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The Hurt Locker (2009)

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 8.4/10
Reviews Counted: 225
Fresh: 219
Rotten: 6

Critics Consensus: 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.

Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 46
Fresh: 45
Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: 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.

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 90,352

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Movie Info

Based on the personal wartime experiences of journalist Mark Boal (who adapted his experiences with a bomb squad into a fact-based, yet fictional story), director Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq War-set action thriller The Hurt Locker presents the conflict in the Middle East from the perspective of those who witnessed the fighting firsthand -- the soldiers. As an elite Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team tactfully navigates the streets of present-day Iraq, they face the constant threat of death from … More

Rating:
R (for war violence and language)
Genre:
Drama , Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By:
Mark Boal
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Jan 12, 2010
Box Office:
$15.7M
Runtime:
Summit Entertainment - Official Site


Cast



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Critic Reviews for The Hurt Locker

All Critics (225) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (219) | Rotten (6) | DVD (17)

Bigelow's film combines an expert management of tension with a sensitive and journalistic attention to detail: she has one eye on the truth and the other on the multiplex.

Full Review… | August 29, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

One of the best movies of the year, with a star-making performance from Jeremy Renner.

Full Review… | July 30, 2009
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic

Like every war before it, the U.S. invasion of Iraq has generated its share of movies. But The Hurt Locker is the first of them that can properly be called a masterpiece.

Full Review… | July 24, 2009
Miami Herald
Top Critic

The question isn't how do you live with the buzz of looming death; it's how do you live without it? No answers are offered, or even suggested.

Full Review… | July 24, 2009
Detroit News
Top Critic

Like her protagonist, Bigelow is both a meticulous technician and a ballsy showoff. And, like him, she has ice water in her veins.

Full Review… | July 24, 2009
The New Republic
Top Critic

The Hurt Locker is at once an unforgettable war film and a brilliant character study.

Full Review… | July 23, 2009
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

If you have a chance to see it, you shouldn't hesitate to do so.

Full Review… | January 13, 2014
Film School Rejects

Not only the best film made so far about the war in Iraq, but also one of the best thrillers of the year.

Full Review… | January 13, 2014
IGN Movies

The Hurt Locker transcends the political slop surrounding Iraq and cuts straight to the bone, letting us touch the hard, bloody reality of war without casualties of cliche or naive acts of emotional heroism.

Full Review… | January 13, 2014
Canada.com

Bigelow, one of the very few women working in the traditionally male-dominated action and war genres, avoids both red wire/yellow wire cliché and political preaching to deliver a film that is as psychologically fascinating as it is taut and exciting.

Full Review… | January 13, 2014
Radio Times

The Hurt Locker is not a conventional approach to wartime heroics but rather a penetrating and harrowing examination of war's unrelenting damage on the human psyche.

Full Review… | January 13, 2014
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

The Hurt Locker is horrifying. It's hopeless. I want to go see it again.

Full Review… | January 13, 2014
Willamette Week

Her new film, The Hurt Locker, is both a structuralist war movie-it could be titled 'Seven Instances of Dismantling an Improvised Explosive Device'-and a totally immersive, off-the-charts high-anxiety experience from beginning to end.

Full Review… | July 12, 2013
Film Comment Magazine

This is an outstanding war film because it's aware that it's a film, not a polemic.

Full Review… | June 22, 2013
Deadspin

When the picture isn't ramping up your heart rate, it switches gears and becomes an intimate character study in what war does to humankind.

Full Review… | February 15, 2013
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's in refusing to plant a flag on one side or the other over the Iraq war debacle that Bigelow may just have made the conflict's defining film: words are cheap, but it's action that matters.

Full Review… | September 29, 2012
TheShiznit.co.uk

I wasn't exactly blown away by it (no pun intended here at all), but it remains an engaging film. There's certainly a great story to be told in here somewhere, it's just not the great film I've been hearing about.

Full Review… | September 24, 2012
Examiner.com

It's not delicate by any means, and it gives an intense look into the lives of the American soldiers in Iraq.

Full Review… | July 21, 2012
7M Pictures

The suspense may just kill you.

Full Review… | October 29, 2010

Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker is one of the most thrilling action films I've seen in the past few years. It features set piece after pulse-quickening set piece.

Full Review… | October 21, 2010
Quickflix

The decade's best fictional film about its real war, it's a unique perspective on the workplace high of delivering containment from chaos. Some people kick PowerPoint's ass. Sgt. 1st Class William James saves his by defusing bombs.

