“Best Picture #82”
“#2: " You Realize Every Time You Suit Up, Every Time We Go Out, It's Life Or Death. You Roll The Dice, And You Deal With It. You Recognize That Don't You? "”
“It's A Suicide Mission........That's Why It's Called A Suicide Bomb!”
“A Great Thoughtful & Suspenseful Film.”
“Here's The Iraq War Movie For Those Who Don't Like Iraq War Movies.”
“Definitely Deserved Best Picture”
“Not Outstanding But Intense.”
“Outstanding Must See”
“Sorry, I Just Want That Guy Blow Up Fast And The Movie Finnishes”
“"Shall We Give This Best Film/Director, The Answer Is NO!”
“Thick With Tension And Saturated With Suspense, The Hurt Locker Is A Poignant Portrayal Of Modern War.”
“Kathryn Bigelow, You Are A Genius”
“Raw, Realistic, Nitty-gritty, And Nail Biting Suspense From Start To Finish.”
“Short Review Based On Rankings”
“Simply Put, This Is The Best War Film Since Black Hawk Down”
“Quite Possibly The Best Movie Of The Year!”
“I've Been To War. I've Raised Twins. If I Had A Choice, I'd Rather Go To War. - George W. Bush”
“If I'm Gonna Die, I Wanna Die Comfortable”
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.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
If The Hurt Locker is not the best action movie of the summer, I'll blow up my car.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
A blazingly powerful action movie... whose unpretentious clarity makes for a refreshing change.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
Finally, Hollywood has made a great film about the Iraq War.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
The Hurt Locker is about Iraq in the same way that Paths of Glory was about World War I or Full Metal Jacket was about Vietnam -- which is to say, utterly and not at all. The Hurt Locker is a great movie, period.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Screenwriter Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow have made a unique film about war.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Instead of setting out to prove a point, it seeks to immerse us in an environment -- something Bigelow does with a conceptual rigor usually associated with those directors whose work is confined to film societies and art houses.
Scott Foundas - Village Voice
A movie that deserves to stand as one of the defining films of the decade.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
A first-rate action thriller, a vivid evocation of urban warfare in Iraq, a penetrating study of heroism and a showcase for austere technique, terse writing and a trio of brilliant performances.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
The miserably visceral exists here not as exploitation but out of the demands of authenticity.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
... a super-smart actioner about men in war that's arguably the best American film of the year.
Kathleen Murphy - MSN Movies
The Hurt Locker might be the first Iraq-set film to break through to a mass audience because it doesn't lead with the paralysis of the guilt-ridden Yank. The horror is there, but under the rush.
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
The Hurt Locker is a small classic of tension, bravery, and fear, which will be studied twenty years from now when people want to understand something of what happened to American soldiers in Iraq.
David Denby - New Yorker
The Hurt Locker is a spellbinding war film by Kathryn Bigelow, a master of stories about men and women who choose to be in physical danger.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
[Kathryn] Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal...have made the first fictional feature about American soldiers in Iraq that doesn't fall apart, or preach to a choir, or turn into a position paper.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
It's the best war movie since Full Metal Jacket.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
Like all the best war movies -- no matter what war, what era -- The Hurt Locker goes to the core of human nature.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Psychologically acute and thrillingly dramatic, The Hurt Locker blows every other Iraq war movie off the screen.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
The question isn't how do you live with the buzz of looming death; it's how do you live without it? No answers are offered, or even suggested.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Bigelow's direction is confident -- the action sequences are tense and suspenseful, so much so that The Hurt Locker also works as a straight-up war film.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Often gripping at a straight thriller level, but increasingly weakened by its fuzzy psychology, Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker doesn't bring anything new to the table of grunts-in-the-firing-line movies.
