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The Hurt Locker

History . War . Thriller . Drama

Forced to play a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse in the chaos of war, an elite Army bomb squad unit must come together in a city where everyone is a potential enemy and every object could be a deadly bomb.

Actors: Brian Geraghty , Anthony Mackie , Jeremy Renner , Suhail Aldabbach , Christian Camargo , Christopher Sayegh , Evangeline Lilly , David Morse , Ralph Fiennes , Guy Pearce
Directors: Kathryn Bigelow
Country: USA
Release: 2009-07-31
More Info:
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    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.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    A near-perfect movie about men in war, men at work. Through sturdy imagery and violent action, it says that even Hell needs heroes.

    Time Full Review
  • David Denby

    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.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    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.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    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.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    The best nondocumentary American feature made yet about the war in Iraq.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    After The Hurt Locker (which is without question the most exciting and least ideological movie yet made about the war in Iraq), everyone will remember Renner's name.

    Slate Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    A first-rate action thriller, a vivid evocation of urban warfare in Iraq, a penetrating study of heroism and a showcase for austere technique, terse writing and a trio of brilliant performances. Most of all, though, it’s an instant classic that demonstrates, in a brutally hot and dusty laboratory setting, how the drug of war hooks its victims and why they can’t kick the habit.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Overwhelmingly tense, overflowing with crackling verisimilitude, it's both the film about the war in Iraq that we've been waiting for and the kind of unqualified triumph that's been long expected from director Kathryn Bigelow.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Staff (Not credited)

    What you'll remember most will be Renner's remarkably complex commander. By the time we finally figure him out, it's become clear we've witnessed a star-making performance, in a movie that deserves to stand as one of the defining films of the decade.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    A great film, an intelligent film, a film shot clearly so that we know exactly who everybody is and where they are and what they’re doing and why.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    This one enters the pantheon of great American war films.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    When viewers are ultimately released from The Hurt Locker's exhilarating vice grip, they'll find themselves shaken, energized and, more than likely, eager to see it again.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    Such is the extraordinary achievement of The Hurt Locker: it has the perspective of years when those years have yet to pass.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    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.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Michael Sragow

    The Hurt Locker redefines war-film electricity.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Calvin Wilson

    At once an unforgettable war film and a brilliant character study.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Ian Nathan

    The most literally exciting film you will see this year. Forget the off-putting banner of another Iraq movie -- go, watch, marvel, endure and book in the palliative of a stiff drink afterwards.

    Empire Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    For the first hour or more, The Hurt Locker boldly forsakes any conventional narrative hook beyond the ongoing tensions between these men and the terrifying grind of defusing bombs day after day.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Renner gives a full-bore performance of great individuality and industriousness, but essentially his character is as glamorized as any classic Westerner.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    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.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Deborah Young

    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.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Bob Mondello

    The adrenaline rush of war has been largely missing from Hollywood's Iraq, but it's certainly front and center in The Hurt Locker, the first war movie in a while that feels as if it could have starred John Wayne.

    NPR Full Review
  • Nick Antosca

    Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker is a grinding, nightmarish machine.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    The tension is enough to make you slightly sick, and the overall mood of the thing is deeply dispiriting, but then, nobody ever said that war isn't hell.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    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.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Here's the Iraq War movie for those who don't like Iraq War movies.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Both a psychological portrait and an exciting action film.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Vivid, assured and extremely suspenseful.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    In The Hurt Locker, the thrill is unexpectedly contagious. You don't realize how riveted you are until you're back on American soil observing James in civilian life.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Fused with paranoia and almost unbearable suspense, The Hurt Locker is powerful stuff.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    Episodic and, at times, overwrought. And occasionally its deliberate opacity becomes too cloudy. But the things that shine through are remarkable. War is indeed Hell, it tells us, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing if you're filled with demons.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    The drawback is that even though The Hurt Locker is extremely effective in places, it ultimately feels unformed and somewhat unfinished. Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Stretched both timewise and for plausibility.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Derek Elley

    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.

    Variety Full Review
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