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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1159 Ratings

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  1. Nov 9, 2014
    Every single negative review I see on this site is due to "inaccuracy". Film is art ladies and gentleman, not reality. No matter the subject matter, any and all disbelief should be suspended when watching film. This is a classic mistake of many movie goer who expects realism. Look at elements and themes within a film, and stop tallying up real life impossibilities. This film is a masterful work of art, thematically and emotionally. There is a reason for the 94 meta score on this site, it does not lie. The film is great. Expand
  2. Oct 10, 2014
    I enjoyed Bigelow's film very much--it's a very accurate depiction of the unique problems both of the war in the Middle East and that soldiers of any war face--that fighting and surviving is all they know, to the deficit of everything else. I understand why it was shot the way that it was, though handheld, jerky movement isn't my cup of tea. This film gets a lot of hate because it beat out Avatar at the awards ceremonies. Though it's a very good film and deserving of great recognition, I don't think it's the best that Bigelow can do. I'm curious what she's going to try next. Expand
  3. Jan 30, 2014
    ''Excellent.'' ''Brilliant!'' ''Full of Suspense and Intensity.'' '' An Absolute Knockout! The first 12 mins will mess-up your life. One of the Best Films of the decade. The Best Action film I've seen in year's. The Actors are winning. The Film editing is brilliant. The Best Action-'Thriller ever made! Renner, Mackie and Gerahty were Terrific.
  4. Jan 7, 2014
    Usually I don't really enjoy war films, but this one is fantastic. I've never seen a movie of this genre which is as genuine and gripping as "The Hurt Locker" with stunning actors and a touching story. Kathryn Bigelow's film leaves me stoked behind.
  5. Jan 20, 2013
    This is a very good movie about the Iraq war. I like Jeremy Renner a lot. the cast is very good and the story is awesome. I like this movie a lot. Best movie of 2009
  6. Jan 5, 2013
    In a few short moments...everything will change, in this instance, for all war films to come.
    The Hurt Locker clutched to this notion and never wained it's grasp through every 130+ minutes of this movie.
    Within minutes of this dramatic realisation beginning, my heart is beating to the point of me believing "I could just reach over and let Guy Pearce know whats going on", my point to this
    is that director Kathryn Bigelow (Point break) has created this epic yet simple, unprecedented, sometimes frightening, drama/war film that shows then relatively unknown actors, portraying just more numbers on a document sent on 365 day rotation in Iraq, in particular an EOD squad, just what can happen in a regular day in war.
    This film deals with the emotional barriers that soldiers face in the line of duty, the difficulties of 'routine' life but most of all, it deals with everlasting effect of what being a soldier does to not just your physical well-being, but your mind.
    After an explosive opening, we see Sergeant First Class William James (Jeremy Renner), team leader of the specialised EOD unit also consisting of Sergeant Sandborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty). The two soldiers see their leader as a reckless redneck due to his lack of safety and disregard for the rules when it comes to a POA on disposing bombs.
    Jeremy Renner carries this film to greater heights than one could possibly have hoped for. As the film progresses we watch the team unravel and get an insight into the day to day activities, or lives of these embedded heroes, a dramatisation, yes, but one so close to the heart it could throw a juggernaut suit on you and take the dreaded steps in the searing sun.
    I can't say much more because a film like this needs to be seen and not read about, a masterpiece in every aspect, beautiful, frightening, realism taken to new heights and pushing boundaries like no other, easily in contention for one of the best films in the past decade.
  7. Nov 12, 2012
    Oh my God! One of the most perfect movies I've ever known. You could probably split this thing in half, and make two great works of cinema. There is so much suspense and drama packed into each and every beautifully shot scene that it almost calls forth the sweat on your brow. I ventured further onto the edge of my seat than I knew was humanly possible. When these soldiers are attempting to diffuse mysterious explosives, it almost feels like your well-being is in the balance as well. This long, exhilarating piece is just pumping at the edges with pounds upon pounds of heart-racing, pipe-bursting tension. The Hurt Locker is slow, punishing and weighs down upon you with a pressure that you don't want to stop. Masterful cinematography, directing, acting and vision. Everything is flawlessly clear both visually and intellectually. At no point did I find myself asking about the plot or wondering why something happened. It carries the mark of a great movie which is, you come close to forgetting that it is a movie at all. It becomes real. It leaves you utterly and hopelessly captivated. This was a film made with clarity, vigilance and purpose. So damn good I can't stand it. One for the ages. Collapse
