User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1186 Ratings

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  1. 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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  2. Jan 23, 2015
    9
    When Sergeant James takes over a highly trained bomb disposal team stationed in Iraq, he surprises his team with his reckless and dangerous methods. As the battle continues all around them the team attempt to curb their new leader before his actions have serious consequences for everyone.

    With explosives everywhere and every civilian a potential enemy The Hurt Locker brilliantly
    When Sergeant James takes over a highly trained bomb disposal team stationed in Iraq, he surprises his team with his reckless and dangerous methods. As the battle continues all around them the team attempt to curb their new leader before his actions have serious consequences for everyone.

    With explosives everywhere and every civilian a potential enemy The Hurt Locker brilliantly portrays the intense nature of working and living in war torn territory. The movie is about far more than just men blowing things up however and as the movie unfolds we learn about the motivations of each of the men involved giving us a fascinating insight into their world.

    With brilliant performances all round The Hurt Locker is one of the best war movies ever made.
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  3. 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 .
  4. Jan 5, 2015
    10
    It's rare to find a realistic intelligent film. This is one of them.
    Unbelievable acting in the last scene. It was truly powerful.

    It shows the true color of terrorism in the Middle East, and pretty much rips apart all the conspiracy theories and international media bias against U.S. military.

    I give this film 10 with full respect.
  5. Nov 9, 2014
    10
    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 aEvery 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
  6. Oct 10, 2014
    9
    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 outI 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
  7. Sep 24, 2014
    2
    I suspect the high reviews that critics have given this is due more to the fact the media is filled with liberal defeatist cowards because the film itself was boring, boring, boring. I could hardly stay awake.
  8. Aug 24, 2014
    3
    I understand the importance of creating heroes surrounding the American military; however, I found this depiction overly run-of-the-mill. Sure, Jeremy Renner gives a fine performance--but I'm left missing some much needed heart.
  9. Mar 7, 2014
    0
    Please for anyone watching this move it is not at all accurate. EOD rarely disarms bombs as it is too dangerous. NCO's don't punch superiors in the face, you certainly would never find a SFC getting hammered drunk or sneaking off the fob by himself to interrogate someone, it is simply false. These are huge falsehoods that completely turn the move into 100% fiction beyond the fact thatPlease for anyone watching this move it is not at all accurate. EOD rarely disarms bombs as it is too dangerous. NCO's don't punch superiors in the face, you certainly would never find a SFC getting hammered drunk or sneaking off the fob by himself to interrogate someone, it is simply false. These are huge falsehoods that completely turn the move into 100% fiction beyond the fact that the war in Iraq actually happened. These would be the kinds of stories you would hear from an EOD private who was in the Green Zone for 12 months. Anyone else who ever set foot in the middle east can tell you what a complete load of BS this movie really is.

    People may think that even an inaccurate war movie is better than none but that is simply not the case. This movie is an insult to everyone who spent even one second in Iraq and I am still amazed that it actually won an Oscar. That is just a travesty.
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  10. Jan 30, 2014
    9
    ''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.
  11. Jan 7, 2014
    10
    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.
  12. Jan 1, 2014
    4
    Jeremy Renner is great in his role, but for me the film didn't live up to my expectations due to its length and not having as much action as the trailer showed.
  13. Dec 23, 2013
    8
    Though it seems its inaccuracy and marketing hooks have struck a chord with a few, I found The Hurt Locker to be an enjoyable film. Ironically, it gives you a nice break from the typical explosion-after-explosion-war-action flick despite it focusing on EOD, with a slower pace and likable characters. It holds just enough tension without crossing over into tedium, and uses it to itsThough it seems its inaccuracy and marketing hooks have struck a chord with a few, I found The Hurt Locker to be an enjoyable film. Ironically, it gives you a nice break from the typical explosion-after-explosion-war-action flick despite it focusing on EOD, with a slower pace and likable characters. It holds just enough tension without crossing over into tedium, and uses it to its advantage to progress the story. Expand
  14. Nov 16, 2013
    7
    The Hurt Locker is spectacularly suspenseful.
    The movie is filled with good acting especially from Jeremy Renner and good directing. The story is exceptionally well written, and despite being a little slow, the Hurt Locker still achieves success.
  15. Nov 6, 2013
    5
    Entertaining, yet not anywhere near to reality. You wouldn't go off base by yourself without your gear. You wouldn't do half of the things they they did in this movie.

