The Hurt Locker

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1352 Ratings

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User Reviews

  1. PeterB
    Aug 10, 2009
    3
    I realize I'm way in the minority on not liking this movie. Like Jarhead, this is another movie that portrays most in the military as pychos or malcontents. Is it too hard to have a more balanced view? Yes, there are some of these types in the military, but the majority are great Americans. On a side note, anyone in the military will just shake their heads at quite a few implausible I realize I'm way in the minority on not liking this movie. Like Jarhead, this is another movie that portrays most in the military as pychos or malcontents. Is it too hard to have a more balanced view? Yes, there are some of these types in the military, but the majority are great Americans. On a side note, anyone in the military will just shake their heads at quite a few implausible situations. Expand
  2. Dec 11, 2012
    0
    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 filmI 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
  3. ForrestL.
    Feb 3, 2010
    10
    I am a Marine combat veteran and I rate this movie as the most realistic war movie I've ever seen. It really captures the intensity and the individuality of combat and the changes it causes in all of its participants. Movies like Full Metal Jacket and Apoclypse Now and even Saving Private Ryan are cartoons - Hollywood director's fantasies of what war and conflict are. Most war I am a Marine combat veteran and I rate this movie as the most realistic war movie I've ever seen. It really captures the intensity and the individuality of combat and the changes it causes in all of its participants. Movies like Full Metal Jacket and Apoclypse Now and even Saving Private Ryan are cartoons - Hollywood director's fantasies of what war and conflict are. Most war movies are laden false events and dramatic devices and political "messages" but Hurt Locker embraces the realities of war and the people in them. This is a movie I'll keep for my children and grandchildren to show when they ask me what war was like. Expand
  4. AlT
    Mar 14, 2010
    3
    12th greatest film of all time? Give me a break!! Absurdly overrated, notably by American critics. The characters are unrealistic and are insulting to the highly trained extremely well disciplined soldiers that risk their lives detecting and disposing of IED every day. The sniper section is unrealistic, with a headshot on a moving target at some considerable distance. There is no plot - 12th greatest film of all time? Give me a break!! Absurdly overrated, notably by American critics. The characters are unrealistic and are insulting to the highly trained extremely well disciplined soldiers that risk their lives detecting and disposing of IED every day. The sniper section is unrealistic, with a headshot on a moving target at some considerable distance. There is no plot - this film is just a sequence of set pieces. The film has no emotional centre and lacks character development - you feel nothing for the characters at the end. The score is unmemorable. The acting average. It does have good ideas, but on the whole it is poorly executed. 9 oscars was a vote in support of the war effort, not in support of the quality of this film. Downright poor. Expand
  5. Andrew
    Jul 29, 2009
    0
    I am still deployed and this is truly the worst war movie I have ever watched. Without even acknolwedging how far from the truth the tactics are and lack of security in every scene, EOD is falsely portrayed as some sort of special forces unit. I have sat on many IED's and regardless of the fact that units are not allowed to travel outside of a 3 vehicle or 4 vehicle security concept, I am still deployed and this is truly the worst war movie I have ever watched. Without even acknolwedging how far from the truth the tactics are and lack of security in every scene, EOD is falsely portrayed as some sort of special forces unit. I have sat on many IED's and regardless of the fact that units are not allowed to travel outside of a 3 vehicle or 4 vehicle security concept, EOD is not comprised of 3 enlisted defusing bombs. The robot is always extensively used and more importantly EOD personnel are never foolish enough to handle ready to go large ordnance to diffuse it. Every time we found an IED from 155 shells to mortar rounds, they were always blown in place. The few times an IED was taken was when it was fully dismembered by a disrupting detonation. I watched a little over half of this movie before turning it off as it was too painful and ridiculous to watch. Expand
  6. Aug 26, 2011
    2
    One of the more over-praised movies in recent memory - really just another hyperkinetic mess from Kathryn Bigelow (one of the more over-praised directors working today). The main character is a cliche, the "loose-cannon" action hero, only in this case there is no explanation for his risk taking. Jeremy Renner plays the character with his typical lack of range or subtlety. The onlyOne of the more over-praised movies in recent memory - really just another hyperkinetic mess from Kathryn Bigelow (one of the more over-praised directors working today). The main character is a cliche, the "loose-cannon" action hero, only in this case there is no explanation for his risk taking. Jeremy Renner plays the character with his typical lack of range or subtlety. The only interesting actor is Ralph Fiennes as the leader of a band of mercenaries, but he's only on screen for a few minutes. Altogether a waste of time. Expand
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. AlexS
    Jan 4, 2010
    8
    A very, very good " Iraq war" movie. I liked it, but still the critics are pissing themselves too much it seems. The ratings for this movie are so great everywhere that my expectations were too high. I liked the fact that this film did not tried to get into politics also.