Derek Elley - Variety
Despite its pumped-up admiration for our troops and some scenes that spurt adrenaline like a fire hose, this sort-of-thriller about a bomb squad working in 2004 is stretched both timewise and for plausibility.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
This beyond-the-headlines war movie, a 'ticking clock' thriller from journalist-turned-screenwriter Mark Boal, is the first Iraq War movie to qualify as more first-rate entertainment than sermon.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Just when you thought the battle of Iraq war dramas had been fought and lost, along comes one that demands to be seen -- if you can handle the raging adrenaline.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Bigelow and cinematographer Barry Ackroyd crank up the tension to nail-biting, gut-churning extremes and the mayhem is powerfully visceral.
James Adams - Globe and Mail
In the end, Bigelow's point of view is what's most interesting about The Hurt Locker. The picture's strength lies in the details she focuses on.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
By keeping its scale miniature instead of epic (there are no combat scenes in the traditional sense), The Hurt Locker keeps its audience in a constant state of tension without risking battle fatigue.
Dana Stevens - Slate
More than any recent movie, this has a 'you are there' feel to it that gives us a flavor of an Iraq we don't see on the nightly newscasts.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Tensely action-packed and muscularly directed by Kathryn Bigelow, this tale of an elite U.S. army bomb disposal unit in Baghdad is a familiar story in new clothes, targeted at the young male demographic.
Deborah Young - Hollywood Reporter
Its insights and reach extend far beyond what's happened there over the past several years.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
The Hurt Locker is a near-perfect movie about men in war, men at work. Through sturdy imagery and violent action, it says that even Hell needs heroes.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
Here's the Iraq War movie for those who don't like Iraq War movies.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
One of the best movies of the year, with a star-making performance from Jeremy Renner.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
Overwhelmingly tense, overflowing with crackling verisimilitude, it's both the film about the war in Iraq that we've been waiting for and the kind of unqualified triumph that's been long expected from director Kathryn Bigelow.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
When the picture isn't ramping up your heart rate, it switches gears and becomes an intimate character study in what war does to humankind.
Jeremy Wheeler - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Though the slow-building occasionally drags, for the most part The Hurt Locker is a masterclass in how to build tension.
Stephen Carty - Flix Capacitor
It's in refusing to plant a flag on one side or the other over the Iraq war debacle that Bigelow may just have made the conflict's defining film: words are cheap, but it's action that matters.
Ali Gray - TheShiznit.co.uk
I wasn't exactly blown away by it (no pun intended here at all), but it remains an engaging film. There's certainly a great story to be told in here somewhere, it's just not the great film I've been hearing about.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
It's not delicate by any means, and it gives an intense look into the lives of the American soldiers in Iraq.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Matt Soergel - Florida Times-Union
The suspense may just kill you.
Katina Vangopoulos - Cut Print Review
Katina Vangopoulos - Moviedex
Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker is one of the most thrilling action films I've seen in the past few years. It features set piece after pulse-quickening set piece.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
The decade's best fictional film about its real war, it's a unique perspective on the workplace high of delivering containment from chaos. Some people kick PowerPoint's ass. Sgt. 1st Class William James saves his by defusing bombs.
Nick Rogers - Suite101.com
Jeremy Renner as the unhinged James is a revelation.
Simon Foster - sbs.com.au
There is something original and distinctive about the film's willingness to admit that for some men (and many moviegoers) war carries an intrinsic dramatic charge.
Guy Westwell - Sight and Sound
Equal parts bravado-fueled action and pointed political statement. The best film yet made about the Iraq War, and the best American film about war since Platoon.
Ian Buckwalter - DCist
One of the few must watches of the year so far, and certainly one of the most intelligent offerings, The Hurt Locker would likely already be boasting a masterpiece label had it been from a high profile director or studio.
Sam Bathe - Fan The Fire
The opening scene alone may well be the most insanely gripping and amazingly constructed cinematic moment you'll see all year.
Alice Tynan - The Vine
Combines white- knuckle tension, sizzling dialogue and poignant insight into the lives of the bravest guys in Baghdad.
