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The Hurt Locker (2009)

Jeremy Renner , Anthony Mackie , Kathryn Bigelow  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (816 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce
  • Directors: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Summit Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
  • Run Time: 131 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (816 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00275EGWY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,896 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Hurt Locker" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Review

I've been waiting for this film since the early days of the war in Iraq. "Brothers at War" is an honest, on-the-ground documentary about the lives of Americans fighting there. It has no spin. It's not left or right. I don't recall if it even mentions President Bush. It's not pro or anti-war, although obviously the two brothers fighting there support it. It is simply about men and women.

The film is about the men in the Rademacher family from Downstate Decatur. Jake, the oldest, always planned to go into the military, but didn't make it into West Point and found himself as an actor. Isaac, the next, graduated top of his class at West Point and married his classmate Jenny. Joe, next in line, enlisted and was top of his class at Army Ranger school. The brothers were very close growing up, but Jake sensed a distance growing as they came home on leave. He felt he could never know their experience.

What Jake decided to do was visit them in Iraq and film a documentary of them at work -- easier, because Sgt. Joe was assigned to Capt. Isaac's unit. This sounds simple enough, but it involved investment, logistical problems and danger under fire. The result is a film that benefits from an inside view, as Jake is attached to Isaac's group and follows them for extended periods under fire in the Sunni Triangle and on patrol on the Syrian border. It is clear that the brothers are expert soldiers.

But this is not a war film. It is a life film, and its scenes filmed at home are no less powerful than those filmed in Iraq. Jenny Rademacher served in Kuwait and elsewhere, then has their child. Isaac is deployed to Iraq soon after, and when he returns home, it's to a daughter who has never met him. Jake films the homecomings and departures of both brothers, attends family gatherings and watches Isaac as he trains troops of the Iraqi army. The filmmakers are often under fire, and a man is killed on one mission by a roadside bomb.

Jake's access gives him access to many moments of the kind you never see on the news. Nicknamed "Hollywood" and such an accustomed daily sight that soldiers are not self-conscious around his camera, he listens in on small talk, shop talk and gab sessions. He watches during meals. He walks along on a door-to-door operation. He looks at houses and roadsides in a way that recognizes they may harbor his death. He gives us a stark idea of the heat, the dust, the desolate landscape.

I've reviewed many documentaries about Iraq. All of them have been anti-war. "Why don't you ever review a pro-war documentary?" readers have asked me. The answer is simple: There haven't been any. There still aren't, because no one in this film argues in favor of the war -- or against it, either. What you hear is guarded optimism, pride in the work, loyalty to the service. This is deep patriotism. It involves risking your life for your country out of a sense of duty.

Every time he saw Isaac or Joe deployed, Jake says, he wondered if he would ever see them again. In filming his documentary, he feels he has walked a little way in their shoes. As is often the case among men, the brothers leave these things unspoken. But now Jake sees their war as more of a reality and less of an abstraction. He invites his audience to do the same. --by Roger Ebert

Product Description

An intimate portrait of modern heroism and the importance of family during turbulent times, Brothers at War tells the story of Jake Rademacher as he sets out to understand the experience, sacrifice, and motivation of his two brothers serving in Iraq. The film follows Jake s exploits as he risks everything including his life to tell his brothers story and document the courage and integrity of the American soldier.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
128 of 140 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
Normally I feel this would be irrelevant but in this case I should point out I am a veteran. I should also point out many people tend to exaggerate their combat expertise and experience and just because you wore a uniform doesn't make you an expert on all things military. As I read these reviews I can't help but laugh. Sure, some movies tend to go way over the top in regards to what's realistic or even plausible but there is one caveat that all of the people who are lambasting the movie based on realism are failing to grasp. Realism doesn't sell; if I were to make a movie about the average day for an average soldier no one would watch it. So you say, what about these documentaries that do well financially following soldiers in war zones? Have you ever met anyone who ever acted one hundred percent natural and themselves when they know they are being filmed? I watched this movie and I think it was a very good, entertaining movie and that's what movies are supposed to do, ENTERTAIN. The difference between myself and some of the negative reviewers is that I'm not naive enough to watch a movie and think it is fact or that writers/directors don't take MASSIVE liberties with situations or their realistic nature; even "based on a true story" movies do this because if they were 100% fact and no fiction no one would watch because again, they would be very boring. I am smart enough to separate reality from Hollywood movie making and I don't need personal experiences to do this. For those of us that know Hollywood doesn't make realistic movies and don't think this is supposed to be a real life documentary (hello, it never billed itself as such) then I think they will thoroughly enjoy this movie. Of course if it's important for you to point out "they weren't wearing the right uniforms" then obviously you take life way, way, way too seriously to every enjoy a great movie and in that case should skip this one.
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116 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant performance by Jeremy Renner June 26, 2009
I wasn't familiar with director Kathryn Bigelow's work prior to watching Hurt Locker (she directed Point Break, K-19, and others), but I am now a convert. She directed a brilliant and visceral Iraq war movie, which unlike many of its peers, is also apolitical. It's not overly preachy (In the Valley of Elah or Stop Loss) or pure action (The Kingdom), but manages to strike its own ground. The scenes are gritty, shaky; thankfully the shaky cam/documentary style footage is tastefully done here. The movie was filmed on location in Jordan, lending to the film's authenticity and immersivity. The viewer can almost taste the dust in the air, and feel the stares from the unwelcoming populace. It's the first mainstream movie to highlight the work of bomb defusal technicians , and it's a thankless and extremely hazardous job. The movie is Black Hawk Down good, albeit on a more intimate level.