  10. DenC
    Mar 8, 2010
    0
    Terrible garbage. Not worth watching. The director should go back to film school and actually learn how to film a movie. Do not waste your time. There is a reason this film did not get wide release. It is utter garbage.
  11. NicoleJ.
    Jan 25, 2010
    3
    Considering the reviews, I was thoroughly disappointed. It simply failed to engage me. It felt like a horrible waste of 2 hours. At this point, I can only hope the critics don't waste any more energy promoting this one during awards season.
  12. 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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  13. Jun 4, 2011
    6
    This is a great set up for what could be a killer war movie. But it isnâ
  14. Mar 25, 2012
    8
    The Hurter Locker might not be the best movie of the year but it certainly deserves more recongnition. A movie with such intense scenes and perfect editing that combines the drug of war within and on the ground.
  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. 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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  17. ReubenH
    Apr 25, 2010
    5
    Bottom line on the hurt locker is that it s OK, but clearly did not deserve the Oscar In 5 or 10 years, nobody will be talking about the Hurt Locker. The story was not especially original. The cinematography will not be referenced in other movies, and the film won't be parodied by cartoon shows as cultural icon. It was totally forgettable. IMO inglorious bastards should have won.
  18. RIckyBlue
    Jan 2, 2010
    1
    I'm with RW on this one. I thought this was a dumb, empty movie and haven't found a single review that points out what I've missed other than it was some kind of adrenaline rush. "It was so real, man." What kind of ivory tower institution do you people come from? This movie is disrespectful to American soldiers and Iraqi civilians alike. It's just another lame I'm with RW on this one. I thought this was a dumb, empty movie and haven't found a single review that points out what I've missed other than it was some kind of adrenaline rush. "It was so real, man." What kind of ivory tower institution do you people come from? This movie is disrespectful to American soldiers and Iraqi civilians alike. It's just another lame Hollywood vision of reality that allows people to pat themselves on the back for saying absolutely nothing. I don't know. It's an empty movie with bad dialogue and ridiculous, two-dimensional characters. Expand
  19. LilyS.
    Mar 12, 2010
    0
    Disjointed, unrealistic, slow, dull, and pathetic are all word that should be on the cover of this movie. It had the potential to be good if it had dived into story a bit more and chosen what it wanted to be about. Did it want to be about the relationship between the team or with the little kid? The difficulty of being in Iraq or the struggle of returning home? It touched all of those but Disjointed, unrealistic, slow, dull, and pathetic are all word that should be on the cover of this movie. It had the potential to be good if it had dived into story a bit more and chosen what it wanted to be about. Did it want to be about the relationship between the team or with the little kid? The difficulty of being in Iraq or the struggle of returning home? It touched all of those but left you wanting more. There was a lot of deep in thought staring when not easily clipping the wires of bombs. I could rant all day about how much I was disappointed but I'll just stop abruptly like the entire movie. Expand
  20. Jan 24, 2011
    0
    Meh, I'm just gonna cut the **** this is one horrible movie. The fact that it won best picture of the year just shows how hollywood is all biased and about politics and congress. Over the years, the oscars have become nothing but a pitiful embarrassing sham with incredibly ridiculous nominees and arrogant hosts. You might as well pin it next to the VGAs in how pathetic it is. It's plot?Meh, I'm just gonna cut the **** this is one horrible movie. The fact that it won best picture of the year just shows how hollywood is all biased and about politics and congress. Over the years, the oscars have become nothing but a pitiful embarrassing sham with incredibly ridiculous nominees and arrogant hosts. You might as well pin it next to the VGAs in how pathetic it is. It's plot? You've heard it before, some guy goes to iraq, shows the hardships of the war, some people die, comes back to america, goes back, done. Nothing of interest or originality at ALL in this movie. Hell there's not even a story. Best part of all is the stereotypical black guy as the tough militant, nothin against black people, but the way they always portray them as bad ass military guys in tight uniforms is laughable. Really it's just an advertisement for the american military and government. It has what the government wants. Portray the US as the good guy and Iraq as the bad guy. Make working for the military look bad ass with some sniper rifle scenes and you got yourself a subliminal message "join the military" and a good ol **** you to avatar. Expand
  21. FranciscoA.
    Mar 15, 2010
    2
    Very bad movie in deed... Un Accurate, bad plot, had a couple of great moments, but a suspense war TV movie all the way.
