Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Hurt Locker

A new movie review from The Movie Snob

The Hurt Locker (A-). This is the first movie about the Iraq War that I have seen, and it is a good one. The setting is Baghdad, 2004. Our protagonist is Staff Sergeant William James, whose specialty is defusing bombs. He's very good at his work, but he's reckless and occasionally disregards protocol. This tends to make nuts the two other soldiers whose main job is to protect him from snipers as he goes about his deadly business. There's no axe to grind on display here; the camera is "embedded" in the unit, and it simply shows what these men see and experience as they regularly risk death in a hostile and alien land. It plays like a very intense documentary, except in a small handful of scenes in which big-name actors unexpectedly show up and, truthfully, kind of break the mood. I like Ralph Fiennes (The Reader), Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential), and Evangeline Lilly (TV's Lost) as much as the next person, but their appearances didn't help the cinema verite feel.


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