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Based an the real life experiences of journalist Mark Boal during a short stay with a bomb disposal unit during the 2004 Iraq War; director Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director for her work on the film. Both a critical and commercial success the movie uses an ensemble cast headed by Jeremy Renner to give an impression of the claustrophobic tight knit worl of soldiers living and working through a wartime environment. The authenticity of the movie is increased by the decision to film The Hurt Locker on the Iraq Jordan border and employ Iraqi refugess as extras during filming.

Opening with the arrival of Sergeant William James as amp Victory, Baghdad, Iraq after the death of the leader of a bomb disposal unit Staff Sergeant Matthew Thompson. James takes control of a three man unit consisting of himself, Sergeant J.T. Sanborn and Owen Eldridge; the movie follows the group through a series of experiences during their year long tour of duty in Iraq.

Throughout the various events wirnessed and experienced by the three men Sergeant James is shown to be something of a maverick who his two subordinates decide is a danger to them. At various times the men fear James's actions and contemplate killing him in what could be seen as an accident. James makes friends with a young Iraqi boy whom he calls Beckham as they play soccer together; during an operation to remove an explosive from a young boy's body James believes Beckham is the dead boy.

Towards the end of the 131 minute movie James leads his team on a mission to gain revenge for Beckham's death, during which Eldridge is injured and Sanborn suffers a breakdown. Eventually Beckham is revealed to be alive and James ends his tour in Iraq unhappily; failing to cope with life in the U.S. James again signs up for another tour in wartorn Iraq.

| 2008 | 2 hr 11 min | 7.6/10 | 95/100
Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce
Kathryn Bigelow
Produced By
Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, Greg Shapiro

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