The Hurt Locker

It took a female director to make an Iraq War movie a truthful examination of manhood. The Hurt Locker avoids obvious political agendas for something more primal: The mindset that values war as a daredevil flirtation with death. Legendary filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow contrasts the cocky war addiction of bomb squad Sgt. James (Jeremy Renner), with his prudent comrade Sgt. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie). Sanborn sees a life beyond this daily risk of life and limb. For James, this is home. Bigelow and writer Mark Boal construct The Hurt Locker as an episodic series of disarmaments scenes. Over the intense, fast-moving course of it, characters don't traditionally "arc." Instead, things are revealed about them---what was once contemptible becomes understood. The hand-held photography rises above the cliched shaky-realism of The Kingdom; Bigelow uses the documentary style to frame her shots with beauty. Her camera moves with a precision, refocusing itself as though the world is viewed through a sniper scope. The Hurt Locker delivers sustained thrills, while excelling as a penetration of a dehumanized soul. –Mark Palermo



  • Kathryn Bigelow


  • Jeremy Renner
  • Anthony Mackie
  • Brian Geraghty
  • Evangeline Lilly
  • Ralph Fiennes
  • Guy Pearce
  • Christian Camargo
  • Suhail Aldabbach
  • Sam Spruell


  • Mark Boal


  • Kathryn Bigelow
  • Mark Boal
  • Greg Shapiro
  • Nicolas Chartier

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