The Hurt Locker Movie PosterAs Jeff Wells points out in the blog post introducing the poster to the right, it is hard to say whether or not this is an approved one-sheet for Kathryn Bigelow’s Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker, but it certainly gets its point across. Wells is among a group of journalists that have been very supportive of the film since it debuted at the Toronto Film Fest this past August, saying that it sets itself apart from many of the other Iraq war dramas of recent years by establishing itself as an action movie above all else.

As Reel Film’s David Nusair describes it, The Hurt Locker is “uncommonly taut and uniformly well acted.” Wells, on the other hand, describes it more simply as “a high-anxiety thriller…it’s Aliens.” These words should be encouraging for anyone who has been aching for something different in the ‘Iraq war’ genre, one that has suffered mightily through films like Lions for Lambs and Home of the Brave. Enough with the heavy-handed political dramas, lets see a little bit of action. This formula seemed to work pretty well for Peter Berg with The Kingdom, which was relatively well-received. Why wouldn’t it work for Bigelow, the filmmaker who previously showed some teeth with Point Break and K-19: The Widowmaker?

I suppose the next test in the Iraq war genre is this weekend’s release of Body of Lies, from director Ridley Scott. Having seen the film, I can assure you that it trades the political heavy-handedness and in some ways, authenticity for intensity and engaging drama. It succeeds in that regard, as more of a fast-paced international crime drama rather than just a movie about the war on terror. From where I was sitting, that was a good thing. Who knows how it will look when we get the box office totals on Monday.

Back to the Hurt Locker poster for a moment, though. Am I right in saying that this is one of the most intense and compelling one-sheets we’ve seen all year?

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