Full Review… | September 24, 2010
Suite101.com

Jeremy Renner as the unhinged James is a revelation.

Full Review… | August 9, 2010
sbs.com.au

There is something original and distinctive about the film's willingness to admit that for some men (and many moviegoers) war carries an intrinsic dramatic charge.

Full Review… | July 7, 2010
Sight and Sound

Equal parts bravado-fueled action and pointed political statement. The best film yet made about the Iraq War, and the best American film about war since Platoon.

Full Review… | June 15, 2010

One of the few must watches of the year so far, and certainly one of the most intelligent offerings, The Hurt Locker would likely already be boasting a masterpiece label had it been from a high profile director or studio.

Full Review… | April 15, 2010
Fan The Fire

The opening scene alone may well be the most insanely gripping and amazingly constructed cinematic moment you'll see all year.

Full Review… | April 14, 2010
The Vine

Audience Reviews for The Hurt Locker

½

A US army bomb disposal tec makes waves in his new unit because of his gung ho attitude. The Hurt Locker is an interesting war film, mainly because its indie sensibilities make it a very unusual treatment of this subject for a product of the US movie making industry. It's quite a reserved, unsentimental film about the impact of a "war" that has no visible enemy; not quite in the same way as Jarhead in which the soldiers just could not find an army to face, but because the enemy hides itself in plain sight amongst the innocent population. This obviously causes great conflict within the soldiers, always unsure whether to fire or not to fire and seemingly never able to punish the perpetrators of the atrocities they witness on a daily basis. It thankfully avoids heavy-handed patriotic bullshit instead concentrating on the effects of the situation on each individual and the fine performances all round make for fascinating character study. The "battle" sequences are also very well staged, and although the dreaded shaky cam did irritate (the constant zoom switching and miscued shots are so obviously deliberate that it just made it feel even more fake rather than less) it is technically very accomplished on every level. The only faux pas for me was the closing scene in which "our hero" is striding purposefully back down a Baghdad road to a heavy metal riff which was a bit too John Wayne and seemed to be at odds with the tone of the whole of the rest of the film, but otherwise another quality war film about a very sensitive subject.

More
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Good, but "Hurt" oh so badly by its script.

Full review at themoviefreakblog.com

More
spielberg00
Alexander Diminiano

Super Reviewer

Gripping, intense, and extremely well-acted, "The Hurt Locker" shows the war like never before. Jeremy Renner is in his breakout performance, which will eventually lead him to superstardom. As we follow a bomb-defusing team, we are placed in events that seem so real you will be on the edge of your seat, hoping for our cast to make it out alive. The writing is terrific, the direction is top-notch, and the story is displayed to perfection. Kathryn Bigalow's "The Hurt Locker" is definitely my favourite film of 2009!

More
KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Lacking a narrative arc. There's no central conflict to keep the audience interested. Instead it's just repetitive unrealistic war scenes, and it really drags throughout its long running time. Yawn.

More
Market Man
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer

The Hurt Locker Quotes


Staff Sgt. William James:
And the older you get, the fewer things you really love. And by the time you get to my age, maybe it's only one or two things.
– Submitted by Swayamdeep S (18 months ago)
Sgt J.T. Sanborn:
I'm ready to die, James.
– Submitted by Miguel V (20 months ago)
Staff Sgt. William James:
You love playing with that. You love playing with all your stuffed animals. You love your Mommy, your Daddy. You love your pajamas. You love everything, don't ya? Yeah. But you know what, buddy? As you get older... some of the things you love might not seem so special anymore. Like your Jack-in-a-Box. Maybe you'll realize it's just a piece of tin and a stuffed animal. And the older you get, the fewer things you really love. And by the time you get to my age, maybe it's only one or two things. With me, I think it's one.
– Submitted by Typhon Q (2 years ago)
Beckham:
That's gangster.
– Submitted by preciliano B (2 years ago)
Sgt J.T. Sanborn:
But you realize every time you suit up, every time we go out, it's life or death.
– Submitted by Michael C (3 years ago)
Staff Sgt. William James:
[Speaking to his son] You love playing with that. You love playing with all your stuffed animals. You love your Mommy, your Daddy. You love your pajamas. You love everything, don't ya? Yea. But you know what, buddy? As you get older... some of the things you love might not seem so special anymore. Like your Jack-in-a-Box. Maybe you'll realize it's just a piece of tin and a stuffed animal. And the older you get, the fewer things you really love. And by the time you get to my age, maybe it's only one or two things. With me, I think it's one.
– Submitted by Ryan S (3 years ago)

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