As I watched this movie last night (while pausing to engage in phone conversations with women from lives past and present) I was not only drawn into the story and the reality of which it was conveyed but also into the irrationality on display in the characters. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow (Point Break, 1991) and beautifully written by Mark Boal, who is a relative newcomer (The Valley of Elah, 2007), The Hurt Locker becomes an unrelenting roller coaster that never climbs too high or falls too far and always allows the viewer to catch their breath, if only for a second. The story centers around Army SFC James, played by Jeremy Renner (28 Weeks Later), and involves an elite team of 3 bomb squad soldiers hanging on to a foretold glimpse of sanity in a world where everyone is a potential enemy and every object could be a bomb. All three characters are played wonderfully and while all contend with their familiar predicament in different manners, they are all forced to believe that they trust each other and yet know they only trust themselves. Bigelow and Boal guide the viewer through intense missions never allowing a daily schedule or structure to reveal itself and therefore keeping the viewer off balance the entire movie. As a 6 year veteran of the Army, I am more than familiar with this reality, also known as "organized chaos". This movie is a fairly unbiased attempt to portray war in Iraq and the American men (I know that many women fight in the war; this was not their story) who live this war on a daily basis. The film allows the viewer to be a part of their hellish drama without making political references or statements and without drawing conclusions. It is a documentary not shot in a documentary style, it is the culmination of a vision that maintained its sight fixed on the target and it leaves the viewer with a sense of journalistic integrity not often found in cinema. Definitely see this movie! I give it a score of 94/100 - I score this way because I score wine this way... look for my wine reviews.
Oh yeah! just because a wine and a movie have the same score, does not mean they will pair well.
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