The movie follows three members of Bravo Company's Explosive Ordanance Disposal (EOD) squad, as they struggle to finish the last few days of their year long tour of duty. Everyone copes differently; Specialist Eldridge (Geraghty) is overwhelmed at times with the death that surrounds them, Staff Sergeant James (Renner) is addicted to the rush of battle, and Sergeant Sanborn (Mackie) supports James as best he can. James is a complex, fascinating and tragic character; he's extremely competent, yet eccentric and even reckless to the point where his teammates consider fragging him in order to make it back alive. In a thoughtful gesture, he respects the work of his adversaries and keeps all the trigger mechanisms of bombs he has defused in the past. Every engagement the soldiers experience until their departure affects them, and we see every emotional impact.
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261 of 331 people found the following review helpful
The movie opens with the quote - "the rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug" (a modern paraphrase of Churchill's older and more famous maxim - "there is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result")

This is a thriller of a movie about a U.S. Army bomb disposal unit in Iraq and their daily grind in dealing with the IEDs and insurgents there.

This movie does have several stars - but Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pierce, and Evangeline Lilly all have fairly small roles. Blink, and you'll miss them. Their presence in this movie is more a testament to director/producer Kathryn Bigelow's status in the entertainment industry than anything else.

Jeremy Renner is Sergeant James, a bomb tech. Unlike his affable predecessor, he is a wild man. He seems not only indifferent to the dangers of his job, he absolutely revels in the dangers. It is the ultimate in thrill seeking behavior, getting that dopamine surge in his brain. Near the end of the movie, Sgt. James gets accused of being an adrenaline junkie, but we know now that the neurochemical at work here is dopamine. Bomb disposal is not just a job for him, but his passion, his addiction, his reason for being in the Army.

Renner's character ends up like a cross between Elmer Fudd, with his perpetually placid and slightly befuddled gaze, and Bugs Bunny, with his wile and lust for excitement and danger.

His two partners in the unit, Sgt. Sanborn and Specialist Eldridge, who have to cover him and just want to survive their tour of duty, don't know quite how to deal with his determination to confront danger. One wonders at why Sgt. James puts himself in danger, why he takes the extra risks to defuse a bomb when detonating it would do.
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The Hurt Locker IS Political!!!
Unfortunately Teriek we live in a society where people are brain washed sheep and if you express intellectual thought you are a whack job. Individual thought is looked down on and intelligent debate usually (especially on the internet) decays into name calling. Don't you know you're supposed to... Read More
Mar 7, 2010 by Bud Slammin Man |  See all 40 posts
The little boy
guys the kid didnt die. It was another kid with the explosives inside him. Beckham appears later in the film. Come on pay attention.
Feb 3, 2010 by Luis Candiales |  See all 17 posts
Has anyone who was motion-sick (nausea) in theater tried rewatching this...
I think the whole intentional camera shake is over-used to the point of being corny. I think they should go back to using it only in scenes where there's some fast-paced action. Shaking the camera around while two people are exchanging ideas doesn't really help the story any. I've even seen... Read More
Mar 16, 2010 by John W. Crockett |  See all 4 posts
slipcase
nope sorry
Dec 27, 2012 by jacob |  See all 2 posts
steel case
collectors item.
Dec 27, 2012 by jacob |  See all 2 posts
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