The Hurt Locker (2008, Iraq War Movie) – 7/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: Mark Boal
Producer: Kathryn Bigelow
Producer: Mark Boal
Producer: Nicolas Chartier
Producer: Greg Shapiro
Jeremy Renner: Staff Sergeant William James
Anthony Mackie: Sergeant J.T. Sanborn
Brian Geraghty: Specialist Owen Eldridge
Christian Camargo: Colonel John Cambridge
Evangeline Lilly: Connie James
Ralph Fiennes: Contractor Team Leader
David Morse: Colonel Reed
Guy Pearce: Sergeant Matt Thompson

Hurt Locker, The (2008)

Bomb technician Staff Sergeant William James is replacing a killed member of a three-man team in Iraq but the other members find his arrogant fearlessness difficult to take to.


Tightly focused Iraq war film which fails to resist the temptation to briefly go off into ‘this time it’s personal’ nonsense but quickly gets back to the job at hand after our hero and the film has made a bit of a fool of itself. That job is the extraordinarily dangerous one of defusing of roadside bombs though the best sequence is probably the one with Ralph Fiennes mercenary crew. It is superbly tense, impeccably designed and choreographed and includes character development that unfolds naturally as part of the action instead of being relegated, as elsewhere, to a separate bonding sequence. It’s a trick James Cameron used in The Terminator (his plot is explained during a car chase: "he will never, ever stop") and it makes you wonder why more writers don’t do it. Perhaps it’s harder than it looks.

This movie contains sexual swear words, mild adult dialogue and war violence, gory and unpleasant scenes.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

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