Iraq and a Hard Place
The Hurt Locker
Review by Ross Anthony

Powerful, focused, tough. You won't just be watching this film drive by from the comfort of theatre seats, you'll be sweaty and nervous, holding your breath, in the Humvee right alongside these American soldiers. Hurt Locker is the Iraq War's Black Hawk Down.

Director Kathryn Bigelow tangles a red-wire of tension beginning to end. The tension wraps around each of her characters, each of their missions, and often in between missions. In fact, mission is paramount, in this film where "Story" takes a backseat.

The Hurt Locker The picture is prefaced by the quote, "War is a drug." Certainly a central character's drive echoes this statement, but the film seems to have so much more to convey that I'd hesitate to call this the theme. At base level, Hurt Locker educates Stateside Americans (as well as international audiences) on the real day-to-day, emotion-to-emotion, life-changing experiences endured by American Soldiers seeing action in Iraq. We'll better understand their coping methods, better understand them upon return.

While film stays steadfastly soldier-centered, never making any direct political arguments for or against the war itself, there certainly seems to be a strong statement about the seriousness of PTSD.

Great acting, strong direction, and aside from a few questionable plausibility choices, the picture feels very real. The overall effect is quite powerful and moving.

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • The Hurt Locker. Copyright © 2009.
  • Starring: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Bryan Geraghty, Evangeline Lilly, David Morse, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Screenplay by Mark Boal. Produced by Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, Greg Shapiro at Summit Entertainment.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Monday, 06-Jul-2009 21:18:31 PDT