This is by far the best Iraq war movie we've seen, and it stands a really good chance of winning the Oscar for Best Picture of 2009. As the film closely follows an elite team of bomb-diffusing soldiers, everything about it seems just right. There is gory violence, but not so much that you ever feel like the filmmakers were enjoying or exaggerating it. There is also humor, but it's the kind of nervous, uncertain humor that you find plausable coming from emotionally wrecked, battle-scarred warriors.
The best thing about The Hurt Locker's story is that it never attempts to explain how or why the war began, nor does it attempt to explain how or why it should end. It just is. The war is portrayed as simply a fact of life for the soldiers it so carefully presents. And for them, it's the truth. There are no political shouting matches or men in suits making sweeping decisions. Instead, there are a handful of heroically courageous Americans trying to get the job done.
The film begins with a quote that likens war to an addictive drug, and it ends with a soldier leaving his family behind, choosing to return to Iraq for another tour of duty.