Buried – 2010


Plot:  Paul is a U.S. contractor working in Iraq. After an attack by a group of Iraqis he wakes to find he is buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter and a cell phone it’s a race against time to escape this claustrophobic death trap.


Buried is a 2010 spanish thriller directed by Rodrigo Cortés and starring Ryan Reynolds.. and no one else.

he is the only on-scene presence for the whole 95 minutes. a man (Paul Conroy) is buried in a coffin with only a lighter and a cell phone. the entire movie is shot within the walls of that coffin. no other actors, no other locations. raise your hand if the premise sounds kinda boring? especially since the only actor has been previously known mostly for his romantic comedies?

well, i will assure you that Buried is anything BUT boring.

the camera follows a man down a spiral colored with many emotions. Reynolds hops from pain, fear, hope, despair, anger, resignation, anxiety, relief, sadness, happiness like the most dexterous of actors, and never once makes you realize that you are watching a film where you can only see his face and not much else.  he never once fails to deliver and he never once doesn’t seem believable. team Reynolds! (and i didn’t even like him before i saw this and Paper Man..)

i liked this movie so much that i actively took time to go scout around for negative reviews(yawn), which i never do (because again, yawn), just to see why people would be so insane not to give it a 10/10 and not find it as entertaining as i did.

they ALL blame the same things out of this character: the fact that he can’t stay calm and the fact that he uses his lighter way too much, things that “even a fucking moron knows that just consume oxygen so just fuck off and die already” (this comes from an angry viewer on IMDB). here’s my point of view, dear angry viewer(s):

first of all, if the movie caused such a big reaction out of you, it already delivered fully and you are a loser.

and second: try waking up after a terrorist attack stuck in a coffin in middle of nowhere Iraq scared shitless and then if you manage to survive, tell me all about how you didn’t breathe hard or use the ONLY weapon you had to overcome one of the primal human fears (lying in complete darkness). no? didn’t think so. you are a loser.

third: the writer thought about idiotic people like you, so he went out of his way to write down exactly why the man is EXTRA incoherent at the time of his abduction (even tho he isn’t extra incoherent, but you see, that’s how you put up with your idiotic viewers) – the man has a pathologic case of anxiety, which he takes pills for. he says this on the phone and even shows you clearly his benzodiazepine of choice before swallowing a handful of em trying not to die from repeted panic attacks. are you still whining that since he is unable to save his oxygen the movie is not realistic? man, you really are a big fat loser.

bottom line, Buried is a good movie, despite your predominance to side or not side with its point of view on morals-politics-burocracy-whatever, it’s a good, entertaining 95 minutes with a spectacular performance from an actor you wouldn’t expect something like this out of. and the display of class and style lies in keeping you interested all the way thru the end without once changing scenery or showing you a different face than the one of the main character.

i have watched this twice already: once thru a tiny airplane screen on my way to Canada, and even if i couldn’t hear perfectly – with those crappy airline headphones with funky power plugs so you can’t use your ipod ones – i found it just as enjoyable as thru a big flat screen with surround.


3 Responses to “Buried”

  1. The only problem with discussing this movie is that one can squeeze the entirety of the movie into as few paragraphs as you just did. That, and that it’s kind of hard to discuss it without going into the ending, which of course is deep spoiler territory.

    I admire the movie as an exercise in suspense – the reviews that refer to it as Hitchcockian make sense in this way – in how it consistently puts you in the coffin with Paul, and how, moment to moment, it’s able to wrench a little more out of it while still remaining solely dedicated to this one barren and confined setting. It waits until the moment the audience feels like the weight of the situation is lifting off of their shoulders – and tosses something more onto them. As a movie, and as an experience, it’s solely dedicated to making you deal with this character.

    My only problem is that there’s not too much below it. Cortes doesn’t bother with subtext here, he just pushes it across as a straight-up genre experiment. And for something that is so able to keep your focus on it for so long, you find yourself remembering what happened in the story, but not much of WHY it happened beyond “well, he was freaking out” or “he got that glimmer of hope before something else cut it off”.

    So I sort of agree with the review – it’s a very interesting experience and a fine example of thriller filmmaking, but it’s not as deep a story as it could have been. There’s some light social commentary on beuracracy, I suppose, but it ends up feeling like lip service. And the ground that it comments on is so well-trodden, that it doesn’t at least take a different tack on it is what becomes its greatest failing.

    I say see it, but don’t expect to have something strike you deeply.

    Although that’s just my opinion.

    As for the complaints about “oh, NO ONE would do something dumb like he did”, that sort of stuff plagues almost every movie, to be perfectly honest. Some people refuse to remember that people are irrational, and that situations that throw them out of their normal life – which is, of course, the basis of conflict in every way, shape and form – only makes them more irrational. Yeah, Paul Conroy is a man who lives his life in a warzone, but the difference between him and everyone else in a warzone is that he’s now SIX FEET UNDER IT. Which is certainly a shift from life as it normally goes, isn’t it?

    So fuck people who hate it on such spurious terms. Those people are fun-suckers. And I can’t imagine how they deal with stuff that goes even further around the bend. How the hell do they watch slasher flicks?

  2. I really liked this one and almost had a panic attack myself watching the movie! HAHA! I wasn’t sure I would be entertained by a guy in a box for 90 mins but it was pulled off perfectly.

    Yeah there could have been more to the story but even without anything in-depth I was more entertained with this one than three quarters of the flicks I watched last year. Thing is, I really can’t stand Ryan Reynolds! He won me over a little with this one though.

  3. nice to see you writing again; welcome back

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