Rebecca Barry - Flicks.co.nz
A tense, occasionally meandering story about bomb defusers in Iraq.
Wesley Lovell - Oscar Guy
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
May be to the War on Terror what Apocalypse Now is to Vietnam, and it's almost as hallucinatory a vision.
Rob Humanick - Projection Booth
While Kathryn Bigelow's taut direction is Academy Award-worthy, Mark Boal's script doesn't get far enough beneath the characters' skin.
Fr. Chris Carpenter - Movie Dearest
Succeeds where so many others have failed, by crafting a compelling Iraq war film.
Giles Hardie - smh.com.au
With politics and philosophy largely absent from James's tour of extreme duty, it settles into a somewhat comforting pattern of danger and mild relief, which can diffuse the knots in your stomach.
Ben McEachen - Sunday Mail (Australia)
A must-see film with gripping performances and vivid evocation of urban warfare in Iraq.
Mark Demetrius - FILMINK (Australia)
Beautifully shot, well acted, and completely unfocused to the point of, well, what was the point? ... don't be fooled.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
The film hurts like hell as we sit on the edge of our seats enveloped in tension
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
The fact that Bigelow could make such a realistic war movie without the actual combat experience that directors like William Wellman had makes this even more remarkable.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
Salta de uma sequencia a outra com fluidez, mantendo o espectador sempre inquieto gracas aos obstaculos cada vez mais ameacadores enfrentados por aqueles homens.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Equivalente cinematografico de una bomba de tiempo, la pelicula luce como un thriller de suspenso extremo ambientado en la guerra de Irak. Adrenalina pura, sin cuestionamientos morales y con excelente elenco.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
A tough war picture in the tabloid journalist tradition of Sam Fuller, The Hurt Locker avoids most of the sentimentalizing and editorializing of other recent films about Iraq.
Brian Holcomb - Kinetofilm
The film opens with a quote from Chris Hedges saying that war is a drug. ... The film makes that quite clear, but I am not sure it says a whole lot more than that.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
The script's authenticity and director Kathryn Bigelow's cinema verite style pull us into the film with a mixture of awe and terror.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
The Hurt Locker is a frequently gripping film that contains some terrifically detailed sequences; not only depicting the process of defusing bombs but also depicting just how complex the act of targeting and firing a gun can be.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
[R]iveting but not 'exciting,' not in the sense that action movies have taught us to get turned on by the foreplay of countdowns and the climax of explosions...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
With such an able cast and crew, director Kathryn Bigelow had everything she needed to come up with a defining war movie for the 21st century.
S. James Wegg - JWR
What the great Kathryn's film accomplishes in its own starkly intelligent way, however, is to make the token war is hell argument, but through the filtered lens of a superior B action movie, her forte.
Jordan Hiller - Bangitout.com
most startling of all the film's accomplishments is how it approximates the soldiers' feeling of utter anxiety as they fight a war on foreign soil
Jay Antani - Cinema Writer
Obligatoria. Dura y capaz de tenernos con el estomago encogido en la butaca durante casi toda la pelicula, se trata de una de esas que nadie deberia perderse.
Alex Ramirez - Cinenganos
Criticism that Bigelow and Boal's relentless focus on the feverish intensity of living with constant danger and the rush that comes from beating the odds is as misguided as reading the movie's "war is a drug" tagline as an endorsement: The Hurt Locker is
Maitland McDonagh - Miss FlickChick
Bigelow displays a fine Hitchcockian skill set, but her politics are muddy-headed at best.
Dan Jardine - Apollo Guide
Your nerves are shot after the first sequence of The Hurt Locker, which means you watch the rest of the movie while suffering from post-traumatic stress.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
The Hurt Locker takes the viewer by the scruff of the neck. And it embeds him or her in the middle of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal squad in Baghdad.
Tony Macklin - tonymacklin.net
This film is better than any documentary I've seen on the Iraq war. It's so real, it's scary. Well-written well-acted, well-directed. Multiple Oscars possible. Paul Chambers, CNN.
