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The Hurt Locker
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The Hurt Locker More at IMDbPro »

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21 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

dull, incredible military fantasy

1/10
Author: comco-1 from United States
7 June 2010

With all of the drama and suspense that the Iraq War has produced, it is difficult to understand why the producers paid for a fantastic script such as the one used in this film. Beginning with the arrival of the maverick member of the bomb squad, the mood is set for an individual who does not want to play by the Army rules. The film goes downhill from there. None of the military engagements made any sense, neither military sense nor common sense. Following the first attempt at suspense, the main character (Sergeant William James - played unconvincingly by Jeremy Renner) removes his protective clothing saying "If I am going to die, I might as well be comfortable." He then removes his communication equipment. Afterwards, he was punched in the face by the platoon leader who rebukes him saying "Never take off yours ears again." Sgt. James just takes the punch neither saying nor doing anything. The scene where Sgt. James calls his wife, but says nothing, was difficult to understand, and the wife asks "Hello?" four, well-spaced times. The military confrontation that occurred after they encountered a British patrol was the best part of the film, although their poor marksmanship was hard to believe. The enemy only fired four shots, each of which killed someone. The idea that the tire wrench was ruined trying to change the tire, and the same thing happened with the second tire iron, and that the US patrol had another tire iron, should have been eliminated. The idea that three soldiers would undertake an unauthorized pursuit at night was incredible. The technique of scanning the surroundings, and showing how the locals watched the events was effective, and clearly demonstrated the terror of guerrilla warfare. In spite of the inconsistencies, poor acting and improbable scenes, this film was awarded six Oscars. Who would have guessed?

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23 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

sas scene

1/10
Author: nickwilliams2010 from United Kingdom
10 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I joined this site specifically to comment on the scene in this film which showed SAS soldiers acting like raw recruits when confronted by a sniper, whereas a US bomb detonation squad dealt with the situation as if they themselves were elite forces. How a movie containing a ridiculously conceived scene like this can win any Oscars is beyond me. Would a bomb detonation squad in the US have a sniper masquerading as a bomb disposal squad member? Also why do they take all day watching the insurgents hideout? Can you imagine this happening in World War 2 for example, the war would have been lost if the Allies had approached every battleground with this kind of nonsensical caution. There are many other questionable scenes in this film and I don't understand how anybody with a modicum of intelligence would vote for it to receive any sort of prestigious award.

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28 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

they did it ! here's a BEST(?) picture WORST (!) than Shakepeare in Love

1/10
Author: informatica-1 from Brazil
9 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

year after year and the academy show, once again, how unworthy of credit they really are.6 Oscars to a movie that cannot express a sense of reality it's too much.

There's no deep reasons for this specific character does what he does.The bomb scenes are superficials and the camera shakes like a pinball machine.Best director for Kathryn Bigelow ? deserved...maybe the actors tried to make they part...or it's because of the International Women's Day ? make your choice.

but i don't recommend this to anyone.

1/10, Avatar, now, is the greatest wronged movie in history.

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29 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

The exciting field of bomb technician

9/10
Author: Mark Smith from United States
20 August 2009

It's not the job you want your kids to aspire to. Or your spouse. Or anyone you care about. But we are so thankful there are people who do this.

This sad tale is centered on the unique skills of the tragically necessary field of bomb technician. Bomb techs, of course, are those heroic individuals who get called when a bomb or other explosive device is discovered. Their job, under life and death pressure daily, is to defuse the bomb and make things safe for the rest of us. Unfortunately, in war environments, this is a daily occurrence. What kind of person can do this kind of work? How do they do it day in and day out? Someone has to be a little crazy to do this in the first place, don’t they? These are the questions this movie explores. The movie evokes sadness, inspiration, sympathy, concern, and even awe as we watch the heroes of this movie struggle with their daily grind.

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29 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

The best modern war movie in my opinion...

9/10
Author: ArasimusX from United States
12 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let's get the highlights out of the way first…

Pros: - Great premise - Authentic atmosphere/locations - Great Tension - Good Acting - Best modern war movie to date

Cons: - Forgivable unlikely scenarios

OK… now some people may disagree with me but out of the modern war movies, this one has the least political agenda of them all. Having said that… I could enjoy the movie's true grit without rolling my eyes about some strong pro/con message about the Iraqi war. One of the movie's best attributes is how it maintains a certain degree of tension the entire time; basically your thinking anyone can die at any moment. Even when a bomb is disarmed… the mood encourages you to think that the situation still isn't entirely safe. Another great attribute that isn't normally mentioned is the dynamic between the 3 men in the bomb unit. Sergeant James did not fear war or death at all; in fact, he treats most situations with an uncaring attitude. Sanborn hid his fear by being professional and operating by the book. Finally specialist Eldridge showed his fear by being unsure about everything and basically thinking he's dead already. Overall… this movie is great. By default, I liked it because—like Public Enemies and hopefully like District 9—this movie is very original unlike most movies these days. Secondly, I liked it because it created a great modern war atmosphere without over-the-top special effects or graphic violence. In conclusion, I'd defiantly say this is the best movie I've seen in 09.