  22. BrendanD
    Dec 31, 2009
    1
    Seldom are war films and war politics able to be separated, but this is ridiculous. It's one thing to open up a dialogue about the rightness and wrongness of political and military decisions -- the great ones do that. It's a completely different thing, however, to put such a shiny gloss on it. This movie is to war movies what "Crash" was to race movies: a film that functions Seldom are war films and war politics able to be separated, but this is ridiculous. It's one thing to open up a dialogue about the rightness and wrongness of political and military decisions -- the great ones do that. It's a completely different thing, however, to put such a shiny gloss on it. This movie is to war movies what "Crash" was to race movies: a film that functions more as an idea than a story. It certainly wasn't boring; but then, neither was "Crash." However, I like films that probe a little deeper. If you want to see something that will make you question your beliefs on war (whichever side you fall into), check out "The Thin Red Line" or "Battlestar Galactica" and ditch this schlocky nonsense. Expand
  23. Aug 16, 2010
    3
    This film is vinegar. Low budget unknown cast with cameo appearance by Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes who's flippant delivery summed up this film and probably his pay check.Guy Pearce gets killed before the credits finish.
  24. Sep 7, 2011
    1
    I seriously felt like shooting my self in the head...... over Americanised **** basically all hyped up trying to say Americans are the heroes even though they have killed more of their own than they have saved (SPASTICS) XD
  25. Aug 11, 2010
    10
    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
  26. Jul 19, 2011
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The first time I saw the trailer of the movie, I thought it would´ve been an interesting one. I was wrong. It started OK but from there on it was totally boring. Critics applaud the film for the "suspense" in it and the performance by Jeremy Renner and its photography and storyline. What storyline? The film features a lot of "tense ful" bomb defusing moments or in other words, "suspenseful" situations one after another that, really, lead to no conclusion. The guy easily defuses the bombs with almost no problems. A rookie soldier would've made those scenes a little bit more tense...maybe. The characters were forgettable. There is no character development in the film. The scene where James is trying to "find out" who killed the little Beckham also has no conclusion because he just randomly went to the house of this professor and asked what happened to the boy and moments later he goes back to his base. Also that night, the bomb squad heads to this place where, yes you guessed it, another bomb has blown. And the three are in pursue of the responsibles for that bomb. In the end, one of them gets shot and no one is captured. Bottom line, the film's about suspense situation after suspense situation that lead to no conclusion. A great film is one that introduces new artistic ways for filmmaking, a good story, which this film does not have, good character development and a good screenplay and the list goes on and on. The Hurt Locker has nothing of those. Expand
  27. DarenP.
    Feb 2, 2010
    0
    More like crap locker,not like it was at all. EOD doesn't cruse around all by themselves in summer 04,let alone wear some bomb suit in 120+ heat AND not brake sweet. Stopped it 18min into what crap.
  28. Dec 13, 2010
    2
    This movie gets a 2, reason being because CG effects were great and acting was as well. However, the cast didn't fit together also these little cameos by famous actors were just boring and pointless. This movie won a bunch of academy awards and I don't know how? Hollywood is just lame in giving awards sometimes. They just give them to look good and to either make people mad or happy. ThisThis movie gets a 2, reason being because CG effects were great and acting was as well. However, the cast didn't fit together also these little cameos by famous actors were just boring and pointless. This movie won a bunch of academy awards and I don't know how? Hollywood is just lame in giving awards sometimes. They just give them to look good and to either make people mad or happy. This movie just makes you feel like you should die or try to die as you keep watching or living out your life. Yeah you could watch it, but don't expect to feel anything after this boring anti-war movie. It's basically just about being obsessed and it's like who cares give me something with meaning, you're taking up my life's precious hours! Expand
  29. Jun 22, 2011
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Some cool moments (like the sniping, didn't make any sense that a guy who disarms bombs knows how to spot and snipe guys makes no sense, to their own expertise or the story-line) but the plot and characters, especially the main character ticked me off. The black guy constantly trying to kill the main character was the breaking point for me. We need to support our troops not act like every CO is a bastard with his men trying to kill him. The unpatriotic views makes me sick. The and the fact it has gotten great critic reviews is slander. One of the worst war movies I have ever seen. Expand
  30. 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.
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.