User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1255 Ratings

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  1. AlexC
    Mar 11, 2010
    1
    For this movie to have won best picture..Im just at a lost of words. So many things are wrong with this movie. The only reason it won is because it plays on the emotions of many so close to the war. Other than that, truly blah. I mean, what idiot is gonna leave a base to go find the killer of a lil boy. Utter senselessness. And what three man team is gonna leave an area by themselves with For this movie to have won best picture..Im just at a lost of words. So many things are wrong with this movie. The only reason it won is because it plays on the emotions of many so close to the war. Other than that, truly blah. I mean, what idiot is gonna leave a base to go find the killer of a lil boy. Utter senselessness. And what three man team is gonna leave an area by themselves with no support or radio contact, then run down...im getting to upset..im done writing. Simply Pith!! Expand
  2. MikeJ.
    Mar 22, 2010
    0
    Wow. I, like many others, had high hopes for this film. It was on my radar way before it got the Oscar, so when it won I wasn't surprised. I rented it this weekend with my girlfriend, and settled in to enjoy what I was assuming would be a very good film. Although I was aware of some controversy regarding the accuracy it, it didn't even occur to me that it might suck. However, Wow. I, like many others, had high hopes for this film. It was on my radar way before it got the Oscar, so when it won I wasn't surprised. I rented it this weekend with my girlfriend, and settled in to enjoy what I was assuming would be a very good film. Although I was aware of some controversy regarding the accuracy it, it didn't even occur to me that it might suck. However, within about 1 minute of turning it on I began to have my doubts, and by about the halfway mark I was seriously considering just turning it off. The first thing that struck me in a negative way about this move was the 'shaky cam'. I simply cannot stand this fad and really don't understand the popularity of it. The shaky cam effect is very distracting and annoying. It looks cheap and gimmicky on a TV show like Battlestar Galactica. In a supposedly gritty and realistic war movie like The Hurt Locker its just kind of embarrassing. The next thing that bothered me was the way that the Jeremy Renner character was behaving. On his first assignment with his team he straps on 'the suit' and drops a smoke bomb so that they can't see what he's doing? Really? Am I supposed to believe that? Also on that first assignment they show up to the scene of the bomb and they find a bunch of American soldiers cowering inside a building after they have abandoned their humvee out in the street. Really? Is that how American soldiers behave in Iraq? Although I didn't serve in Iraq, I spent 4 years in the Navy. During this time I interacted with the other branches of the military and I feel like I have a pretty good sense of the military 'vibe', i.e. how enlisted people interact with each other, how they interact with officers, etc. To me this film didn't capture that vibe at all. I have a very difficult time believing that this EOD squad was simply out on its own, tooling around the streets of Baghdad led by a total cowboy with no regard for their own safety. Reading the comments of others who served over there seems to validate my feeling about it. As far as accuracy is concerned, I have one rule when it comes to movies. I simply expect the movie to play by its own rules. For example, if the movie is about Space Marines fighting Aliens on another planet, that's fine as long as the movie can convince me that if I was there with them, then that's what it would be like. The problem with this movie is that it purports to be set in a very specific time in a very specific place, i.e. Iraq war 2004, but then does not make a good attempt at trying to portray that time and place accurately. Furthermore, since the setting is the Iraq war, which by the way is still going on, it has in my opinion a heightened responsibility to get all the little details right. If the filmmakers simply wanted to tell a McGuyver type story about a cowboy bomb squad in some fictional Middle Eastern war then fine whatever. But as soon as they tell me that this story is happening in Iraq in 2004 I have high expectations that they will portray things as they really were. Do US Army sergeants really go on ninja missions outside the wire to avenge the death of the kid who sells DVDs? Does the psychologist colonel who knows nothing about what's going on outside the wire decide all of a sudden to go on patrol with the EOD team and end up standing guard with an M16 and getting blown up by an IED? Does a guy who worked intelligence for 7 years before he got into the EOD and probably has no formal sniper training pick off a moving target at 800 meters with a head shot? Are we supposed to feel sympathy for a totally unlikeable character that constantly puts himself and his team in danger unnecessarily and would rather play war in Iraq than spend time with his wife and kid at home? Seriously, what were all the critics thinking? I have very similar feelings about the previous year's winner Slumdog Millionaire. I get the feeling there was a lot of group think going on, and that for whatever reason it made the critics feel good about themselves to rate these movies so highly and award them Best Picture. I wasn't even that crazy about Avatar but it was certainly better than Hurt Locker. And there were plenty of good movies last year that were better than either of them, case in point The Road which didn't get that great of reviews and didn't find an audience. Go figure. Expand
  3. DavidP
    Apr 12, 2010
    1
