Synopsis: A portrayal of elite soldiers who have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: disarming bombs in the heat of combat. When a new sergeant, James, takes over a highly trained bomb disposal team amidst violent conflict, he surprises his two subordinates, Sanborn and Eldridge, by recklessly plunging them into a deadly game of urban combat. James behaves as if he’s indifferent to death. As the men struggle to control their wild new leader, the city explodes into chaos, and James’ true character reveals itself in a way that will change each man forever.
Round-up: "Among director Kathryn Bigelow’s many gifts is the ability to make men feel penis envy," starts David Edelstein's glowing review of "The Hurt Locker" in New York Magazine. Calling "The Hurt Locker" "the Iraq War movie for ... those who don't like Iraq War movies," Rolling Stone's Peter Travers says "Bigelow builds a combustible drama that shakes you in ways you don't see coming." Liza Schwarzbaum at Entertainment Weekly gushes over the film's realism: "This ain't no war videogame, no flashy, cinematic art piece; there's nothing virtual about this reality." The New Yorker's David Denby responds to those who have accused him of hating action in films: "Well, I like these explosions, because I believe in them. Realism has its thrills, too." Addressing the film's complexity, Slant's Fernando F. Croce says, "As a political text deliberately limited to a grunt's view of the Iraq War circa 2004, the film is neither recruiting pamphlet nor antiwar tract." Writing in Variety, Derek Elley is the lone dissenter in this round-up complaining, "War may be hell, but watching war movies can also be hell, especially when they don't get to the point."