Paul Chambers - CNNRadio
[Bigelow] may have finally given the Iraq War its definitive identifying film.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
There are no cliches here. The silence of waiting out a sniper and the silence of consumer excess back home take on disturbing subtexts that defy expectations while laying bare the damage to James' soul
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
One of the better Iraq war films ever made and quite honestly one of the best war films ever made...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
A kind of 'Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb' - but for real, this movie ain't kidding. Hurt Locker: War means never having to say you're sorry.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
The tension of life-and-death situations and of egos that need to cooperate to survive, is manifest in 'The Hurt Locker.'
Donald J. Levit - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
A visceral, gripping and totally absorbing film that follows one man's life on the front line of bomb disposal.
Simon Weaving - Screenwize
Bears the mark of a painter, full of deceptively beautiful imagery masking multiple layers of meaning.
Karina Longworth - SpoutBlog
This is not just a character study. This film has battle scenes of such immediacy, intensity and suspense it puts the battle scenes in most other war movies to shame.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Bigelow uses hand-held camera and eye-level character p.o.v. shots to create a gritty sense of being there.
Andy Klein - Brand X
It's only a movie about men at work in war. Yet it seems like a definitive war movie.
Jonathan Kiefer - Sacramento News & Review
A hardcore depiction of modern war and the brave soldiers who fight, while quietly but assuredly begging the question: War, what is it good for?
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
The Hurt Locker is an exciting and visceral work.
Cosmo Landesman - Times [UK]
I can't think of a recent film, not even Oliver Stone's Platoon, that has conveyed so vividly what it is to be a soldier today on a front line.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Set in war-torn Iraq of 2004, the pic's certainly excellent in many ways. But it never asks the question: "What are these American soldiers doing here?"
Victor Olliver - Teletext
The Hurt Locker is an action-packed thriller of the first order, the most entertaining movie to be made to date about the Iraq war.
Sonny Bunch - Washington Times
For, in short, in its gutsy, bare-bones beauty, The Hurt Locker is not simply a war movie. It is war poetry.
Kevin Maher - Times [UK]
An amazingly powerful movie that will leave you reeling. This mustsee movie is dazzlingly well made.
Mark Adams - Sunday Mirror [UK]
A super-sharp, nerve-shredding thriller that reveals more about the realities of contemporary military conflict than most documentaries.
Sukhdev Sandhu - Daily Telegraph
The action itself is episodic, with every ounce of tension eked from some stunning set pieces where lingering shots accentuate the bleak cinematography and stripped down sound design to draw the maximum heat and hopelessness of this hell on earth.
Kingsley Marshall - Little White Lies
The visceral impact is intense.
Stella Papamichael - Digital Spy
This electrifying thriller about a US Army bomb disposal squad working in Baghdad isn't just one of the best films of 2009. It is the first film that tackles the Iraq War head on, and does justice to the incredible bravery of the troops serving there.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
Bigelow's film combines an expert management of tension with a sensitive and journalistic attention to detail: she has one eye on the truth and the other on the multiplex.
Dave Calhoun - Time Out
The most literally exciting film you will see this year. Forget the off-putting banner of another Iraq movie - go, watch, marvel, endure and book in the palliative of a stiff drink afterwards.
Ian Nathan - Empire Magazine
A film that often makes us flinch from the screen, mainly because of a superbly layered performance by Renner.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
[Bigelow's] docu-drama realism complements her cinematically staged action sequences, giving the whole film an exhilarating but believable edge. It's impressive stuff, intensely thrilling film-making with a pulse and a brain.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
What pushes The Hurt Locker up to top marks is the absence of politics.
Dean Essner - Sun Online
Free of liberal hand-wringing and quasi-political subtext, The Hurt Locker is an adrenaline-drenched war thriller which uses a conventional genre format to explore and expose issues of violence, compulsion and masculinity.
