THE HURT LOCKER Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce
Bigelow’s examination of US bomb disposal experts in Iraq proves to be the best film yet on the conflict. Shunning didacticism for a procedural study of a typical squad’s terrifying activities – encounters with apparent suicide bombers, the defusing of roadside booby traps – the picture ends up as lean as it is thrilling. The script takes no obvious position on the rights and wrongs of the occupation, but this excellent film’s integrity is never in question. 15A cert, lim release, 131 min.