Critic Reviews

94

Metascore

Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
The result is an intense, action-driven war pic, a muscular, efficient standout that simultaneously conveys the feeling of combat from within as well as what it looks like on the ground.
100
A near-perfect movie about men in war, men at work. Through sturdy imagery and violent action, it says that even Hell needs heroes.
100
A small classic of tension, bravery, and fear, which will be studied twenty years from now when people want to understand something of what happened to American soldiers in Iraq. If there are moviegoers who are exhausted by the current fashion for relentless fantasy violence, this is the convincingly blunt and forceful movie for them.
100
There's something about this story, and this war, that brings out the stripped-down conceptual artist in her (Bigelow): Against blank canvases of desert sand and rubble, explosive wires are linked to nerve ends, and everything that matters depends on the twitch of a muscle or a finger on a button.
100
Village Voice
A full-throttle body shock of a movie. It gets inside you like a virus, puts your nerves in a blender, and twists your guts into a Gordian knot.
90
The Hurt Locker might be the first Iraq-set film to break through to a mass audience because it doesn't lead with the paralysis of the guilt-ridden Yank. The horror is there, but under the rush.
90
Tensely action-packed and muscularly directed by Kathryn Bigelow, this tale of an elite U.S. army bomb disposal unit in Baghdad is a familiar story in new clothes, targeted at the young male demographic.
88
This is a tense, well-crafted motion picture that keeps viewers on edge. It's an exhausting 130 minutes; many viewers will leave the theater feeling drained.
88
Rolling Stone
Here's the Iraq War movie for those who don't like Iraq War movies.
60
Variety
Boal's script stirs a little of everything into the pot, which boils down into seven setpieces divided by brief intervals of camaraderie/conflict among the three protags.

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