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The Hurt Locker
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The Hurt Locker More at IMDbPro »

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51 out of 78 people found the following review useful:


Author: akis91 from Cyprus
21 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

By far one of the greatest ever war movies and one of the greatest movies of the decade. "The Hurt Locker" perfectly demonstrates the brutality of war but also highlights the sensitivity in soldiers, people who don't know each other coming closer in order to survive in the unbearable circumstances of war. This film makes people who have never experienced war to realize that is not just shooting whoever you find in front of you, it makes us see the importance of each soldier individually and to respect their contribution and their sacrifices in order to fight for their country, I am not americanized I talk for both sides and for any side that is at war, all those soldiers are humans and have families but due to their patriotism and because others sent them there they have to kill in order to survive. I am young and have never experienced war however this movie made me feel part of it, I sympathized with every single person in there, "The Hurt Locker" is much more than a movie, it's reality, good family men suffer, either us soldiers or us innocent victims, women die, children die and it is not just killing people of the other side, we see Becham, a young child that does nothing bad, he sells dvds and wants to kick a ball however he is used by his own people us a human bomb. This movie is not to be seen us just another long film but as a lesson of life. The acting is great as the actors in many cases spoil there image just to give a message. This movie will make you cry and definitely is worth every Oscar it is nominated for. A must see!

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51 out of 78 people found the following review useful:

A Rare Occurrence of Thought Provoking Action

Author: alexkolokotronis from Queens, New York
17 July 2009

Over the past three years, give or take, there have been an assortment of films that have attempted to articulate and illustrate the many complexities of the Middle East. Paticuluarly in the aspect of Western involvement in this tense region. The Hurt Locker is that: tense and at times nerve racking.

The generation of such sensations and feelings of anxiousness and distress should be much accredited to Kathryn Bigelow, the director. Yet the reason for her success which of course is her direction, is quite unorthodox. The most tense and debilitating moments are done so in slow pacing and seemingly tranquil moments rather then rushing into rapid action and quick camera-shots. The screenwriter of the film, Mark Boal continues to rise with The Hurt Locker as only his second screenplay, the other being In the Valley of Elah. The two combined together create not just greatly done action sequences but ultimately thought provoking ones.

The performances as well were quite convincing from almost seemingly upcoming stars in Jeremy Renner, Brian Geraghty and almost certainly Anthony Mackie considering his powerful résumé. There are also greatly meaningful quintessential cameos from such well accomplished actors such as Guy Pearce, David Morse and Ralph Fiennes.

Films on this subject have tried focusing on very focused and specific aspects of this plight and find themselves wandering off into unnecessary and confusing aspects of the story. Others have attempted to assess the situation broadly but with doing so, most often make the mistake of presenting the different facets in a much too mundane or simplified fashion. With this it is obvious very few films have succeeded in presenting a thorough, accurate and sensible look at this tense region. The Hurt Locker creates a tension that I last felt from Apocalypse Now. I'm certainly not saying the film is of the status of Apocalypse Now but I certainly advise to watch at the least a very good war film.

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56 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

Must have been a down year for movies...

Author: Benjamin Lieb from United States
9 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't understand all the praise being laid upon this movie. Even as a non-military person, I could tell that the scenes were just ridiculous, and that seriously detracted from my enjoyment. I was certainly gripping my chair in certain scenes (opening scene particularly) but then when the EOD team of three starts acting like they are the only ones in Iraq, that's when I started losing interest. And looking at my watch. Its unfortunate because I think they could have had a good movie here, maybe you remove three or four of the scenes, or at the very least, don't make the EOD team do everything BY THEMSELVES. I saw Avatar and loved it despite the plot. I think Hurt Locker, if it wins the Oscar, will cement 2009 as the worst year for movies ever, or at least since "Crash" or "Shakespeare in Love" won Oscars.

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63 out of 102 people found the following review useful:

American movie for American people in American soil.

Author: alexem82 from London, UK
7 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is simply a disaster. But it's not a genuine disaster. It's a FAKE disaster. The aim is to show the humanity of American soldiers. They want us to forget about all the bad things they Truly have done and are still doing! This movie is meant to brainwash people about Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan, and all the other bad bull****s that USA (and others) are doing all over the world. Plus, it's totally unrealistic. A sergeant smacking in the face a superior would lead straight to martial court. Bomb squads always got a MASSIVE backup, while we see in this movie our HEROES (!?!) doing solitary actions. The end scene is the fakest ever. Once someone has been there to do that awful job, i doubt he would come back so easily, without fighting with the family for another year in that condition.


P.S.: As usual, the academy award goes to the characters, THE HEROES, not to the quality of the movie itself. I've just finished watching the show and I feel really saddened and upset.

Little poor America.


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30 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

So THIS is supposed to be the movie that beaten Avatar?