Keith Stuart - Filmstar Magazine
The major strength of The Hurt Locker is that it all feels so real that you can almost taste the sand on your lips.
Dean Essner - Sunday Mail [UK]
If Alfred Hitchcock was reincarnated for a punt at the war action genre, his finished product might play out like The Hurt Locker.
Dean Essner - Maxim [UK]
The film sweats out its truth from its central character.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Bigelow crowns several decades of excellent artistic enquiry with a film that everybody should see.
Andrew O'Hagan - This is London
There will be other challengers in time, but so far The Hurt Locker is easily the best film to come out of the Iraq war.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
One of the greatest American films of the decade, certainly the best American movie since There Will Be Blood, shocking, overwhelming and unforgettable.
Allan Jones - Uncut Magazine [UK]
Kathryn Bigelow's explosive, edge-of-the-seat thriller is one of the best war movies ever made. After years in the wilderness, the director's stunning return to form is set, fittingly enough, in the arid landscape of a scorched Iraq.
Rob Daniel - Sky Movies
Most poignantly, it offers a different perspective on the war to the generally negative one on the news.
Tom Howard - FHM [UK]
A film that offers an intense personal perspective on the reality of an adrenaline-rush existence lived in the full knowledge that every day could be your last.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
Bigelow makes a welcome return with a thrilling, edgy and, yes, explosive film about the toughest job in the world. What's The Hurt Locker? Something special.
Jonathan Dean - Total Film
A stunningly realistic, thrillingly intense depiction of extraordinary men carrying out one of the toughest jobs imaginable, graced with a knockout performance by relative unknown Renner.
Boyd Hilton - Heat Magazine
A modern-day war classic.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
The Hurt Locker retains indie drama cred, provides audience thrills and stays respectful to the fact your neighbor's kid may very well be in the Middle East right now.
Jordan Hoffman - UGO
Don't believe the hype. This is a cliche-ridden mess which treats Iraqis like zombies or creatures from outer space. Peace activist Chris Hedges should have sued the director for allowing his words to serve as an epigraph for this sorry flick.
Louis Proyect - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Bigelow's gripping yet subtle study in the psychology of war is set to the urgent rhythms of a ticking bomb, exploding the myth of the maverick hero.
Anton Bitel - Film4
Just Another Day at the Office...Except These Guys Might Not Get Home. But a Brilliant, Technical Marvel.
Jimmy O - Film Snobs
It's slang for 'You're headed for a pounding.' And so you are.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
a visceral, heart-pounding experience that is easily the best film yet to made about the current war in Iraq and also one of the best war films of the past decade
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
A thoughtful nail-biter that inspires us to appreciate the precariousness and relative brevity of existence.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
This film pioneers observational action moviemaking. It sensitizes you to changes in atmosphere that portend danger and convey hidden meaning while furthering the plot and the characters.
Michael Sragow - Baltimore Sun
After 7 previous films, Bigelow has finally found a screenwriter in Mark Boal who not only matches her intensity, but is able to maximize her visual artistry in drawing a fully realized story.
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
The Hurt Locker is a movie that finds the truth in war without all the political static that too often in the past has kept the voice of the soldier from being heard.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
The closest any film on the subject of the war in Iraq has gotten to greatness.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
[It is] one of those movies where the story arc just kind of sneaks up on you when you're not looking. It's a lot like the situation that its principal characters find themselves in every day.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
This movie sneaks up on you as to how good it is; it is only when you reach the end that you realize how great the journey has been
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Let's be honest, war movies as a genre have slipped behind sappy Scientology sci-fi flicks and movies based on board games. But here comes The Hurt Locker, a modestly budgeted movie starring no one you know about a cowboy bomb diffuser made by the
Mike Ward - Richmond.com
Employing handheld cameras and very little music, Bigelow creates a claustrophobic and palpably dangerous environment in which one mistake could prove disastrous.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Never does Bigelow falter in her direction, which, by adroitly alternating between muscular and sensitive, reapplies a recognizable face to a conflict that is already slipping from the American public conscious with all the wispiness of a bad dream.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Like every war before it, the U.S. invasion of Iraq has generated its share of movies. But The Hurt Locker is the first of them that can properly be called a masterpiece.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
Like her protagonist, Bigelow is both a meticulous technician and a ballsy showoff. And, like him, she has ice water in her veins.
