Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.
This is the greatest movie ever made. It is almost the perfect movie in every way. I bet you arent used to hearing me utter that first line though...especially considering my love of Shaun of the Dead. But not even Shaun of the Dead holds a candle to Kathryn Bigelow's biggest and most critically acclaimed masterpiece "The Hurt Locker." Bigelow is well known for making the cult classic Point Break as well Blue Steel and K-19: The Widowmaker. She has a fairly small filmography but all of her movies are quite good and worth a watch. But The Hurt Locker goes above and beyond.
The first way it succeeds is with its perfect casting. It strays away from big Hollywood faces making things seem a little more realistic and giving the actors the opportunity to showcase their craft and their abilities instead of who they are and what theyve starred in. They do have two pretty recognizable faces in the movie: Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes. Luckily, or maybe this is just how good of a character actor these two are, you never notice they are in the movie. Seriously I had to freeze frame the movie to even recognize them. That is true talent. Instead the movie focuses on Bravo Team made up of three completly different people.
The first is our main protagonist William James who is played by Jeremy Renner. Renner is in my opinion the definite choice for the Best Actor Oscar. He doesnt give huge monologues, he doesnt really do anything explosive or has a really good cry, instead he gives a deep, emotional and moving performance that really is almost astonishing as it is bone chilling. James is the guy they send out to disarm the bombs. He is fearless, cocky, sarcastic and apathetic towards everything...at first. As the movie unfolds however, you see a completly different side of him...a more emotional, driven, serious, family oriented man.
The second protagonist is JT Sanborn played by Anthony Mackie. Mackies performance is on par with Renner's. They both give off this cocky attitude with their main difference being JT is more cautious, bossy and take charge while James is more in your face devil may care. Mackie does a great job giving depth to his performance and his last part in the movie is one of the most tear jerkingly, scary speeches I have ever heard.
The third and final is my favorite character and maybe thats due to him being a gamer. Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) is quite messed up in the head. He's completly sane dont get me wrong but after the death of one of his squadmates for the whole movie he cant shake the feeling he is going to die. He is emotionally unstable and seeks help with one of the resident psych guys. He says he cant get death off his mind and his conversations with the doc are as great as they are disturbing. He represents almost every soldier out there. Happy to serve his country but scared shitless of dying and is tired of seeing death. Geraghty gives a phenominal performance and I was with Eldridge the whole time rooting him on.
The movie shows every little detail not relying on Michael Bay fast cuts and explosions but instead on the tension that the bombs MAY explode. Thats the beauty of this film: Anticipation. You expect something to happen but some of these scenes are drawn out 15-25 minutes long with the tension getting greater with every minute. In fact there is one scene where it is a sniper showdown, both waiting to strike and you just sit and wait, and wait and it kills you because the tension and nervousness are eating away at you. Hurt Locker takes its time and by doing so makes one of the most thrilling experiences ever.
One other thing I definetly love is the depiction of the war. It doesnt show the GREAT AMERICAN SOLDIERS KILLING ALL EVIL ARABS like most Iraqi war movies but instead shows a more real culture. Messed up, tired, dirty guys doing their job while the natives try to live their lives in peace during this time of conflict. I could count the number of terrorists on two hands. Its realistic and ultimately does the war, the Iraqi and Arab people, and the soldiers justice.
In the end its just one of those experiences that you must see or you will miss out. You must see this. It is the Citizen Kane of the 21st century. It is the best film of the decade. It is my favorite movie of all time.
MY VERDICT: TOP 20