The Hurt Locker (2009)
Critic 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.
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Critic Reviews for The Hurt Locker
Director Kathryn Bigelow, doing her run-'n'-gun best, doesn't mine traditional suspense so much as impart a queasy feeling of monotony.
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.
One of the best movies of the year, with a star-making performance from Jeremy Renner.
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.
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.
Audience Reviews for The Hurt Locker
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.
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!
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.
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.|
|Sgt J.T. Sanborn:||I'm ready to die, James.|
|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.|
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