  8. Aug 28, 2012
    The Hurt Locker is no ordinary war film. In fact, setting aside the iconography and setting of the Iraq war, it's scarcely a war film at all. Rather than making an explicit judgement about the Iraq War, the film instead shifts focus to people and relationships, and how a single moment can change your life forever, or suddenly end it. The best, and most thought provoking scene in the film is one of relative calm, when EOD Seargeant Will James (Jeremy Renner) is on leave from active duty, and looks simply lost while wandering down the cereal isle of an American supermarket. Renner is excellent as James, who is essentially an adrenaline junkie, an addict to thrills and near death experiences, and who is obsessed with getting his next fix. Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty also impress as James' squad-mates, a by-the-book straight man to James' impulsive maverick leader and a jittery and inexperienced young specialist respectively. Guy Pierce and Ralph Fiennes are good as always in minor but quite pivotal roles. The characters are layered and interesting, the expertly paced, sweat-inducing bomb disposal scenes smartly replace the standard running-and-gunning battles found in almost all other war films (there's only one straight gunfight, and even that is drawn-out and minimalistic) and Mark Boal's script is believable and dramatically affecting. I'm quite ashamed to admit that this is the only one of Kathryn Bigelow's films I've seen, but she's undeniably talented behind the camera, grounded and naturalistic in her style (other than using a little well-executed slow-motion for the biggest set pieces) and most pleasingly, unlike her ex-husband Mr Moneybags Cameron, she doesn't yet appear to have been consumed by her own hype. The Hurt Locker is a masterful piece of dramatic storytelling, an excellent analysis of the driving forces of humanity, and one of the cleverest examinations of the impact of war to ever grace the silver screen. It's a crime that no woman before Bigelow has won the Best Picture Academy Award, but The Hurt Locker sets a fine example as the first film to break this trend, and it didn't need in excess of $200,000,000 to do it. Expand
  9. Aug 3, 2012
    An intelligent movie that intrigues and excites. It is dramatic, tense and the odd bit humorous. This is one of the few films that I would actually call a masterpiece
  10. Aug 1, 2012
    This is a great movie and one of the best war films I ever watched. The only thing that I didn't like was the use of the shaky camera, but it doesn't really distract from actually telling the story. Personally, I just don't like shaky camera but most of the time it was used in this film was from the main characters' perspective (you got a glimpse of what they saw). When I actually did see the shaky camera it didn't really physically make me nauseated but it did annoyed me. Expand
  11. Jul 4, 2012
    Great movie! Unlike other war movies about recent conflicts such as Jarhead, this movie is actually entertaining, with some of the best tension filled scenes you will see. And the performance by Jeremy Renner in the lead role is fantastic. I understand that many parts of the movie are "unrealistic", as many people have complained about, but 100% of fictional movies are unrealistic. They have spice up aspects of life to make the film entertaining. I don't believe they mean any disrespect to those in uniform. They're merely trying to make the movie entertaining for the audience. But I understand this is a sensitive subject. Expand
  12. May 8, 2012
    Entirely typical wartime propaganda that actually very forcefully tries to paint the citizens of the country being attacked and exploited as the bad guys. Absolutely vile.
  13. Apr 2, 2012
    First off, this is a 9.75 out of 10. Near perfect. Acting is really good. Everyone give a really good job. Score is really good. Story is really great and is also intense. It's a great war tale of the US bomb squad. Plus some scenes in the movie can be so intense that'll it'll keep you guessing what'll happen. Overall, this is a amazing movie. One of the greatest war movies ever. Highly, highly recommended. Expand
  14. Jan 19, 2012
    I liked it. I thought the movie was original (which is rare these days) and well worth the watch. The acting was good, the movie was suspensful. The one flaw with it is that the climax wasnt satisfying. The entire film built up to this point that just totally let me down, Even to the point where it was a bit predictable. Still, It was a good film and worth the watch.

    IMO - Definently
    more worthy than Avatar to win the oscar for best picture. Expand
  15. Jan 6, 2012
    A war movie with real complicated protagonists. Great tension, great action but great psychological intrigue too. War is a drug, and so is the movie
  16. Dec 31, 2011
    7 out of 10 by users as of December 2011, really? It deserves better than that! Sure, it is no Saving Private Ryan but it has a VERY intelligent plot involving bombs and the war sequences are entertaining. Besides, the reconnaissance scenes are very unfolding and suspenseful which is the most thrilling part of the movie.