Christopher Orr - New Republic
Christopher Orr - The New Republic
Bigelow has taken the truism that "movies are life with the boring bits cut out" to the extreme...
Sarah Boslaugh - Playback:stl
If The Hurt Locker doesn't capture what it's like to serve or live in Iraq, no film ever will.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
If The Hurt Locker doesn't break the curse of the low-performing Iraq war movie then nothing likely will, at least not anytime soon.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
The Hurt Locker is at once an unforgettable war film and a brilliant character study.
Calvin Wilson - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Bigelow's camera is impartial and dispassionate, but explosively powerful and unflinching. There is no commentary or judgment, just war and fatigue.
Rob Boylan - Orlando Weekly
There's a definite absence of Hollywood gloss in Bigelow's film, which was appreciated.
Sean O'Connell - Charlotte Weekly
Extremely good whenever characters keep their mouths shut; when there's dialogue, it's usually heavy-handed and leading.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
What makes Hurt Locker truly great is that it's most interested in telling us an honest story about these soldiers and this war, without servicing any type of political agenda.
Stephen Silver - The Trend
Some scenes in 'The Hurt Locker' are as memorable and iconic as those in 'Apocalypse Now.'
Frank Wilkins - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Kathryn Bigelow's films have ranged from Near Dark (1987) to near-disaster, but here, for the first time, she forges her mastery of detail, composition, pacing, psychological insight, and perverse beauty into a masterpiece.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
I found it difficult at times to remember that these men are actors. The tension is pulled to just the right tautness to be sustained over time without having to defuse it with a narrative break. And the acting is great.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
In one sense, The Hurt Locker is an old school war film %u2013 muscular, focused almost exclusively on men in combat, and not interested in politics or making a statement. But the film's also very contemporary.
Beth Accomando - KPBS.org
It is a tremendous film that needs to be seen, and not just by the testosterone crowd.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
One of the most compelling motion pictures in years, certainly among the best war films ever put on film.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
First female best director Oscar right here.
Gina Carbone - Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)
Even if you think you've had your fill of Iraq stories, this is one of the worthiest -- ironically because the particularity of the conflict is little more than a footnote.
Tricia Olszewski - Washington City Paper
As unpredictable and tragic as it is genuinely riveting.
Tom Keogh - Seattle Times
Are we 100% positive that this film is not real footage from the Iraq war? Bigelow has directed one of the most intense and realistic films to come out in years.
Kevin McCarthy - BDK Reviews
As emotionally involving an action movie as you're likely to find this year (much less this summer), 'The Hurt Locker' is also a tense, forceful meditation on the addictive nature of combat.
Rossiter Drake - San Francisco Examiner
Parental Content Review
Jim Judy - Screen It!
With the help of a well-informed screenplay by journalist Mark Boal, Bigelow dispenses with the red-wire/blue-wire lies Hollywood told you and replaces them with a heady brew of documentary realism and action poetry.
Peter Canavese - Palo Alto Weekly
[The movie] speaks volumes about war, and the toll war takes on the men who fight and die in uniform, precisely because it says very little about the particulars of this war.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
The Hurt Locker is episodic and, at times, overwrought. And occasionally its deliberate opacity becomes too cloudy. But the things that shine through are remarkable.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
The hybridization of arthouse and action doesn't happen all that often, but it should, if mashing the two genres makes for film as riveting and rattling as The Hurt Locker.
