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The Hurt Locker (2008)

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During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.

Director:

Kathryn Bigelow

Writer:

Mark Boal
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Popularity
1,195 ( 74)
Won 6 Oscars. Another 118 wins & 127 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Renner ... Staff Sergeant William James
Anthony Mackie ... Sergeant JT Sanborn
Brian Geraghty ... Specialist Owen Eldridge
Guy Pearce ... Sergeant Matt Thompson
Ralph Fiennes ... Contractor Team Leader
David Morse ... Colonel Reed
Evangeline Lilly ... Connie James
Christian Camargo ... Colonel John Cambridge
Suhail Dabbach ... Black Suit Man (as Suhail Al-Dabbach)
Christopher Sayegh Christopher Sayegh ... Beckham
Nabil Koni Nabil Koni ... Professor Nabil
Sam Spruell ... Contractor Charlie
Sam Redford Sam Redford ... Contractor Jimmy
Feisal Sadoun Feisal Sadoun ... Contractor Feisal
Barrie Rice Barrie Rice ... Contractor Chris
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Storyline

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, behaving 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. Written by BWR Public Relations

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

War is a drug. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for war violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Arabic

Release Date:

31 July 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hurt Locker See more »

Filming Locations:

British Columbia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$145,352, 28 June 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$17,017,811, 12 May 2015

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$49,230,772, 12 May 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Lina Wertmüller in Seven Beauties (1975), Jane Campion for The Piano (1993), and Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation (2003), Kathryn Bigelow was only the fourth woman nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. Subsequently, the only additional woman nominated was Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird (2017). Bigelow is the only one of the five to have won the award. See more »

Goofs

After Sanborn puts Thompson's dog tags into the box with Thompson's effects, another soldier puts a cover on the box. In the cut immediately following, Sanborn is looking into the box and the cover is not on. See more »

Quotes

Contractor Team Leader: We have a flat tire. Can you help us?
Staff Sergeant William James: Sure, yeah. You got any spares?
Contractor Team Leader: Well, we have spares, but we used up our wrench.
Staff Sergeant William James: How do you use up a wrench?
Contractor Team Leader: Well, the, uh... , the guy over there with the red thing on his head, he threw it at someone.
Staff Sergeant William James: [laughs] All right.
[gives thumbs up to Eldridge]
Contractor Team Leader: Thank you.
[introduces the soldiers]
Contractor Team Leader: This Chris. This is the wrench man.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits, not even a title. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Suburgatory: Apocalypse Meow (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Khyber Pass
Written by Al Jourgensen (as Jourgensen) / Ministry / Paul Raven (as Raven) / Tommy Victor (as Victor)
Performed by Ministry
Courtesy of 13th Planet Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An excellent film
9 August 2009 | by t_bakerSee all my reviews

Military and war movies are problematic for me, at least modern-era ones; I wasn't in World War II or Vietnam but the post-Desert Storm era Army is a very well known quantity for me, and military movies set in this period (to include those set in the current Iraq / Afghanistan wars) almost always get some nagging thing wrong. Lieutenants and Captains don't call Colonels by their first names, and no one would ever wear a class-B wool sweater into a jungle at night, just to name two examples I've actually seen on screen in recent years.

"The Hurt Locker" slips up a bit, too, but to my surprise, I was able to forgive those missteps almost completely, because the movie on the whole is the most compelling war movie in many years, and just a great movie, period: terrifically acted, brilliantly conceived and directed, a work of true cinematic art. Like the committed professionals that it portrays, "The Hurt Locker" as a movie shows what movies are capable of when knowledgeable, experienced professionals are on top of their game.

"Saving Private Ryan" is generally regarded as THE modern war classic, and just about any picture set in war is going to draw at least a peripheral comparison to Steven Spielberg's flawed masterpiece, thanks to the still-detonating power of that film's master-class opening sequence, which took filmed combat to levels of never-before-seen verisimilitude. "The Hurt Locker" doesn't have that level of intensity, because it works on a smaller scale: the majority of the action is between individuals, not battalions. But there are extended sequences in "The Hurt Locker" that rival "Ryan" for impact, tightening the screws more slowly, more claustrophobically, until you feel as though you've been holding your breath even when you haven't. There are at least three of these sequences in "The Hurt Locker," all done in their own pace without dragging, all expertly performed, all showing a face of war that we haven't seen on film before.

There are bit roles from recognizable actors like David Morse (brilliant in his few moments on screen), Guy Pearce, and Ralph Finnes, but the majority of the acting load is shouldered by lesser-knowns Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie; they're both excellent. In a just world, this movie would be earning four hundred million in the US, not "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." But while the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has pulled plenty of "say what?" moment in the past ("Crash," really?!?), they still have a chance to do right by this film and quality cinema in general: Best Picture nomination, a Best Director nod for Kathryn Bigelow, Best Screenplay (of some sort; this is based on journalism by the writer, Mark Boal, which may qualify it as "adapted" work), and acting nominations for Renner and Mackie. Yes, it's that good.

It's still only August and there's a lot of film to come in the ramp-up months to awards season, so this may be a stretch. But any movie that's going to top "The Hurt Locker" as my favorite of 2009 certainly has its work cut out for it.

BONUS POINTS: Unlike so many lesser films ("Crash," again looking in your direction), "The Hurt Locker" feels no need to explain its title on screen. There's never a point (at least that I recall) in which a character earnestly says, "Man, we're really in the hurt locker now" or words to that effect. A small point, sure, but just another nod to the creativity and confidence of the filmmakers.


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