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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1093 Ratings

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  1. Mar 7, 2014
    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 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Jan 1, 2014
    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.
  5. Dec 23, 2013
    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 its advantage to progress the story. Expand
  6. Nov 16, 2013
    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.
  7. Nov 6, 2013
    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.
  8. Nov 4, 2013
    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.
  9. Sep 2, 2013
    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 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
  10. Jul 31, 2013
    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.
  11. Jul 5, 2013
    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.
  12. Jul 1, 2013
    Listen to our full review of this movie and others that are beloved by critics, Critically Acclaimed, Publicly Reviewed on itunes.
  13. Jun 9, 2013
    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
  14. May 19, 2013
    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 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
  15. Apr 25, 2013
    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.
  16. Feb 12, 2013
    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 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
  17. Feb 8, 2013
    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 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
  18. Jan 21, 2013
    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.
  19. 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
  20. Jan 20, 2013
    "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
  21. Jan 16, 2013
    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.
  22. 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.
  23. Dec 11, 2012
    I realize this review is coming a little late but I see the same director is now birthing another one of her 'realistic' films about war (Zero Dark Thirty). I love hard hitting action films as much as I HATE political propaganda and that is what the Hurt Locker is. I was completely bored with the "crazy-American-cowboy standing-alone -against-all-the-whimps" theme. Maybe this film director/writer should join up and see what a real war feels like. Expand
  24. 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. Expand
  25. Oct 25, 2012
    I personally think it's incredibly underrated by users. Hurt Locker was a well done film. It was interesting to watch, well acted, and manage to suck you in all at the same time. Definently worth watching imo.
  26. Oct 11, 2012
    : This movie told that war is a terrible place to live and when go in so deep in the war it becomes a drug and you don
  27. 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
  28. Aug 25, 2012
    Finally a war film about the middle east that doesn't try to be too intelligent yet is seemingly aimed at intelligent people. A wonderful film which was hands down better than Avatar though I did think that other films were overlooked for Best Picture. Jeremy Renner evolved in this film from supporting actor in an action film to a fantastic lead in a serious film. This was a huge turning point within his career. Expand
  29. Aug 16, 2012
    I found myself liking the first half of the film a lot, but when the film hits the unnecessarily long sniper sequence, it all starts to go down hill. I never really found the 2nd half to be as compelling as the first half, and I started to care less and less with where the plot was going. In the end, The Hurt Locker is a decent, but severely over-rated movie.
  30. 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

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.