Kathryn Bigelow’s intense, suspenseful and perfectly played Iraq war drama follows the knife-edge existence of a bomb disposal unit in post-Saddam Baghdad.
Released in 2008 amid a glut of Middle East-themed dramas such as Green Zone, The Kingdom and Redacted, The Hurt Locker is a far superior film – ignoring the geo-politicking of its contemporaries to examine the psychological toll of men risking their lives in a country they have no interest in, for people who have no interest in them.
Jeremy Renner stars as the failed-at-civilian-life-brilliant-amid-carnage US Staff Sergeant James whose cavalier approach to clearing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) risks undermining his authority and the lives of those under his command. This is a masterclass in suspense and nail-biting situations as the bomb-craft hallmarks of the insurgents draw the team into a deadly pursuit.
The Hurt Locker Friday 10.00pm Viceland (Sky channel 153)