Buried

Buried [Blu Ray]: An American truck driver in Iraq wakens up in a coffin with a Zippo, Blackberry phone and a few other items; his shit has hit the fan. From Reynold’s instant panic at the blacked out start, and with the entire film playing out inside the box, this is very claustrophobic and unbelievably suspenseful. As time ticks down, and the story snakes forward it’s impossible not to get whipped up in the boiling tension – especially during the latter half when bigger events unfold. It’s not often that black humour can lighten the mood but when a film is this intense, being put on hold or flippant sarcasm does take the edge off – momentarily.  Technically, it’s superb – the camera work, varied lighting and sound maximise the intensity, and for the Blu Ray, while the picture’s not particularly ‘worthy’, every single scratch, movement, phone tone and background noise punches through. The only limitation of the film is that if you don’t buy in, it will only ever be ‘a guy stuck in a box’. With a scope this tiny, you’d think 90 minutes would be a long stretch, but Buried is quite the opposite – hyper-dramatic to the very last frame – it’s amazing how much Cortés forces out of this concept, and kudos to Reynolds, who took yet another gamble on a left-field movie. Proof that a tiny, tight project can be just as good as any ‘tent-pole’ picture.

Score: 8.5/10

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9 comments
  1. I thought this was a great film; very tense: no clue what was going on just like Reynold’s character. Who would have guessed that Reynolds could give this powerful or accomplished performance? Watching the DVD extras was fascinating learning how they shot it (amazing coffin with removable panels so that the camera could do a 360!), and made me admire the director and cinematographer even more. Great review!

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  2. Eric said:

    Definitely an underrated movie, and one of my favorites from 2010. Glad to hear you enjoyed it as well.

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  3. Olivia said:

    I totally agree with the fact that if you don’t buy in, it’s just a guy in a box. I tried to watch it but never really got into it…ended up skipping to the end and saying, “Wow I’m glad I didn’t waste an hour and half on this.” Maybe I’ll give it another shot though!

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  4. Novroz said:

    Love your short review. This is one of my favorite in 2011…great movie. It changed my opinion on Reynold

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  5. Paragraph Film Reviews said:

    Russ – will definitely check out the extras – it was technically impressive while watching – almost distracting at times!

    Olivia – I think you need to be in the mood to watch a film like this, and in the dark, definitely has to be in the dark.

    Novroz – Reynolds is a weird one, seems to do a few standard films then pick the odd indie gem. It’s worth sifting through it. The Nines would be a good place to start – https://paragraphfilmreviews.com/2009/09/27/the-nines

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  6. Colin said:

    This, on the other hand, should never have bombed. I love it from top to cramped toe.

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  7. noonanjohnc said:

    The ending was a gut punch. My fiancee hates Reynolds with a passion, but she was totally caught up in this.

    The only thing that ruined it for me was the rotund lady that stood up at the end and declared to the cinema public, ‘That is worst film I have ever seen in my life’, What do you do with that? Say ‘I’m sorry’? Though she was probably expecting Saw 15, as the trailers did make out it was of that ilk.

    In summary, film good. Screeching townies not good.

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  8. I admire the ability to make this movie suspenseful for 90 minutes. But I don’t like the idea of Hollywood trying to see how far they can stretch thin concepts (e.g. this movie and 127 hours). I also hated the ending. It was a crap twist just for shock value, something Manny Shyamalan would do. Reynolds turned in a good performance, though.

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  9. I enjoyed the movie as well. I hated the shots when the camera would pull away from the coffin, though (long-shots). It took me out of the moment. Funny thing is, I don’t remember if he survived or not…

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