Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1135 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The Hurt Locker is an intense portrayal of elite soldiers who have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: disarming bombs in the heat of combat. When a new sergeant, James, takes over a highly trained bomb disposal team amidst violent conflict, he surprises his two subordinates, Sanborn and Eldridge, by recklessly plunging them into a deadly game of urban combat. James behaves as if he's indifferent to death. As the men struggle to control their wild new leader, the city explodes into chaos, and James' true character reveals itself in a way that will change each man forever. (Summit Entertainment) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. 100
    A great film, an intelligent film, a film shot clearly so that we know exactly who everybody is and where they are and what they’re doing and why.
  2. 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.
  3. 100
    Such is the extraordinary achievement of The Hurt Locker: it has the perspective of years when those years have yet to pass.
  4. 100
    The Hurt Locker redefines war-film electricity.
  5. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    The adrenaline rush of war has been largely missing from Hollywood's Iraq, but it's certainly front and center in The Hurt Locker, the first war movie in a while that feels as if it could have starred John Wayne.
  6. 88
    Here's the Iraq War movie for those who don't like Iraq War movies.
  7. 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.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. MarkS
    Jul 22, 2009
    I've given myself a few days for the experience of "The Hurt Locker" to sink in, and am now convinced that it deserves a place on the same altar as "Full Metal Jacket," "Platoon," and "Saving Private Ryan." It is an entirely apolitical Iraq war film, but what's more: a thoroughly engrossing human drama about working in the most hazardous and unpredictable of conditions. Expand
  2. RL
    Jan 18, 2010
    Wow! What a movie. Outstanding . I dont watch many flicks because so many are crap. But this one is different: Suspenseful. Believable and pushed every emotional button. Watch it. Expand
  3. J
    Aug 3, 2009
    To all of you military types complaining that this movie wasn't realistic enough, it's not a documentary. It's a work of fiction. Period. The Hurt Locker isn't concerned with the nuts and bolts of making every tiny detail as 100% accurate as possible. If you want that, watch the Military Channel, or better yet go re-enlist and get shipped back over there if want an "authentic" experience. This is the first war movie in ages that paints its soldiers as real, complex people instead of cartoons or psychos, and all you can do is complain? Sheesh. Luckily, for the rest of us, this film will do just fine, because the enlightened viewer will realize that The Hurt Locker isn't about the details, but the big picture. It's a document of what a war like this means and how it affects the participants on both sides. It's neither pro-war nor anti-war, but instead just shows the ways things are without pronouncing judgment on its characters or their actions. It's also a showcase for some of the most impressive action and suspense set pieces to grace the cinema in a very long time. Hard, sharp, and honest, The Hurt Locker is one of the year's very best films. THAT'S the reality. Expand
  4. Robn
    Aug 15, 2009
    I enjoyed it. It is entertaining and well-made, but does seem to lack some cohesion as far as plot and theme. Each scene feels like an independent episode from a mini-series rather than part of a film with an overall theme. The theme itself is not apparent until the end, at which point it is anti-climactic. The camera work and acting is great. I would describe it as an action/suspense popcorn movie more than a serious war film. Expand
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. RayK.
    Aug 23, 2009
    I was excited to see this movie for a number of reasons, not the least of which was it's critical buzz. When I walked out, I was appalled. Not by the technical inaccuracies or the unbelievably inane behavior and portrayal of the characters. That just makes it fiction. What offends me and what will offend anyone whose put in his time downrange is that everyone out there seems to think this is such a great movie. Every gushing review I read talks about Hurt Locker's harsh and uncompromising realism. BS! Do NOT watch this movie thinking that anything happening on screen is even remotely close to true to life. Nothing, NOTHING about this movie is close to being "real." From my perspective, GI Joe is a better movie because it doesn't pretend to be something it's not and then fail miserably at it. Katherine Bigelow might have fooled all the civilians but she's not fooling anyone else. Expand

See all 375 User Reviews


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