    And action movie this is, an accurate one it is not. The portrayal of pstd was abysmal at best, and they way they wrote it off was sickening.
  16. Nov 4, 2013
    8
    Personally, I don't feel that "The Hurt Locker" deserved all those Oscar awards and that it's slightly overrated but I don't deny that it's a really damn good film. It's tense, complex, violent and action-packed. The story is well planned and written and the acting is fabulous.
  17. Sep 2, 2013
    4
    This movie works only because it appears so real, it's the source of the suspense, the action, the atmosphere, characters, plot... etc. This is also why it fails. While it may be more accurate than many other war movies, this one was built on realism. However an informed viewer will note that the movie does not portray well the soldiers' lives and the Iraq war. Many bomb squad members saidThis movie works only because it appears so real, it's the source of the suspense, the action, the atmosphere, characters, plot... etc. This is also why it fails. While it may be more accurate than many other war movies, this one was built on realism. However an informed viewer will note that the movie does not portray well the soldiers' lives and the Iraq war. Many bomb squad members said so themselves, including the ones that were interviewed by the movie makers. All the portrayed military operations are inaccurate. This movie is a lie. However can it still be viewed as a regular war action movie? I'm afraid not. Without the sense of reality the movie loses all interest. To conclude, not only does this movie fail at what it sells for, which is a close enough portrayal of wartime, it also fails as an action movie. The only praise I can give is the amazing work achieved by the actors. You will enjoy this movie though if you do not know much about the Iraq war, like most Americans unfortunately. Expand
  18. 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 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.
  19. Jul 5, 2013
    7
    It is certainly an attention grabber the moment the movie begins, but then it seems to just be repeating the same sequences over and over until it is a little boring. Editing was great along with the script. Overpraised, but it still a good movie that has a lot of great qualities.
  20. Jul 1, 2013
    6
    Listen to our full review of this movie and others that are beloved by critics, Critically Acclaimed, Publicly Reviewed on itunes.
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/critically-acclaimed-publicly/id660700036?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
  21. Jun 9, 2013
    2
    I really didn't like this movie. it obviously didn't deserve an Oscar as Avatar was nominated this year...
    What is the point of that movie? War is great? America f**k yeah? I dont know but I think 94/100 is too much as well as 7.1/10 I watched that film with good friends and all of them didn't like it. It was truly unacceptable as a movie. Thumbs down
  22. May 19, 2013
    8
    Despite the high degree i gave to the film, but the film was a disappointment, think it's not worth to win the Oscar for best film, there are no any surprises in the film at all, and there are some stupid behaviors of the film main character Jeremy Renner and also the film pictures the Iraqi people are very weak and I am an Iraqi I do not deny that, but say it was exaggerated, but whatDespite the high degree i gave to the film, but the film was a disappointment, think it's not worth to win the Oscar for best film, there are no any surprises in the film at all, and there are some stupid behaviors of the film main character Jeremy Renner and also the film pictures the Iraqi people are very weak and I am an Iraqi I do not deny that, but say it was exaggerated, but what I liked most in the film is the realism in the presentation of the facts, And location of the filming that is very similar to the Iraqi environment despite the fact that the film images in Jordan Expand
  23. Apr 25, 2013
    4
    This is a movie about bombs. Lots of bombs. Desert bombs.