Author: the_wolf_imdb from Prague
10 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have read a lot of criticism from soldiers. I'm not an solider but I have some knowledge of military tactics and some common sense too. The movie is "disconnected and detached" as some may say. It is more collection of action scenes than story that has real sense, there is very little psychology, some bizarre lines. But it is incredibly illogical. For example the "sniper scene": Insurgents are hidden in the house. You are on top of the ridge. This is bad spot of course and the first US guy gets killed. The other takes the same gun on the same place and STAYS here for hours. This is very bad decision of course! The ridge is on the east, the house is on the west. You stay on the ridge until the sunset - sun shines directly into you face which means you cannot see anything but the insurgents must see reflection of your scope lens very clearly. This is very strange. In another scene you see team of three pyrotechnics searching building which has only recently been abandoned by insurgents - very dangerous! In later scene these three guys try to find insurgents in the buildings during the night - they even SPLIT and try to find them INDEPENDENTLY. This is not only risky, this is just plain stupid. Stupid. I just don't believe that US soldiers are so dumb and so badly trained. The script is unbelievable, pure B to C grade! I have no idea how this crap won so many Oscars - is it because of its "anti war ideology"? I have been very disappointed by this movie.

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54 out of 85 people found the following review useful:

I have read too many negative reviews....

Author: from United States
4 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

...of this movie that I don't feel are circumspect enough while being far too hypercritical...those with the most scathing admitting up front their partisan standing having been or still in active service.

Excellent script, beautiful cinematography.

First off, and this is not the point or the criteria of this review so please read beyond, but Never use ANY Oliver Stone flick to put into question the factual integrity of another piece; especially when said other never even implies non-fiction. Platoon?!? Really?? Like Werner Herzog is to a good story teller as Rescue Dawn is to a true story?

Now I need to watch The Hurt Locker again, but, besides knowing the base they're stationed at is legit, I'm hard-pressed to offer examples that Bigelow makes much serious determination, if at all, to suggest this film's location at being in Iraq...simply an area of the Middle East...She didn't play with us like that; this could have been Afghanistan or in any of the other countries we might soon be at risk.

Second off, but now I'd like to exchange paragraphs, I have the utmost respect for what American men and women do to protect this country and others'. I can only imagine how your mind rambles. And I can understand the criticism of The Hurt Locker sometimes totally lacking authenticity.

I quickly need to add though that this movie had me, like so many others, on the edge of my seat, tears in my eyes, with nothing but deepened adoration for the sacrifices others make for those of us typing away in front of a computer screen.

Bigelow completely and blatantly dramatized actual situations with Hollywood shenanigans but made no attempt at hiding this fact. She did so in a manner that left the majority, like me, speechless, but those with the real experience upset.

Stop stressing. We all, for the most part, know better, and knew better going into the flick. We know that you aren't all looking to throw your personal lives away for an adrenaline rush. This movie did not muddy my thoughts on any of that.

Bigelow directed such a fantastic Hollywood screenplay that forced countless hearts to beat waaay too fast for almost all the right reasons. I know, I hear ya, why would he and how could he have done what he did in the middle of the night to run through the streets of the middle of the night...without an interruption? Check. Got it. What rating would you give Die-Hard just outta curiosity? Let's not compare oranges to "Army Wives?"

She was phenomenal at making us feel why many soldiers for many reasons feel the range of emotions that they do. And she did so without vomiting narrative. She did so by providing circumstances that felt too real and far too livable. Bigelow took Boal's well-crafted script and drove it with near perfection, allowing us a long but smooth ride. Jeremy Renner's performance left me not contemplating another "3 Kings" thrill-seeker, but of one with a severely conflicted inner-self where the Kill Zone is his only constant, his comfort zone.

Bigelow might win It for a ratings success, but still deservedly so.


Time for another early morning movie...

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54 out of 85 people found the following review useful:

War is a Drug

Author: The Movie Guys from United States
5 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"War is a drug" are words among the first to appear on screen in Kathryn Bigelow's extraordinary new film, "The Hurt Locker".

DRUG (n): An often illegal and sometimes addictive substance that causes changes in behavior and perception and is taken for the effects.

The main character in "The Hurt Locker", Staff Sgt. William James, a bomb diffuser, enters the story after his team's previous bomb specialist dies in action. Death in the line of duty doesn't deter Sgt. James. War for him is addictive, and he participates for the effects (I'll leave it up to you as to whether you think the war is "illegal". Even the film shies away from political grandstanding).

"The Hurt Locker" is about Sgt. James and the team assigned to protect him and work alongside him as they scour Iraq for IEDs and other hidden explosives. Documentarian Ken Burns, in creating his recent series "The War", mentioned once that a big difference he found between the World Wars of the early 20th century, and the current war in Iraq is the mission. In World War II, soldiers fought for the cause – fight off Japanese oppression, end Nazi occupation, etc. Today, in an era when the overall mission can be unclear, soldiers fight for the man or woman next to them on the front line. In the case of "The Hurt Locker", that leads to a very complicated and sticky relationship.

Routinely under-heralded Anthony Mackie plays Sgt. Sanborn, head of the team that goes into the most dangerous zones of the war to uncover and diffuse bombs hidden in the ground, in the walls, in cars, nearly everywhere. Sanborn is counting the days until he leaves the desert, certainly a different mindset than war-addicted Sgt. James., yet it's clear that he and Sgt. James would die for each other. That male bond is brought vividly to life by director Bigelow. She doesn't employ tricky effects like David O. Russell did with his brilliant but different "Three Kings", her direction is more drenched in reality, one I would never want real for me. Jeremy Renner plays Sgt. James with a fiery deliberateness, and he referred to Bigelow's direction as that of "a voyeur". This is a great asset to the film. The movie has top-notch production value, but never announces it. Instead, we get a very credible relationship drama about people under intense pressure.

