rubbish. There is no way I can recommend this film to you.

It started off with me shouting at the TV saying "you wouldn't do that" etc...but I soon realised that having a bit of job experience would be a hindrance so I chilled a bit. But on the opening scene when the trailer wheel fell off I got a nasty feeling that this film would be a predictable dud...I was right.

There simply wasn't any logic to the EOD scenes. I just know that the army team had some of the most patient insurgents ever at the other end of the command wire or remote trigger. So much so I was left scratching my head all the time. Then just when you think you know where the story is going the guys in the Humvee are off out on their own driving around the desert. One of the most valuable assets in theatre out on a jolly bumping into some SAS wannabe contractors.

The sniper scene was just so laughable. It just made no sense at all and made me want to switch off there and then. Then for them to drag it out so long really did test my patience.It started with the "Contact Right" and went down hill fast. If you had a Brit accent then you got shot but if you were part of the EOD team then suddenly you were a great shot and saved the day. Then just as you thought it was over it stretched on for an inexplicably long period without adding anything to the story at all. You are just left watching and asking why hasn't it ended yet?

Then we had the booze scene where they just hit each other for a laugh..another scene where you just wanted it to end. It added nothing to the film.

Then just as my life seemed very dull the main star went outside the wire to hunt someone down. This most be the most ridiculous scene I have ever watched. It defied all logic and ability to write a good was senseless and awful. I still don't understand why they wasted time on it. Then to watch him just jog through the busy streets heading back to camp had me rolling on the floor with laughter. Pure comedy :)

The sad fact is that this storyline is all over the show without really deciding what it wants to be. I thought it was going to be stupid illogical EOD scenes but then it kept going off on tangents trying to be something different. But as hard as it tried it just bored me to death. All I wanted was for it to end. It was a messy compilation of stupid scenes mixed into a batch of stupid, senseless, action(ish) scenes.

There is no way I can recommend this. Maybe my work experience compromised the enjoyability but even the naive must realise this just doesn't make sense. The only thing more stupid than this film is the artificially high IMDb rating...which must be the 24/7 work of the box office PR team who seem to use this website as a way of making everyone think it is good. Sorry just ain't!

Not will just bore you.

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126 out of 188 people found the following review useful:

A mind-blowing war drama, a must-see!

Author: transporter1492 from Slovenia
12 July 2009

For some of my friends this was just a solid action movie, nothing else. I watched it yesterday and for me it was much more than just action, this movie was a deeply affecting series of shots that make truly feel the war in Iraq and make you see the sacrifice that's going on out there.

There are a few things that everyone must notice while watching the movie. There is some superb acting present throughout the whole movie, especially by Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie and I wouldn't be surprised to see one or more Oscar nominations for acting. There are also some pretty extreme editing achievements, that even I, an amateur movie-lover, could see. Cinematography and some other technical achievements are stunning as well. As far as technical part of the film goes, this movie is more than successful, it is to be expected that there will be some technical Oscar nominations as well. Writing is simple but that's the way it is and all my congratulations go to Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow for creating such a powerful war-drama that sticks with you even long after watching this film.

I honestly hope that the Academy members won't forget abut this phenomenal movie achievement. I recommend everyone to watch this "tool" that allows us to see what the word WAR really means.

Best regards from Slovenia

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149 out of 236 people found the following review useful:

This is a b-grade movie

Author: rajan_shiju from India
3 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There is no artistic value in this movie to deserve any award. Well, it does not deserve an audience as well. Ironically, one of the awards is for cinematography but frankly, the camera movements are disconcerting to say the least. Every frame, you feel you are getting the "full picture", its like someone is "cropping your view" from the edges. The story is pathetic. Well, I will be honest, I could not bear to watch the entire movie. The part that sucked the most was when I saw the soldiers partying in their barracks and one of the soldiers coaxed to drink liquor. These and many other similar scenes reminded me so much of Steven Seagal.

Take my advice, stay away from this piece of crap.

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194 out of 341 people found the following review useful:

Yeah right

Author: adrongardner from USA
11 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a tough one. How do I review this movie? Is it an action flick? Is it a war flick? Or is the Hurt Locker a social comment on the Iraq experience?

While some will claim the movie is all three of those things, I personally don't know the answer and after watching the Hurt Locker I'm quite sure neither does director Kathryn Bigelow.

The Hurt Locker is a movie full of all the right intentions, a lot of competent actors, and many many camera setups. But there is not one powerful scene, not one notable performance and not a single memorable image for all its two hours of run time.

We follow a group of U.S. Soldiers, but it feels like they are the only group in all of Baghdad. Intentional or budgetary restraints? We roam the anarchic streets of Baghdad (which, credit to the filmmakers, actually feels like a real Arab country. And after seeing the movie, I learned they went all the way to Jordan. Bravo, as the setting actually feels authentic.) We disarm a lot of bombs and enter many uncertain doorways. While the movie aims to be exciting, I just couldn't "suspend disbelief" when the director is trying so hard to be realistic by shaking the camera so much. And why can't a troupe of former British SAS officers handle a handful of insurgents in an empty cinder block shed. I call shenanigans.

OK I understand the idea of dramatic license, but there is no way a former SAS sharpshooter is going to miss a shot, die from a window sniper half a mile away and an American G.I. will save the day taking over on the guy's Barrett .50 cal.. I'm not putting anybody down here, but I would bet most people with some sort of know will be with me in saying "Yeah Right." This scene is a poster child for the movie at large - like most of the movie, makes little sense and very little is rooted in any sort of reality. But the camera shakes so its oh so real! Quite frankly I laughed my butt off in the sequence.

Dude, she made Point Break...POINT BREAK! How could you expect any different? If you haven't figured it out by this point, Kathryn Bigelow isn't going into the books as one of the greats. From what I read, the crew shot endless setups to get a "documentary feel." Well as a documentary photographer I can tell you, to document something, you only really need one camera. The rest depends on vision. Something Kathryn Bigelow doesn't have.

The script is laughable, the characters forgettable, and the direction completely platitudinous, the only Hurt Locker is the seat you're stuck in until this turkey plays itself out.

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