Movie Review: Buried (2010)

I feel I must break my usual code and begin with a kind of spoiler as a warning to all potential viewers.  Buried, the new thriller starring Ryan Reynolds, is filmed almost entirely in one location with one actor from start to finish (I’ll say ‘almost’ so you won’t know what the ending is).

Accordingly, there’s a couple of ways you could look it.  The first is that it is one of the most inventive and intelligent films of the year because, as far as I know, it’s never been done before for a mainstream feature film.  Somehow, despite these constraints, the Rodrigo Cortes-directed film manages to tell an entire 94-minute story (and a thriller, mind you) in this manner.

On the other hand, you could consider Buried a stupid, boring and frustrating film that never really gets you anywhere because the protagonist is stuck somewhere he can’t get out of.

In my opinion, Buried is a bit of both, though I liked it a lot more than I disliked it (my wife was the opposite).  It was a pretty amazing film that kept me, for the most part, interested in what was going to happen.  The way they paced the film, the way they wrote the dialogue, and the way they built up the sense of claustrophobia and suspense, were all very commendable.  Conversely, because they had to fill up the running time, there was indeed a fair bit of repetition and what I would consider time-fillers.  It did get a bit frustrating and tedious after a while, and I was desperate for more to happen.  On the whole, I still quite liked it.  I wouldn’t call it a great film but it’s good to see movie studios producing something new every now and then rather than simply sequels and remakes.

3.5 stars out of 5

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