The film was written by Mark Boal, who wrote the great and very underrated "In The Valley of Elah", also about the Iraq War. That movie (and other Iraq-themed films) tanked, but I'm glad Boal remained undeterred and continued to write about the war. It's paid off, as "The Hurt Locker" is a money-maker, and is destined for Academy Award consideration. An acting teacher of mine often praises work in class when the relationship is "complicated". Too cut and dry, too easily-explained, and we're bored. Boal nails the complicated world of an Iraq soldier, who balances grief, fear, anger and exhilaration on a daily basis. They make life and death choices for themselves and others over and over again. "The Hurt Locker" is the first film to really portray Iraq as the most dangerous place in the world. Nearly everyone these soldiers come across could be guilty of planting bombs. Is it because they hate Americans? Is it because they are tired of Americans in their country? Do our soldiers belong in harm's way? Are they keeping peace? The end result…is complicated.

SPOILER TALK: How great is it to see Ralph Fiennes in the middle of all this? Then he gets offed. Same with Guy Pearce, as if to say, "Yeah, we're an indie film. We don't need no stinking movie stars!". The scenes near the end of the film are a true masterstroke for Boal and Bigelow. Sgt. James returns home and slides right back into cushy family duties like cleaning storm drains and shopping at a horribly bland grocery store bathed in bright light. I suppose we take those situations for granted as being safe and most likely we are happy to do them. Drumming out our little existence in our little corner of Earth is the goal of most people. But, damn, if "The Hurt Locker" didn't make normal life seem DULL.

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135 out of 248 people found the following review useful:

Exceptional War Film

Author: aaronrourke from Australia
5 March 2009

After a long break, director Kathryn Bigelow returns with 'The Hurt Locker', and shows why she is one of the most exciting film-makers working today.

Following a particular bomb squad currently serving in Iraq, the film shows the conflict on a number of different levels. From the ground-level troops, to the commanding officers, to the civilians who witness every intense stand-off on a daily basis, 'The Hurt Locker' puts the viewer on the front line.

Where other war-related films revel in the action-orientated battle scenes, Bigelow deliberately drains all the excitement and popcorn approach from the scenes involving gunplay and bombings, making for a much more natural, realistic effect.

The interaction between the U.S soldiers is first-rate, showing how the Bush government's ham-fisted invasion of Iraq has affected the troops' effectiveness on the ground, and its alliance with Iraqi civilians.

Performances are perfect. Jeremy Renner is excellent as Staff Sergeant James, who loves the rush of disarming bombs, even if it means putting his fellow soldiers at risk. Anthony Mackie is great as the level-headed Sanborn, while Brian Geraghty scores strongly as Eldridge, who admires both James and Sanborn, but can't decide which side to take.

A great companion piece to Brian DePalma's criminally under-rated 'Redacted', 'The Hurt Locker' is an incredibly vivid, technically brilliant drama that shows that the people who suffer the most during war are the ones who have to experience it first-hand, and that a war plan half-completed can only lead to disaster. It is also great to see Kathryn Bigelow ('Near Dark'/'The Loveless'/'Strange Days'/'Point Break'/'K-19 : The Widowmaker') back, showing once again what a terrific film-maker she is.

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26 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Probably the biggest disappointment ever...

Author: Wolo wizard from France
21 March 2010

I was eager to see this movie even before the Oscar's, but never found the time to do so until last night, when I saw it on Blu-ray. This movie has got to be the biggest disappointment ever! The plot is twisted, but not in a smart way, just in a pointless way. The characters are dull and shallow, as are the dialogs between them. The cinematography, while probably the most attractive feature of the film, is hardly groundbreaking or innovative in its intensity. The movie, supposedly so close to reality in Iraq, is riddled with factual errors and inconsistencies, which make it completely detached from the reality it purportedly portrays (please refer to goofs here on IMDb). All in all, I cannot fathom why anyone would nominate this for the Academy Awards, let alone actually award 6 of them. It's probably one of those instances when Hollywood attempts to be political, and the only reason the 'Hurt Locker' got any awards is because it is the first majorly distributed film portraying the "dark-sides" of the War in Iraq since Obama took office...Personally, I found Chicken Little more suspenseful..

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36 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Such a waste of time - so don't bother watching this one

Author: naq51 from United Kingdom
9 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The plot is so boring - defuse a bomb - move on - defuse a bomb. I am not in any way demeaning what our very brave soldiers are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, its just that this movie simply does not do them justice.

All the way through this film I was thinking this is just American propaganda drumming up support for the needless and unjustified war there, and what a coincidence that the Academy Awards took place on Woman's day and Bigelow won the best director.

The shaky-film style is so cheesy. Why do they do this? It just turns me off no matter how good the film may be.

I feel robbed of the time I spent watching this, and was so glad I gave up before it finished.

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