Factual · Powerful · Original · Iconoclastic
One word keeps appearing in reviews of The Hurt Locker, the critically acclaimed war film: realism. In fact, as I note in my Philadelphia Inquirer piece, the incidents in the film are grossly unrealistic - as I know from having been a combat engineer myself and having embedded with a Navy-Marine EOD near Fallujah.
The most obvious explanation for what the reviewers perceived as realism is that they know no more about war, Iraq, or EOD than EOD technicians know about reviewing movies.
Nevertheless, if the shoot-'em-up; blow 'em up depictions were typically Hollywood, the movie did convey a sense of realism in its approach to the antagonists and in putting you into the movie. Clearly, it's the best film made about the Iraq war.