The Hurt Locker (2008)

KATHRYN BIGELOW

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  

USA, 2008.  Voltage Pictures, Grosvenor Park Media, Film Capital Europe Funds, First Light Production, Kingsgate Films, Summit Entertainment. Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, , .  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 2008American Film Institute 2009Boston Film Critics Awards 2009.  Golden Globe Awards 2008. Gotham Awards 2009Independent Spirit Awards 2008Las Vegas Film Critics Awards 2009.    National Board of Review Awards 2009.    New York Film Critics 2009Toronto International Film Festival 2008Washington Film Critics Awards 2009.  

Tensions mount high from the beginning and stay right up there in this excellent, action-packed drama by Kathryn Bigelow. Three soldiers in Iraq are the focus of the story about bomb experts who are called in to Baghdad to diffuse more than just a political situation whenever suspicious items are spotted by locals. The boys who do this job have to keep their cool under pressure while taking care of business, then later lose it over shots of bourbon as they try to release their grizzly frustration. ,  and  are all excellent, their personal conflicts always simmering below the professional ones that put their lives at risk every day, while Bigelow does an amazing job of making a highly political film that is never overtly political: none of these boys sit around wondering about the senselessness of the war, or question the Bush-era policies that led to them being there in the first place. The film stays in the red zone for two hours, and makes its most impressive commentary without any need to point obvious fingers; that said, the political message is there for the taking.

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