Buried

"OK"

Buried Review


A high-concept premise with a fiendishly claustrophobic setting, this film at least has the courage of its own convictions. And Reynolds delivers a relentlessly effective performance. So it's a shame that it's not more involving than it is.

After being ambushed while working as a driver in Iraq, private contractor Paul (Reynolds) wakes up in the dark, and his lighter shows him that he's inside a coffin-shaped wooden box. There's also a mobile phone in there, and soon Paul is communicating with the kidnapper (Perez), who demands that he make a video plea for ransom. Paul also contacts both his company's emergency manager (Tobolowsky) and a government agent (Paterson) who promises to help. But time is running out as Paul uses up both the breathable air and his phone battery.

Intriguingly, filmmaker Cortes avoids the temptation to cutaway to flashbacks, keeping us tightly contained in the box with Paul. The only other person we ever see is a colleague (Mino) who is also being held by the kidnappers and makes her own video. What's left are the range of voices on the other end of the line, plus Paul's continual movement as he tries to maintain a light source, avoid a visiting snake and stop the leaking sand.

The problem is that the script and direction continually betray the contrived set-up, as events feel rather pushy while dialog continually states the blatantly obvious: namely that Paul was woefully unaware of the dangers when he took the job. Of course these are valid points, but the script makes them without the use of irony or subtlety.

And then of course there's the problem of the gimmick itself. From the start, we get the feeling that, since we're so intimately trapped with Paul, there's no way the filmmakers will let him come to any harm. This essentially removes all tension; we feel his frustration, but never get a meaningful sense of his potential mortality. Perhaps this is due to Cortes' constantly moving camera, with clever angles that keep the film visually in motion. This is no small achievement for a film set in such a small space, but it gives away the biggest secret of them all: it's only a movie.



Buried

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st October 2010

Box Office USA: $1.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $19.2M

Budget: $2M

Distributed by: Lionsgate

Production compaines: Versus Entertainment, The Safran Company, Dark Trick Films, Studio 37

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Fresh: 131 Rotten: 20

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Rodrigo Cortes

Producer: Adrian Guerra, Peter Safran

Starring: as Paul Conroy, José Luis García Pérez as Jabir (voice), Robert Paterson as Dan Brenner (voice), as Alan Davenport (voice), as Linda Conroy (voice), Ivana Miño as Pamela Lutti (voice), Warner Loughlin as Maryanne Conroy / Donna Mitchell / Rebecca Browning (voice), as Special Agent Harris (voice), Kali Rocha as 911 Operator (voice), Chris William Martin as State Department Rep. (voice), Cade Dundish as Shane Conroy (voice), as 411 Female Operator (voice), Kirk Baily as 411 Male Operator (voice), as CRT Operator (voice), Robert Clotworthy as CRT Spokesman (voice), Michalla Petersen as Nursing Home Nurse (voice), Juan Hidalgo as Kidnapper (voice), Abdelilah Ben Massou as Kidnapper (voice), Joe Guarneri as Additional Voice (voice), Heath Centazzo as Additional Voice (voice)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.