Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Christian Camargo, Ralph Fiennes
The Hurt Locker is one of—if not the—best movies made about the U.S. invasion of Iraq. It follows an army unit that specializes in detonating bombs, focusing on the unit’s leader, Will (Jeremy Renner), who is a hardened soldier with a penchant for breaking the rules. The strength of this movie is that it manages to be apolitical, especially considering the war it depicts. It does not focus on the reasons American soldiers are discovering bombs strapped to innocent Iraqi civilians. Instead, it chooses to focus on the toll that having to make constant life-or-death decisions takes on the human psyche. As a result, The Hurt Locker dramatizes the pain and paradoxical psychological traumas that manifest as a result of combat. For that reason, it’s one of the best war movies of all time.