The Hurt Locker (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hurt Locker2009

The Hurt Locker (2009)



Critic Consensus: A well-acted, intensely shot, action filled war epic, Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker is thus far the best of the recent dramatizations of the Iraq War.

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Movie Info

Based on the personal wartime experiences of journalist Mark Boal (who adapted his experiences with a bomb squad into a fact-based, yet fictional story), director Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq War-set action thriller The Hurt Locker presents the conflict in the Middle East from the perspective of those who witnessed the fighting firsthand -- the soldiers. As an elite Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team tactfully navigates the streets of present-day Iraq, they face the constant threat of death from incoming bombs and sharp-shooting snipers. In Baghdad, roadside bombs are a common danger. The Army is working to make the city a safer place for Americans and Iraqis, so when it comes to dismantling IEDs (improvised explosive devices) the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) crew is always on their game. But protecting the public isn't easy when there's no room for error, and every second spent dismantling a bomb is another second spent flirting with death. Now, as three fearless bomb technicians take on the most dangerous job in Baghdad, it's only a matter of time before one of them gets sent to "the hurt locker." Jeremy Renner, Guy Pearce, and Ralph Fiennes star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Jeremy Renner
as Staff Sgt. William James
Anthony Mackie
as Sgt. J.T. Sanborn
Brian Geraghty
as Specialist Owen Eldrige
Guy Pearce
as Sgt. Matt Thompson
Ralph Fiennes
as Contractor Team Leader
David Morse
as Col. Reed
Evangeline Lilly
as Connie James
Christian Camargo
as Col. John Cambridge
Suhail Aldabbach
as Black Suit Man
Nabil Koni
as Professor Nabil
Sam Spruell
as Contractor Charlie
Sam Redford
as Contractor Jimmy
Feisal Saddun
as Contractor Feisal
Barrie Rice
as Contractor Chris
Justin Campbell
as Sgt. Carter
Malcolm Barrett
as Sgt. Foster
Erin Gann
as Mortuary Affairs Officer
Nibras Qassem
as Nabil's Wife
Ryan Tramont
as Guard at Liberty Gate
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Critic Reviews for The Hurt Locker

All Critics (289) | Top Critics (77)

The Hurt Locker is without a doubt one of the best war pictures I have ever seen, and I have seen most of them.

January 17, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

I probably should have seen this movie when I had the chance in theaters, but as a DVD it didn't live up to the hype, though it was well done.

September 11, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

More than anything, The Hurt Locker is a high-wire study of men at work, its lack of overt politics replaced by a revelatory central performance.

February 16, 2016 | Full Review…

There is much that is fiercely modest about its ambitions. And, for a war film, it is often disconcertingly quiet.

February 25, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

An important, intense, nail-biting experience -- really quite unforgettable.

February 25, 2015 | Rating: 4/5

It's a film about why some soldiers love war, a theme that's rare in war films made by men.

February 25, 2015 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for The Hurt Locker


A US army bomb disposal tec makes waves in his new unit because of his gung ho attitude. The Hurt Locker is an interesting war film, mainly because its indie sensibilities make it a very unusual treatment of this subject for a product of the US movie making industry. It's quite a reserved, unsentimental film about the impact of a "war" that has no visible enemy; not quite in the same way as Jarhead in which the soldiers just could not find an army to face, but because the enemy hides itself in plain sight amongst the innocent population. This obviously causes great conflict within the soldiers, always unsure whether to fire or not to fire and seemingly never able to punish the perpetrators of the atrocities they witness on a daily basis. It thankfully avoids heavy-handed patriotic bullshit instead concentrating on the effects of the situation on each individual and the fine performances all round make for fascinating character study. The "battle" sequences are also very well staged, and although the dreaded shaky cam did irritate (the constant zoom switching and miscued shots are so obviously deliberate that it just made it feel even more fake rather than less) it is technically very accomplished on every level. The only faux pas for me was the closing scene in which "our hero" is striding purposefully back down a Baghdad road to a heavy metal riff which was a bit too John Wayne and seemed to be at odds with the tone of the whole of the rest of the film, but otherwise another quality war film about a very sensitive subject.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Gripping, intense, and extremely well-acted, "The Hurt Locker" shows the war like never before. Jeremy Renner is in his breakout performance, which will eventually lead him to superstardom. As we follow a bomb-defusing team, we are placed in events that seem so real you will be on the edge of your seat, hoping for our cast to make it out alive. The writing is terrific, the direction is top-notch, and the story is displayed to perfection. Kathryn Bigalow's "The Hurt Locker" is definitely my favourite film of 2009!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Lacking a narrative arc. There's no central conflict to keep the audience interested. Instead it's just repetitive unrealistic war scenes, and it really drags throughout its long running time. Yawn.

Eric Shankle
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer

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