    Totally unrealistic portrayal of a bunch of Macgyvers that do not exist in real life. There were several incidents in the movie where the characters were threatened by Iraqis and would have shot to kill in real life, but in this fantasy, they held their fire and let the threatening party slink away. Look at the recent real video on Reuters and you will see the other extreme really Totally unrealistic portrayal of a bunch of Macgyvers that do not exist in real life. There were several incidents in the movie where the characters were threatened by Iraqis and would have shot to kill in real life, but in this fantasy, they held their fire and let the threatening party slink away. Look at the recent real video on Reuters and you will see the other extreme really happening where a helicopter gun crew mows down unthreatening Iraqis and 2 Reuters journalists. Nobody, whether American or Iraqi, was threatened. These punks just wanted to get the adrenalin rush from murdering people. Expand
  4. AntonioR.
    Apr 18, 2010
    0
    This movie is just BORING. I cant believe that it has this great reviews. What's new about it?
  5. AF
    Jul 11, 2009
    1
    Waste of time.
  6. BradM
    Jul 18, 2009
    3
    I really wanted to like this movie. It was very disappointing to me. The military aspects of the movie were completely unrealistic (Specialists do NOT speak like that to lieutenant colonels, no Humvee rolls by itself ever, infantry platoons don't cower in alleys waiting for EOD to roll up, and no EOD team is trained as countersnipers...among many other things), the character I really wanted to like this movie. It was very disappointing to me. The military aspects of the movie were completely unrealistic (Specialists do NOT speak like that to lieutenant colonels, no Humvee rolls by itself ever, infantry platoons don't cower in alleys waiting for EOD to roll up, and no EOD team is trained as countersnipers...among many other things), the character interactions were very contrived, and it was...dare I say...just not interesting. I think this was a great concept which was poorly executed. It was a movie by civilians for civilians, which I guess is why so many critics love it so much. Expand
  7. HannahF
    Aug 28, 2009
    0
    Oh dear... What a serious serious disappointment....! I genuinely feel like I have wasted 2 hours of my life... After watching what I thought was a great trailer, I went to see this and felt totally cheated by the speed, excitement & nitty gritty detail it's supposed to portray. The pretentious and unimpactful slow scenes did little to inspire the imagination of what clearly is a Oh dear... What a serious serious disappointment....! I genuinely feel like I have wasted 2 hours of my life... After watching what I thought was a great trailer, I went to see this and felt totally cheated by the speed, excitement & nitty gritty detail it's supposed to portray. The pretentious and unimpactful slow scenes did little to inspire the imagination of what clearly is a grueling job these men have to endure. And what was with the way they portrayed the British Army to be a bunch of dithering fools? There was nothing intense about it, so many reviews comment on the thought provoking insight to the Iraqi war. The result for me was slow, unsubtle and laboured. So many scenes felt disjointed and unnecessary to me, it was like watching Big Brother! I absolutely would not recommend watching this movie, in fact I even feel that a complaint to Odeon for picking such a dull film is in order. Pants! Expand
  8. Jan 18, 2015
    1
    It is an absolutely horrible , one sided movie that brings nothing new to the white screen . Oscar winning ? It is rather embarrassing . I would expect from bigelow something brave and innovative. I wonder we Hollywood will be brave enough to the Iraq war and face with reality .
  9. Feb 11, 2015
    1
    I cannot deny that 'The Hurt Locker' has a very specific power that does, in a way, attract people to it. It is a very boldly done war film about all the individual consequences of a war, something that has not been a standard topic of the genre. Yet, I was bitterly disappointed by it all, as it proved to be a disgustingly blatant work of American propaganda, whereby their politicalI cannot deny that 'The Hurt Locker' has a very specific power that does, in a way, attract people to it. It is a very boldly done war film about all the individual consequences of a war, something that has not been a standard topic of the genre. Yet, I was bitterly disappointed by it all, as it proved to be a disgustingly blatant work of American propaganda, whereby their political aggression is presented as a burden to those that willingly participated it. Who the f**k cares about what the war did to someone who, under the pretext of 'liberalization and democracy', behaved like a bloody dictator? I was utterly disappointed by all the awards the movie gained and I must say that the critical universal acclaim somehow escapes me, as I don't see any relevant acclaim that should be attributed to the movie. It is slow, effectively boring and dull, one-sided and biased and it actually borders some propaganda work, but without the chauvinistic subtext. But, yes, the glorification of the American Soldier (just to make it clear - America is not the problem here, it is the glorification of a phenomenon that should be condemned and I would say the exact same things if the film was about Congo, Cambodia, Britain or Guatemala) is there and it is absolutely sickening (I actually fell asleep for 20 minutes and when I woke up I concluded that I haven't missed a thing - enough said).

    I detested Jeremy Renner after seeing the movie and I was glad he lost the Oscar that year. In time, my opinion of him did improve, but the role was disastrous. It wasn't bad, quite the contrary, but the character itself, his portrayal and all of that combined with the movie itself was dreadful.

    So, 'The Hurt Locker', albeit a well designed war film, offers little to nothing of the potential it has, becoming thus a propaganda work and the glorification of a war-raging policy that should be forgotten within the history books and not glorified on screen.
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Metascore
94

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics

Critic 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. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    100
    A near-perfect movie about men in war, men at work. Through sturdy imagery and violent action, it says that even Hell needs heroes.
  3. 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.