Jeremy Renner stars in Kathryn Bigelow’s edge-of-your-seat thriller as a maverick bomb disarmer during the Iraq War. Staff Sergeant William James (Renner) isn’t your typical sergeant – he works by his own, peculiar rules. Wild, unpredictable, and addicted to the energy of the war, Williams constantly butts heads with his colleagues but finds immeasurable bonding with others (Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty, both terrific). Timely and tense, The Hurt Locker is a visceral exploration into wartime conflict and the human emotions that arise from such trauma.
In 2010, Bigelow won the Best Director Academy Award for this film – becoming the first female winner in the category. To say she brings an energy to the film is an understatement, as she packs in a plethora of human understanding to each character impacted by their time in Iraq. It’s action-filled, but at heart a study of soldiers and what motivates them during times of crisis.