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
We've had good and very good Iraq movies for several years now, but The Hurt Locker has a fullness of understanding that sets it apart.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
This isn't just a lacerating drama about the wages of war on a soldier's soul, but also the most exhilarating, sweat-inducing action film of the year thus far.
Kevin Williamson - Jam! Movies
Unable to parse what he sees, James finds meaning, at last, in his misreading.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
The Hurt Locker shows there's more than one kind of solder fighting the war, more than one kind of story to tell.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
The Hurt Locker leaves an impression. It practically leaves a bruise.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
Filmmaking simply doesn't get much more riveting than Kathryn Bigelow's incredible The Hurt Locker, a cinematic experience unlike any other that you will have this year.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
"The Hurt Locker" is not only one of the very best films of 2009, it is one of the very best and most exciting war movies of any kind to come along in a long time.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
Not only one of the year's best films so far, it's also arguably the best feature film made about the Iraq war.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Bigelow's handheld camerawork roams like a spotter's eyes, always surveying, always getting another look...
Sean Axmaker - Seanax.com
This is Master of Suspense filmmaker crafted by someone who understands the nature of nail-biting thrills.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
The Hurt Locker is an extraordinarily uncomfortable movie to watch, not because it is poorly made, but because it places its audience directly in the crosshairs of hell.
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
If you're looking for ferocious, visceral suspense, Kathryn Bigelow delivers with this graphic, subversive portrait of courage under fire, as adrenaline junkies get high on danger.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
As tense and compelling an action drama as you're liable to see all year.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
A memorable, must-see movie mission to experience, with enough sticks of dynamite and blocks of C-4 to shatter your equanimity. I can promise that you'll come out of it shaken, but alive.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Less impressive as a whole than in its parts, it's still a provocative, well-crafted picture...one of the best films yet made about the Iraq War.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
An affectionate but ambiguous tribute to the career soldier that's free of condescension, cynicism, or jingoism.
Bryant Frazer - Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
Like a modern day Wages of Fear.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
The script just isn't as serious as the subject matter.
Jessica Baxter - Film Threat
You wanted some three-act plot structure with your movie? Sorry, they only serve straight adrenaline and dread here.
Nick Antosca - Film Threat
Outstanding performances across the board, but I thought Anthony Mackie in particular really, really nailed it.
Ben Mankiewicz - At the Movies
A raw and unnerving thriller that gets its impact from taut, intimate suspense scenes low on bombast and high on the potential costs of military duty.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
One of the most authentic and powerfully believable war movies in recent times.
Ben Lyons - At the Movies
Kathryn Bigelow has shown Hollywood how it's done: The Hurt Locker is the strongest and most satisfying thriller in years.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
One of the best films of 2009, and one of the better films made in the past few decades about the men and women who serve in the US military.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Mark Medley - National Post
It's dysfunctional, but strangely affirming.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
The director, Kathryn Bigelow, shot with four lightweight cameras, and the imagery is rarely still. The jitteriness is appropriate for a world where everything can suddenly blow to smithereens.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
A riveting Iraqi war film about three members of an Army bomb dismantling squad in Baghdad.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
The first great film about the war in Iraq.
Donald Clarke - Irish Times
Sharply written, superbly directed and extremely tense thriller with a terrific central performance from rising star Jeremy Renner.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
A small but muscular combat classic.
Kurt Loder - MTV
If you're a cinematic thrill-seeker, this portrayal of the real deal is just the fix you've been looking for.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
Finally, the transcendent Iraq war movie.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
The hold-your-breath movie of the year.
Dave White - Movies.com
These men live, barely, on a cocktail of adrenaline and testosterone, and yet The Hurt Locker hones in on the fatalistic psychology of the Iraqi war zone more convincingly than any other recent film about soldiers on the battlefield.
Robert Davis - Paste Magazine
The characters are fictional, but writer Mark Boal spent time in Iraq following soldiers who really do this, and the film never feels anything less than authentic.
