Metascore
94

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1186 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The Hurt Locker is an intense portrayal of elite soldiers who have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: disarming bombs in the heat of combat. When a new sergeant, James, takes over a highly trained bomb disposal team amidst violent conflict, he surprises his two subordinates,The Hurt Locker is an intense portrayal of elite soldiers who have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: disarming bombs in the heat of combat. When a new sergeant, James, takes over a highly trained bomb disposal team amidst violent conflict, he surprises his two subordinates, Sanborn and Eldridge, by recklessly plunging them into a deadly game of urban combat. James behaves as if he's indifferent to death. As the men struggle to control their wild new leader, the city explodes into chaos, and James' true character reveals itself in a way that will change each man forever. (Summit Entertainment) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. The result is an intense, action-driven war pic, a muscular, efficient standout that simultaneously conveys the feeling of combat from within as well as what it looks like on the ground.
  2. 100
    Overwhelmingly tense, overflowing with crackling verisimilitude, it's both the film about the war in Iraq that we've been waiting for and the kind of unqualified triumph that's been long expected from director Kathryn Bigelow.
  3. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    100
    The most literally exciting film you will see this year. Forget the off-putting banner of another Iraq movie -- go, watch, marvel, endure and book in the palliative of a stiff drink afterwards.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    100
    A full-throttle body shock of a movie. It gets inside you like a virus, puts your nerves in a blender, and twists your guts into a Gordian knot.
  5. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    90
    Tensely action-packed and muscularly directed by Kathryn Bigelow, this tale of an elite U.S. army bomb disposal unit in Baghdad is a familiar story in new clothes, targeted at the young male demographic.
  6. 88
    This is a tense, well-crafted motion picture that keeps viewers on edge. It's an exhausting 130 minutes; many viewers will leave the theater feeling drained.
  7. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    60
    Boal's script stirs a little of everything into the pot, which boils down into seven setpieces divided by brief intervals of camaraderie/conflict among the three protags.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. MarkS
    Jul 22, 2009
    10
    I've given myself a few days for the experience of "The Hurt Locker" to sink in, and am now convinced that it deserves a place on the I've given myself a few days for the experience of "The Hurt Locker" to sink in, and am now convinced that it deserves a place on the same altar as "Full Metal Jacket," "Platoon," and "Saving Private Ryan." It is an entirely apolitical Iraq war film, but what's more: a thoroughly engrossing human drama about working in the most hazardous and unpredictable of conditions. Expand
  2. JacobT
    Jan 19, 2010
    10
    Absolutely the most compelling movie I've seen about war. I don't know what people dislike about this movie, but I loved every Absolutely the most compelling movie I've seen about war. I don't know what people dislike about this movie, but I loved every fucking second of it. Expand
  3. J
    Aug 3, 2009
    10
    To all of you military types complaining that this movie wasn't realistic enough, it's not a documentary. It's a work of To all of you military types complaining that this movie wasn't realistic enough, it's not a documentary. It's a work of fiction. Period. The Hurt Locker isn't concerned with the nuts and bolts of making every tiny detail as 100% accurate as possible. If you want that, watch the Military Channel, or better yet go re-enlist and get shipped back over there if want an "authentic" experience. This is the first war movie in ages that paints its soldiers as real, complex people instead of cartoons or psychos, and all you can do is complain? Sheesh. Luckily, for the rest of us, this film will do just fine, because the enlightened viewer will realize that The Hurt Locker isn't about the details, but the big picture. It's a document of what a war like this means and how it affects the participants on both sides. It's neither pro-war nor anti-war, but instead just shows the ways things are without pronouncing judgment on its characters or their actions. It's also a showcase for some of the most impressive action and suspense set pieces to grace the cinema in a very long time. Hard, sharp, and honest, The Hurt Locker is one of the year's very best films. THAT'S the reality. Expand
  4. Robn
    Aug 15, 2009
    8
    I enjoyed it. It is entertaining and well-made, but does seem to lack some cohesion as far as plot and theme. Each scene feels like an I enjoyed it. It is entertaining and well-made, but does seem to lack some cohesion as far as plot and theme. Each scene feels like an independent episode from a mini-series rather than part of a film with an overall theme. The theme itself is not apparent until the end, at which point it is anti-climactic. The camera work and acting is great. I would describe it as an action/suspense popcorn movie more than a serious war film. Expand
  5. Jul 31, 2013
    5
    It was honestly nothing more than ok. The acting was really good and the directing was good, but at the end of the day, I'm not entirely sureIt was honestly nothing more than ok. The acting was really good and the directing was good, but at the end of the day, I'm not entirely sure what the plot was (yes, he disarms bombs, but it leads to nothing), which is an obvious turn off and it's honestly really slow at times. Unsure how this won an Oscar. Expand
  6. DK
    Feb 14, 2010
    3
    Rather weak movie. I lost interest halfway through and walked out. It wasn't very realistic and lacked cohesion. I still don't know Rather weak movie. I lost interest halfway through and walked out. It wasn't very realistic and lacked cohesion. I still don't know what the plot was about by midway through the story. Mixed with amateurish acting and photography, I'm surprised that there was potential under the surface but not surprised that it didn't break through. Nothing like Generation Kill as someone else mentioned. A lemon. It has it's moments, but they don't make a movie. Expand
  7. RayK.
    Aug 23, 2009
    0
    I was excited to see this movie for a number of reasons, not the least of which was it's critical buzz. When I walked out, I was I was excited to see this movie for a number of reasons, not the least of which was it's critical buzz. When I walked out, I was appalled. Not by the technical inaccuracies or the unbelievably inane behavior and portrayal of the characters. That just makes it fiction. What offends me and what will offend anyone whose put in his time downrange is that everyone out there seems to think this is such a great movie. Every gushing review I read talks about Hurt Locker's harsh and uncompromising realism. BS! Do NOT watch this movie thinking that anything happening on screen is even remotely close to true to life. Nothing, NOTHING about this movie is close to being "real." From my perspective, GI Joe is a better movie because it doesn't pretend to be something it's not and then fail miserably at it. Katherine Bigelow might have fooled all the civilians but she's not fooling anyone else. Expand

See all 380 User Reviews

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