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YMMV: The Hurt Locker
  • Award Snub: Defied. Despite going up against Avatar, the visually-dazzling highest-grossing movie of all time (unadjusted for inflation), The Hurt Locker not only bested it for the top prize, it managed to defeat it in some of the technical categories that Avatar was expected to sweep, including Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. Its journalistic writing even managed to defeat Inglourious Basterds for Best Original Screenplay.
    • That said, there were a few fans and bloggers who noted that Anthony Mackie was sadly overlooked in the Best Supporting Actor category.
  • Critical Dissonance: The movie is considered to be a realistic war movie by many critics, but not so much by the audience. Indeed, most former and current military personnel that have seen it, especially Iraq vets, complain of lack of realism. However, despite the obvious liberties taken with EOD policy, the movie captured the emotional experience of fighting in Iraq like no other.
    • In an interview, there was an actual EOD person who provided a variation on the military criticisms, not being keen on the film itself but appreciating the fact that it raised awareness of what they do.
  • Critical Research Failure/Idiot Plot: The first scene. Let us count the ways: All bomb squads carry a communications jammer that prevents precisely the kind of situation (a bad guy setting off a bomb with a cellphone) in the first scene from happening. Eldridge also seemingly defies Sanborn's order to kill the Iraqi with the phone, which he faces no consequences over. Finally, rather than having to place the explosives on the bomb by hand, Thomson could have just repaired the buggy with the tools he had.
  • Crowning Moment Of Awesome: Some of the stunts that James pulls off are pretty wicked tricks, like managing to defuse five bombs in one go, or defusing a bomb without his protective gear.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Three of Ministry's songs were used in the film, but "Khyber Pass" certainly qualifies as the backdrop for the last scene in which James is re-enlisted and has another year of war to go through happily look forward to.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks: Its Oscar buzz brought it to a wider audience; which displeased many of its original fans.
  • Hell Is That Noise: A bizarre musical chordnote  is used to enhance the Oh Crap moment when James discovers that the spare wire he found is attached to a daisy chain of a half-dozen or so more bombs.
  • Ho Yay: The scene when the group is getting drunk and learning about each other, and Sanborn and James get into a shirtless fight that ends with James straddling Sanborn.
  • Internet Backdraft: Debates on how accurate the movie was tend to spark some heated debates to say the least. Not to mention that a discussion on if The Hurt Locker really deserved Best Picture and if Avatar was snubbed by the Oscars will spark a big one.
  • Moral Event Horizon: You never see the antagonists in this film, but any sympathy the audience might have for their cause disappears when they use a boy's corpse as a bomb, if not before.
    • And then crossed a second time when someone kidnaps a random civilian man, straps bombs to him, sets them on a timer, and then bolt it onto his body with reinforced steel locks, making it impossible to remove. He's then sent to the army base, where he desperately begs them to take it off, pleading the entire time that he has a family, but explodes before they can get the bomb off of him. Note also that because of the timer, he knew exactly when it was going to go off and could do nothing to save himself.
  • Nightmare Fuel - Beckham an unnamed boy is killed, has a bomb sloppily planted into him, and left to rot.
  • Tear Jerker - Obviously, many moments in the film.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: James' failure to find out anything about a boy's killers could be seen as this, but it's purposefully done for an exercise in futility.
  • Vindicated by History: Summit only went to 500 theaters at it widest and the film grossed just $17 million in theaters (due to the studio having higher hopes for eventual flops such as Bandslam and Sorority Row). However due to positive word of mouth, the film became a huge hit on DVD. And it won some Oscars as well, including winning 3 of the main awards, Best Picture, Best Director & Best Original Screenplay, along with a nomination for Best Actor.
  • The Woobie - Eldridge.

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