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The Hurt Locker

3.8 out of 5 stars 1,077 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

War is a drug. Nobody knows that better than Staff Sergeant James, head of elite squad of soldiers tasked with disarming bombs in the heat of combat. To do this nerve-shredding job, it's not enough to be the best: you have to thrive in a zone where the margin of error is zero, think as diabolically as a bomb-maker, and somehow survive with your body and soul intact. Powerfully realistic, action-packed, unrelenting and intense, The Hurt Locker has been hailed by critics as "an adrenaline-soaked tour de force" (A.O. Scott, The New York Times) and "one of the great war movies." (Richard Corliss, Time)

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: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,077 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00275EGWY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,051 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Hurt Locker" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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