The Hurt Locker

  • 15
  • Kathryn Bigelow (2008)
  • US
  • 125 min
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Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Point Break director Kathryn Bigelow's 2004-set account of the lives of a US Army bomb-disposal squad in Iraq focuses on the men who voluntarily put themselves next to deadly IEDs (improvised explosive devices), as well as re-creating the terrifying, chaotic Baghdad in which they work. Covering the last 38 days the squad has left in Iraq, the film follows the contrasting attitude and philosophies of a trio of soldiers, including the risk-taking Staff Sgt William James (Jeremy Renner), all of whom are aware that every job they do is potentially their last. Bigelow, one of the very few women working in the traditionally male-dominated action and war genres, avoids both red wire/yellow wire cliché and political preaching to deliver a film that is as psychologically fascinating as it is taut and exciting. Ralph Fiennes and Guy Pearce are among the well-known faces in smaller roles.

Plot Summary

Oscar-winning thriller starring Jeremy Renner. A US Army bomb-disposal team working out the last 38 days of their tour in Iraq are joined by Staff Sgt William James, whose unorthodox methods make him initially unpopular with his colleagues.

Cast and crew


Staff Sgt William James
Jeremy Renner
Sgt JT Sanborn
Anthony Mackie
Specialist Owen Eldridge
Brian Geraghty
Sgt Matt Thompson
Guy Pearce
Contractor team leader
Ralph Fiennes
Col Reed
David Morse
Connie James
Evangeline Lilly
Col John Cambridge
Christian Camargo


Kathryn Bigelow

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Optimum Releasing
Violence, swearing.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 28 Aug 2009
Certificate 15