-AX

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30 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

A different and fresh take on American dream.

9/10
Author: honorhorror from Thailand
24 January 2010

Thanks to Law Abiding Citizen, which has nothing to do with this movie except one line "someone has to do some pretty nasty things so we can live in our American dream", I came to understand what's the movie is about. Of course, it's not the greatest war movie ever made, and it's definitely not your heroic take on wars. I mean, even movies like Saving Private Ryan and Flag of Our Fathers nailed the icons of heroes into characters' heads when the main objective is to cleanse the dirty war of its dirty heroism. But The Hurt Locker, man, is almost 100% anti-hero.

Everyone who's a role model in this movie has been blown up, from Guy Pearce's character to the Christian Camargo's Col. John Cambridge. The one who survived and screwed around them like a ghost and a jerk was our protagonist, SFC William James. Don't make me wrong, he's a good guy. He started out successful in every mission to get rid of bombs and OEDs, and he's a good shot and strategist too. But, he's also a regular trespasser, a nut-case who does sports in war to win a "reckless" from fellow soldiers, and a failed father figure to his family or any families. There was a very compelling thread in the middle of the movie where James pulled out a personal investigate into the little boy's murder. And it's like a turning point which lead the whole Iraq war into James' personal story. Every time he tried to make a good pursuit in the middle of combat, he messed up the whole thing into a bloody irony. Every friend he made was claimed by death or hatred, or both. When colleagues called him a madman and hostiles considered him a monster, there's really very little human left in him except the adrenaline rush war brought.

So, what's so different about this movie, is it not another Platoon mixed with post-modern concepts like "Gulf syndrome"? No. Like I said, it's a very personal take on a war that's still going on. Clyde Shelton in Law Abiding Citizen is a good mirror to William James because they had everything in common except the former's family were slaughtered while the later's were disconnected. And as common sense tells, the later happens all the time, which gives The Hurt Locker a realistic edge that no recent similar productions can match. You see, American dream doesn't always die in the hands of thugs, breaking into a thousand pieces in tragic slow motion. That's just a stereotype people adopted in their minds from Hollywood. American dreams can walk away on its on feet, echoing in the hollowness of modern lifestyle(if you consider war and war games a lifestyle), making you wonder what the heck had happened. For the record, William James really should be given the honor of a war hero because he saved hundreds of lives by disabling OEDs. But the real hero in him had long been killed, the body disposed in nowhere. He's definitely one of the deepest roles in movies. And if the real figure who provided the character basis for him is still fighting on the front-line, I'd pray for his return safe, sound and redeemed, amen.

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30 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly good... but not to the level of critical acclaim.

9/10
Author: chunga95 from United States
16 January 2010

'The Hurt Locker' surprised me on many levels. In many regards it has all the trappings of the conventional war movie: soldiers' daily grind, explosions and gun violence, gritty realism and tragedy. What sets this movie apart is the characters.

Moreso than any other war film I've watched, I felt like this was more of a character study first and a war movie second. Jeremy Renner expertly plays SSgt. James, a replacement EOD team leader deployed to Iraq. His brazen style immediately clashes with the other two regular members of the team, Sgt. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Spc. Eldrige (Brian Gerarghty). As they anticipate their unit's rotation back home, tensions rise as they have to continue to perform their ordinance detonation duties.

I thoroughly enjoyed Renner's character. SSgt. James is a moral, caring, and thoughtful leader. But, his thirst for action pushes Sanborn and Eldrige out of their comfort zones. EOD is dangerous enough, and James' antics test their resolve and grit. Where the movie separates itself from other war movie is this: the action serves the character, as opposed to characters thrown into action. Each mission reveals new dimensions about our heroes, their fears and ambitions, what they are trying to preserve and protect. The dialog and the actors' portrayal felt very organic to me. These are real people having real conversations, in realistic situations, trying to operate rationally and compassionately in the most illogical and irrational of circumstances.

There are no preachy political overtones or lessons on the morality of war. There really is no villain, except a faceless, formless enemy. There is nothing except the next mission and trying to survive it. The documentary style cinematography and gritty locations are great. I felt like I was in the Humvee many times, in modern Iraq, privileged to conversations and emotions rarely shared except in dire circumstances.

That said, I don't know if this movie is as good as it's being reviewed. It is an excellent film. If you're a fan of war movies this certainly is a don't miss. It's thrilling, wonderfully filmed, and the acting is great, if understated. Still, there's something missing that keeps this movie from being a top-echelon flick. In the end, though, this is an engrossing and entertaining movie that should not be missed!

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30 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Pulls all the right pins

9/10
Author: Tender-Flesh from United States
14 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all, let me say how disappointed I am that hardly any theaters are showing this wonderful film. While almost every chain in town has two or three theaters for multiple showings of GI Joe, The Hurt Locker is a movie you practically have to hunt down to find. And, in this case, I'm glad I hunted it down. The last time I had to search all the theaters for a film, it was House of 1000 Corpses, a stinker to be sure, and that only made sense as to why so few theaters chose to carry the film. But in the case of The Hurt Locker, well, I'm sort of at a loss for the reasoning behind its lack of publicity.

