New Movie Breaks Hollywood Mold on Iraq
Instead, “The Hurt Locker” plainly tells the story of three soldiers charged with disarming IEDs (improvised explosive devices) in
“Locker” takes a completely different approach than the 2007 anti-war dramas “In the Valley of Elah,” “Lions for Lambs,” and “Redacted.” It certainly makes war look like hell, but it doesn't depict
The movie reflects screenwriter Mark Boal's time spent as a journalist embedded with a U.S. Army bomb squad in 2004. “It made a deep impression on me,” he stated in the film's production notes. “When I got home, I thought 'people have no idea how these guys live and what they're up against.'”
In “Locker,” audiences see that every decision, every move, is a matter of life or death for troops in
Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow did not create characters with perfect morality but they did not demonize those who willingly step into the most precarious of positions.
Early indications show that “Locker” has box office potential.
For starters, the film has enjoyed a wide range of support. Both the liberal Huffington Post and the conservative National Review agree that “Locker” is the best of the
“The film could also be classified as the best
On RottenTomatoes.com, an aggregate site for movie reviews, “Locker” has earned a 94 percent rating among the nation's top movie critics. Most reviews include a line about “Locker” being the best movie about
“Locker” has yet to become a wide release. It opened in four theaters on June 26 and expanded to 60 theaters last weekend. However, it grossed over $36,000 per theater, more than the nearly $26,000 per theater “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” earned. So far, the film earned $1.2 million.
Peter Travers, film critic for Rolling Stone, called “In the Valley of Elah,” a drama about a returning soldier from
Critics panned “Lions for Lambs,” directed by Robert Redford and starring
Michael Medved, talk show host, film critic and CMI Advisory Board member, called “Redacted,” “a loathsome, crude, amateurish and grotesque assault on our troops in
Medved was right. Brian de Palma's “Redacted” explored a situation based on real events in which American soldiers raped an Iraqi girl and murdered her family. YouTube videos, as well as videos from sources like cameraphones and foreign news outlets interspersed throughout the movie gave it the feel of a documentary. Yet the gimmick wasn't enough to win over the majority of critics. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times labeled it “kind of a mess.” He further noted, “Even if you agree with its politics, you will probably weep at the ineptitude of it all.” Movie audiences stayed away. The film failed to top $100,000 domestically, earning only little more than $65,000.
In the two days after Christmas 2007, more people saw Vince Vaughn's inane comedy “Fred Claus” than saw “Redacted” in its entire run. In fact, “Claus” nearly doubled “Redacted's” receipts in the two days after Christmas in 2007, earning over $126,000 just those two days.
Honor, Not Revile
Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata implored
The response to “Locker” surely shows Americans want to see war movies in which troops are good people. Not perfect, but courageous, honorable men and women who overcome impossible odds to do their jobs.