    The End. That's pretty much it. Oh sure, a few other things happened. You wanna hear about 'em? OK. I'll provide you with a little more, oh faithful reader. I'm still not sure what the title The Hurt Locker refers to. It's not about well-secured first aid kits, nor is it about gymnasium facilities for actors William, John,
    This is a movie about bombs. Lots of bombs. Desert bombs.

    The End.

    That's pretty much it. Oh sure, a few other things happened. You wanna hear about 'em? OK. I'll provide you with a little more, oh faithful reader.

    I'm still not sure what the title The Hurt Locker refers to. It's not about well-secured first aid kits, nor is it about gymnasium facilities for actors William, John, or even Mary Beth.

    This celluloid endeavor was directed by Kathryn Bigelow; the deft hand behind such legendary screen classics as Point Break and Blue Steel. It stars Jeremy Renner as Staff Sergeant William James, an expert at diffusing bombs. Joining him on the Explosivity Disposaling Unit are Sergeant JT Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), and Owen Eldrige (Brian Geraghty)

    Renner has been nominated for an Academy Award for his performance. I'm not sure why this is. The supporting performances most notably Mackie's were, in my opinion, superior. All Renner did was act "cool". Oh, so "cool". Desert "cool". But if looking "cool" is the only criterion used for award recognition, then David Caruso should be nominated for a Nobel Prize.

    The film centers mostly on the antics of Sergeant James. James loves dismantling things that can blow you into a zillion pieces. He'd rather do that than live a peaceful life in a nice home with his beautiful wife. We're shown some of his domestic life, but the movie doesn't show the good stuff. No. Instead we see him cleaning out the eavestrough of his house.

    Now I've cleaned out a few roof gutters in my time, but the one depicted here has to be the gunkiest gutter in the history of home maintenance. And he's cleaning it out with his bare hand!!! C'mon, use a scoop, or a trowel, or a toy shovel, a stick, a shoe, anything. I'd rather diffuse bombs in Iraq than have to clean out that gutter in that fashion.

    Another scene worth mentioning shows the guys after getting a little snockered engaging in an activity where good judgment and mental acuity would be a distinct disadvantage. The "game" involves taking turns hitting each other as hard as possible in the stomach. My wife, while watching this powerful and touching scene, turned to me and asked, "Why do men do those kind of things?"

    You know, we men just have to chuckle when women ask us such questions. It was obvious to me, but I patiently explained it to her that this was a gesture of endearment. Women hug. Men try to smash the bejabers out of each other. It's their way of saying, "You're OK in my book." And nothing says it better than a ruptured spleen.

    A word of warning here to those prone to seasickness: the camerawork in this film is of that hand-held style that so many directors are wont to use these days. I suppose they feel it gives their movies that gritty, realistic, documentary look which is ironic, since documentary filmmakers rarely use the technique anymore. Besides, if it's supposed to look realistic, then why don't I see the real world that way through my eyes? Although if I did, I'd be making an appointment and pronto with an ophthalmologist or a brain surgeon.

    If you have a tough time watching this film due to that camera style, then avoid The Bourne Ultimatum at all costs. You would not survive. Its visuals are worse than any bone-jarring experience you could imagine

    I once took a ride on a gigantically tall roller coaster. Its peak disappeared into the clouds. It was called the Red Ripper, or the Brown Streak, or the Green Puker something like that. Anyway, all I know is that I was smiling after that ride. I wasn't smiling after The Bourne Ultimatum.

    In closing, I should say that even though I had some reservations about renting the DVD of The Hurt Locker, I was able to take something positive from it a lesson.