  17. Dec 31, 2011
    This is a very good movie. I don't know why so many people are whining about the fact that this isn't realistic. It's a film, it's art, it's fiction, if you can't watch a movie without thinking it's ALL true, and it's all realistic, then you shouldn't watch any movie. Of course the protagonist takes risks which can not be the reality, but it's movie - use your imagination, this is made to entertain people, it's not a documentary, just enjoy it, don't think too much. Great acting by all actors - I believed the emotions, very well done - nice cinematography as well! Expand
  18. Dec 24, 2011
    This little Kathryn Bigelow box-office failure ended up proving that it was the little engine that could. It defied the odds: it was a Summer release that was under-viewed but somehow managed enough buzz to rightfully overtake the box-office behemoth "Avatar" at the Academy Awards and take Best Picture. It may not be a film for the actors, but it is a film for anybody who likes to be wowed by amazing sights and amazing direction. Expand
  19. Nov 10, 2011
    The Hurt Locker is an energetic, pulverizing movie that really shows you what its like for the troops on the other side of the country, and, is supremely well acted. Go see the hurt locker while you can
  20. Aug 14, 2011
    I watched this movie a long time ago, and i jut recently came back to this review because this movie was featured in the "biggest gap between critics and fans article" so i thought I should look into it because this movie was just fantastic, and I'm really disappointed as to why this movie was on that article. First things first, this movie is not a patriotic movie; this movie is there to show the dehumanizing effects warfare can have upon a person, so I don't know why people can call this a "flag-waving" film when it clearly shows a man practically abandoning his own child to re-immerse himself in warfare. Second, a lot of people complain about the "Sniping" scene as being too boring or just plain unrealistic; this is not Call of Duty, okay... When it comes to sniping in real life, it can take hours to kill a specified target, there is no killstreaks and no quickscoping and if staying in the hot sun all day means that the enemy won't snipe at you back, then that's the best option to take to make sure you get out of there alive (the only thing that seems unrealistic is how an IED Unit has great skill when it comes to using an M107, that evades even me, but that's not reason enough for me to call the whole scene unreal). In truth, this is one of the greater military movies that I have ever seen (It defiantly stacks up mo movies like Apocalypse Now and Platoon, not saying its better, that's up to you, the viewers) and this movie didn't deserve to be in the previously mentioned article just because its not CoD-leveled action or just cause it doesn't have explosions every single microsecond. Definitely a movie worth watching (if you haven't already) if you are into the classical Vietnam-era films, you won't be disappointed. Expand
  21. Aug 12, 2011
    I went into this movie expecting Black Hawk Down but I wasn't disappointed when i didn't get it, instead i really enjoyed the slow paced yet interesting story. Critics enjoyed this movie for a reason, they are professionals who have studied hard in the field of film, they know what they're talking about.
  22. May 24, 2011
    This is a great picture that is able to capture a tense moment on film. There will be a great deal of intensity that will place you on the end of your seat. This is the best war movie of the decade.
  23. Mar 29, 2011
    This is a great movie, the film captures the real emotion of being and war- People have empathy during this movie, you can feel the bullets. It is one of the best movies of the decade. It's sad if you can't handle violence but you wanted to see it. It was one of my favorites
  24. Jan 25, 2011
    Certainly one of the most emotional movies I have ever watched. I was completely immersed in the characters and story line. I was left both breathless and aching for more. I was still thinking about it months later. Can any film expect more than that?
  25. Jan 15, 2011
    A masterpiece of cinema plain and simple. It's wonderfully crafted, perfectly paced, with incredibly tense sequences that would have made **** proud. It also deals with the effects of war on the human soul without ever being ham handed or melodramatic. Along with Saving Private Ryan and Letters From Iwo Jima it's the finest War film I have seen of the last 20 years.
  26. Jan 3, 2011
    Well deserved Oscars. Jeremy Renner's performance was memorably outstanding. I watched both HL and Avatar the week before the Oscars and I found this to be more engaging and thrilling than the flashing lights and sounds of Avatar. I'm not saying that Avatar wasn't a good movie but how many people actually saw HL before Avatar? 48 million to 2 billion box office gross (rounded down)
  27. Oct 2, 2010
    Direction is excellent the actors are perfect but the plot is a little weak. The director has done a perfect work also the main actor is absolutely perfect.
  28. Sep 3, 2010
    Realistic or not this is a great film. The plot was laid out in an organized fashion, no cliche twists that make the viewer feel smart. The characters were well written and are open to interpretation. The amount of small details and varied sequence of events makes an easily film to watch multiple times.
    But, don't expect an ACTION FILM. @ForrestL I could not agree more.
  29. Aug 27, 2010
    Easily the best movie made about the Iraq War, and one of the most memorable war movies I've seen in general. The director, Kathryn Bigelow, charges almost every scene with suspense and tension, producing action sequences more exhilarating and gripping than most high-budget blockbusters. Also, wtf with people complaining about the movie's real-life credibility? It's not like "Apocalypse Now" represented the Vietnam War as it was, it just tried to be a great movie, which it was and "The Hurt Locker" is the same. Expand
  30. Aug 19, 2010
    New man joins bomb disposal team in Iraq, day-to-day job of diffusing bombs & avoiding crossfire, camaraderie, conflict, decisions.
    Almost documentary/fly-on-the-wall style film that does a fantastic job of capturing the atmosphere, tension & overall danger of these soldiers lives.
    The acting & dialogue are very natural, great cameos, top-notch cinematography & the claustrophobia of the
    "bomb suit" scenes are thrilling & uncomfortable.
    Excellent incidental music too.
  31. Aug 18, 2010
    this movie is beast!!!!!!!!! all the negative reviewers suck. thats right mofos.... you suck!!!!! the best war movie that ive seen, and the greatest movie since shawshank!!!!! hell yea!!!!!
  32. Aug 11, 2010
    One of the most outstanding war movies this century. I am a surprised a woman could even direct something as good as this one. Some people should really think about it, because it is kind of true. I am sure some people jsut hate it just because it beat Avatar in the oscars

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
    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
    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.