Paul Gallagher - Future Movies UK
Hurt Locker is a superb achievement that not only constructs some of the finest suspense set pieces of the year, but manages to find compelling, innovative wartime psychological threads to pull at as well.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Departing from archetypes set by WWII and Vietnam movies, Bigelow's tough-as-nails film develops its own signature. It's not a message movie, but a tactile experience. It feels gritty, real and current.
Radheyan Simonpillai - AskMen.com
Don't be afraid to dive right in for a harrowing, credible and astonishingly made portrait of bravery and brutality.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
When it comes to getting an audience's attention, there's nothing quite like blowing up a major star within the first five minutes of a movie.
Bob Mondello - NPR.org
Offers a fresh take on the war and the men in it.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
It's not too soon to declare The Hurt Locker a masterpiece from this gifted and underrated director. But it's the kind of popcorn masterpiece that people might actually like to see.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
The kind of uncompromising movie that any politician who claims to support the troops while extending the war and cutting funds for veterans' benefits (or any chickenhawk pundit who pooh-poohs the ongoing effects of PTSD) should be forced to see.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
For the first hour or more, The Hurt Locker boldly forsakes any conventional narrative hook beyond the ongoing tensions between these men and the terrifying grind of defusing bombs day after day.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
Bigelow has successfully built a vision of war rarely seen on screen, a visceral nearly first person perspective of war where the rush of combat is a welcomed relief.
Edward Havens - FilmJerk.com
The Hurt Locker is so taut, and skillfully focused on character, that it could be retro-engineered into a stageplay and still retain most of its dramatic punch.
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
Director Kathryn Bigelow, doing her run-'n'-gun best, doesn't mine traditional suspense so much as impart a queasy feeling of monotony.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out New York
...this is without a doubt director Kathryn Bigelow's best film to date, one which should be Oscar nominated in every category it's eligible for.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Keith Uhlich - Time Out Chicago
understands the key element in modern warfare: chaos reigns supreme.
Chris Cabin - Filmcritic.com
This is a must see film.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Our American love for mavericks is bound to get tied in knots watching James' cavalier approach to everyone's death. He's a hero and a menace.
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
So far, the best fiction films about the Iraq War are Nick Bloomfield's Battle for Haditha, Irwin Winkler's Home of the Brave and John Moore's allegorical Flight of the Phoenix remake. It's sufficient praise to say The Hurt Locker joins that short list.
Armond White - New York Press
There's more tension in this gripping tale than in the waistband of Oprah's skinny jeans ... which is pretty freakin' tense.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Harrowing and horrifying, The Hurt Locker delivers the visceral, heart-in-throat action goods, and in doing so, gets at more truths about Iraq than its preachy ... brethren.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
A coolly elegant kineticist, Kathryn Bigelow specializes in impressionistic phallus jostles.
Fernando F. Croce - Slant Magazine
The film supports the idea that extended exposure to certain kinds of experiences have the effect of either galvanizing a participant or breaking them, if they are fortunate enough to survive. In WWII, war was hell, in Viet Nam it was numbed by drugs, but
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
A wrenching rush of adrenaline set in a never-ending cycle of occupation and struggle and ever-increasing tension.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
After some disappointing films, the gifted Bigelow puts to excellent use her strongest skills in this thrillingly kinetic, tightly-focused, utterly compelling portrait of one bomb squad, a highlight of a weak cycle thus far of Iraq war movies.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
I'm not sure this is a film that will be easy to sell to the general public, but anyone who is willing to test themselves will find that it's a dynamic and memorable experience.
Moriarty - Ain't It Cool Movie Reviews
The Hurt Locker probably isn't the 'great' Iraq film which will finally move audiences into theatres but it does play out like fragments of one.
Fionnuala Halligan - Screen International
The Hurt Locker looks and feels like a terrific action film, but there's a piece of art ticking away within it that goes off inside your head and your heart while you're watching.
James Rocchi - Cinematical
...uncommonly taut and uniformly well acted...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews