Hurt Locker, The (2008, USA) C-131m. *** D: Kathryn Bigelow. Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse, Evangeline Lilly. Oscar-winning war drama set in Iraq, where a special bomb disarming squad goes about their day-to-day business. Renner plays a daredevil, who's new to the team and displays unconventional methods. He is soon drawn into the country's strife emotionally. Powerful, engrossing, tense film uses an almost documentarian approach and delivers. Later undermines itself a little with artificial plot twist about the Iraqi boy, but generally a mature film with a strong statement, winner of 6 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director (the first for a woman), beating out Bigelow's ex-husband's AVATAR (2009).

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