This film will blow your doors off. While it's probably not an action-packed braindead bit of fluff like GI Joe, there are some fine action sequences that are more low-scale. Oh, yes, there are explosions, firefights, and some 50 caliber action, but it's not rammed into your eye sockets like so much of the usual popcorn fare these days. This flick delivers the goods on multiple levels. It's a war film with no war, just small skirmishes. This is why it's so intense. You don't have your usual enemy soldier. You have everyday people mixed in with bloodthirsty killers who are skilled at not only creating deadly roadside bombs, you also have secondary devices set to create as much collateral damage as possible. The acting is realistic. No one is trying to be the biggest badass out there--although James will make you wish all soldiers were as awesome as him. The direction is taut, the guerrilla cinematography goes for the jugular.

This is a good example of a pro-American war movie that doesn't ram a flag into your face every five seconds. It's about guys who are doing one of the scariest jobs in the military and what's more, they volunteer for it. You have two groups of people: one group that will go the distance for an ideal even if it means sacrificing themselves and those around them, including children, and then there is the other group, who also are willing to sacrifice themselves, but they are dedicated to saving lives of people who they will never meet and in most cases people who hate them even though they are saving lives instead of taking them. Granted, yes, it is "just a movie" but it certainly gives you more to think about than the usual Hollywooden films we normally get stuck with. You see the tension between fellow soldiers(some of it bordering on murder plots) and the sort of psychological breakdown that probably is not only all too common but also gravely undertreated by soldiers returning home.

Hats off to the brave soldiers who do this sort of job every day. I'd have stomach cancer inside of two weeks if I was in their boots.

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30 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Bigelow, Renner and cast deliver one of the best war movies in recent memory

9/10
Author: Faceless_Moon from United States
7 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

On paper, it doesn't see difficult to make a war movie these days; Iraq and other recent wars give filmmakers plenty of material to work with, in terms of both action and commentary.

Kathryn Bigelow doesn't only deliver on both thrilling, adrenaline pumping action and insight into the effects of war on soldiers, though she does both of these things almost flawlessly. She gives us the best movie made about the Iraq war thus far, possibly one of the best ever. Thinking about it, the only war movies I can unequivocally place above The Hurt Locker are Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now. Others require further deliberation.

She does this two ways. First is the action: from start to finish, this is one of the most intense, thrilling movies I have seen. That doesn't simply mean huge explosions and gory deaths, in fact, there aren't even that many of those.

The excitement lies in the situations; there are so many things happening at once in the missions Bravo Company undertakes, and so much at stake, that you can't help but truly be thrilled and captivated by it.

The second way is the superb casting. Jeremy Renner, of course, as the seemingly reckless bomb tech, is the star here. His performance is breathtaking, and in my opinion any actor who can make you uncertain whether you like them/agree with what they're doing is really good. Oscar worthy performance? Maybe. But I wouldn't count on it. Regardless, this is the role that's going to make people notice him.

But Renner doesn't steal the show. Anthony Mackie also delivers a flawless performance and is somebody you root for no matter what is happening. However, without hopefully giving anything away, his character also has several moments just like Renner that makes you go "man, I can't believe he's doing this" that, in a way, makes him just as ambiguous of a character as Renner's. His and Renner's relationship and the contrast in their personalities and approach to war is in a way the focal point of the movie.

Renner is getting all the buzz but Mackie is also really, really good in this, and I hope he is not overlooked, because he is simply a terrific actor, displaying great range in this and deserves more roles.

The rest of the cast (with one exception I describe below) is also good, but not as solid as Renner and Mackie. Geraghty's fine for his role. The supporting cast is great, with Maracho, Morse, Fiennes and Pearce all delivering good performances, Maracho and Pearce especially. They're all really minor though in comparison to the three leads My only qualm with the film is, after all the seemingly split-second action throughout the movie, it somehow drags towards end! This part is completely unnecessary and simply shows what we already knew had to happen based on the rest of the movie. It seems an excuse to give my one disappointment in the cast, Evangeline Lilly, some screen time just because she's hot.

Overall, though, The Hurt Locker simply needs to be seen. Who cares about your thought on the Iraq War, it isn't about that. It's about the concept of war in general...and how humanity reacts to and embraces it. See it.

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35 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

A Brilliant Piece of Work

9/10
Author: Sanjay33 from India
24 January 2010

War movie lovers... Your search ends here.

When I saw this movie, I found I have ended up watching not only the movie but something more than that. The Director Kathryn Bigelow has been fully able to depict the psyche of Bomb disposal squad and their breathtaking game. Though the movie lacks a firm story line up but here it is not needed. Breathtaking sequences, one by one, is the hallmark of the movie.In a war trodden place like Iraq, all aspects of war-psyche has been exploited to give meaning to the daredevils (Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie) and their work of disposing the bombs. The chemistry between the duo has also been fully depicted. The Director has not forgotten the emotional angle and the arouses definite kind of emotions and make you think after every sequence.

Though some sequences remind you of "Enemy at the gates" but rest assured the movie in itself is masterpiece.

With its subtle climax the movie wins more on account.

Worth watching flick........

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