REVIEW: Buried (2010)

13 Oct

entry by: Chris Petersen

REVIEW: Buried (2010)

Rating: R

Starring: Ryan Reynolds

Director: Rodrigo Cortes

What a film! I am telling as many people as I can about this one because it is gripping from start to finish. Some people that I have told about it are like, “Wait…so you’re telling me that this entire film takes place inside a coffin?” To which I respond, “Yup.” They stare at me for a minute, turn their heads like an inquisitive dog before asking something along the lines of, “There are no flashbacks? Or scenes outside of the coffin?” I respond in the negative and all of them except maybe one, who probably was thinking about dinner or something when I was talking said, “Hmmm….I don’t know about that.” Let me tell you….give this movie a chance….it is spectacular.

Buried is about a civilian contracted truck driver in Iraq named Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds giving the performance of a lifetime) who wakes up buried alive in a coffin with only a cell phone with weak reception, a pen, and a lighter. He receives a call from a terrorist who informs him that he has an hour and a half to get $5 million to them or he will be left to die. He races against time and lack of oxygen to put the pieces together about how he ended up there and acquire the money.

Rodrigo Cortes, who has mainly directed Spanish short films and one feature length, does a superb job keeping the audience intrigued with what could have been a very boring venture. Of course the film starts out slow as he figures out his surroundings, but Cortes does some interesting work with the camera and lighting to project the sense of claustrophobia and suffocation that sets the stage for future scenes.

The film hinged not only on pacing, but in Ryan Reynolds’ performance. Back when this film was rumored to come out there was a lot of skepticism that he could hold the attention of the audience and carry a dramatic leading role, but he does it beyond a doubt. I fully expected coming into this film that it would be thrilling, but I did not expect the range of emotion that Reynolds portrays to make this film complete. The urgency in his voice, or even just the pace of his breathing, control every scene.

Cortes creates some incredibly intense scenes, one in particular involving an unwanted creature in the coffin, but he even uses the vibrating phone as an instigator of urgency within the film. It is films like this that give hope to independent filmmakers everywhere because he does so much with so little.

Like I said earlier, Buried, receives one of my highest recommendations for this year, if not the highest so far. After seeing The Social Network and Inception I was sure that it would not get much better than that for 2010, but this one gives them some hefty competition and I hope both Cortes and Reynolds are rewarded for the outstanding job that they did.

  • Characters: A-
  • Cinematography: A-
  • Direction: A+
  • Plot: A
  • Performances: A+

6 Responses to “REVIEW: Buried (2010)”

  1. Brian Pac Sostak October 13, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    Jen told me about this and I thought it was very interesting, apparently it wasn’t too much of a reach for Reynolds to act paniced. I personally would have never been able to do this film.

    • Chris Petersen October 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

      That’s crazy. I am not claustrophobic, but I can only imagine how ridiculous it would be to be stuck like that if you were.

  2. Megan L October 13, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    I’m ready to see it again already. Pac if you and Jen want to go we’ll go again!

  3. CMrok93 November 18, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    I was on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next. My mind is always racing to try to understand how they are going to save it. Do you think that things like this happen all the time is very difficult to understand, but it does not happen regularly.

    • Chris Petersen November 18, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

      It was a very intense movie. I am not sure if this type of stuff happens or whether it was just a plot device, but it was creepy nevertheless.


  1. Movie Reviews by Author « Chris Petersen's Film Blog - November 10, 2010

    […] Buried                                            A                             N/A […]

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