Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Hurt Locker

Simply the most intense Iraq War movie since "Black Hawk Down". "The Hurt Locker" grabs you by throat from the opening minutes and never lets go. Director Kathryn Bigelow has made an visceral stunner of a film, based on the account of an embedded journalist who spent time with a bomb squad in Iraq.

This is an intimate portrait of three men and how the war affects them as they serve out their last month in rotation. While trying to survive the horror of the war itself, the intensity of serving on a bomb squad takes it to another level altogether. And to Ms. Bigelow's credit, her direction, camera work and editing put you, the viewer, right in the middle of this harrowing experience.

Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty make up the squad who's job is to solely diffuse both bombs and bombers alike. While all three actors are terrific, this is a star turn for Mr. Renner, who is just mesmerizing to watch. There are some blink and you miss them "star" cameos but the film truly belongs to Mr. Renner.

"The Hurt Locker" is authentic, suspenseful, tension filled and down right scary. It's a huge accomplishment for Ms. Bigelow and everyone involved and one of the best films of the year so far.

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