    The lesson learned is, pay attention to your reservations.
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  24. Feb 12, 2013
    0
    all my EOD friends thing this movie is the best comedy scifi they've ever seen. complete garbage, oscar winning my ass. I know people complain that it's a movie not a documentry, but come on you have to stick to reality at least a little bit. the scene where he pulls all those heavy artillary pieces out of the ground by the det cord and blasting caps... come on was he superman? each one ofall my EOD friends thing this movie is the best comedy scifi they've ever seen. complete garbage, oscar winning my ass. I know people complain that it's a movie not a documentry, but come on you have to stick to reality at least a little bit. the scene where he pulls all those heavy artillary pieces out of the ground by the det cord and blasting caps... come on was he superman? each one of those wieghs at least 50 pounds. This movie was "based" off of a soldiers EOD experience, if he had done half of what he said he did in the movie he'd still be jail. this is just another movie made to get an Oscar, nothing more Expand
  25. Feb 8, 2013
    6
    At its best, Hurt Locker totally captivates the feeling of being there alongside Jeremy Renner and defusing the bomb rigged to explode. But sadly if you look past it's peaks moments, you find confusing scenes and poor acting. As an European, Hurt Locker doesn't really give you that much content or make you attached to the characters. I had absolutely no feelings towards Sergeant JamesAt its best, Hurt Locker totally captivates the feeling of being there alongside Jeremy Renner and defusing the bomb rigged to explode. But sadly if you look past it's peaks moments, you find confusing scenes and poor acting. As an European, Hurt Locker doesn't really give you that much content or make you attached to the characters. I had absolutely no feelings towards Sergeant James (Jeremy Renner) and his crew, and because of this the tension about the bomb exploding or not was weak. It doesn't help at all that the characters have almost no background, especially the lead character was left blank. There are some great scenes like the sniping on the desert and defusing of the car bomb. but to balance it out there are some odd ones like the scene in which they have a drunken brawl in the barracks. Also the plot is a confusing mess of highlights, that doesn't seem to start or end. The shots are beautiful and sharp, and the scenes are very real-like. A lot of the credit for the movies success goes to the film editing and cinematography departments. Somehow i still feel the movie is widely overrated, and doesn't really bring anything new or make the existing better. I think this is a national matter and Americans do enjoy this film more than us Europeans do, the subject of Iraq war is somehow reluctant to us, and bonding with the EOD-squad in two hours is very hard. Expand
  26. Jan 21, 2013
    7
    A well crafted, well acted, tense war movie. The book ends of this movie are about as entertaining as a film can be. My problem with this movie comes in the middle third. There are some things at play here that took me out of the film completely and seem very out of place with the rest of the movie. Overall this is a very strong film.
  27. Jan 20, 2013
    10
    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
  28. Jan 20, 2013
    3
    "The Hurt Locker" is, at times, very gritty and gripping entertainment. Clearly, it caught the imagination of the Hollywood Limousine Liberal reviewing establishment, who gave it very high marks and ceded it a number of significant awards. But how good is the movie? Not really that good. In particular, the movie presents a very destructive and inaccurate portrayal of what soldiers are"The Hurt Locker" is, at times, very gritty and gripping entertainment. Clearly, it caught the imagination of the Hollywood Limousine Liberal reviewing establishment, who gave it very high marks and ceded it a number of significant awards. But how good is the movie? Not really that good. In particular, the movie presents a very destructive and inaccurate portrayal of what soldiers are really like. Nobody as reckless and irresponsible as the main character would last ten minutes in a special weapons unit of any kind, let alone one involved in demolition work. The fact that so many Hollywood reviewers accepted such a ridiculously inaccurate portrayal establishes that this kind of portrayal is currently Politically Correct. It is what Hollywood wants to believe soldiers are really like. A true work of art worthy of a best picture award would find the incredible drama present in the lives of our soldiers' *as they truly live them*. Besides being inaccurate, the movie is also, in places, simply distasteful. In constructing my final rating, I penalized it on that score. Expand
  29. Jan 16, 2013
    5
    Overrated movie, with unrealistic characters and no real story. Too much stupid Bravado and machismo. I am reviewing this because Zero Dark Thirty is out and while Katherine Bigelow is sexy, she only got to be a director, because she was married To James Cameron. Nepotism. I have no interest in seeing more fictional US military drama. I'll pass. Hurt locker was not that good.
  30. Jan 5, 2013
    10
    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
    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.
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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.