THE HURT LOCKER

Kathryn Bigelow's (Near Dark) nerve-frying new war film focuses on the special team of American soldiers in Iraq assigned to defuse bombs. Scene after scene keep you on the edge of your seat as the crew -- James (Jeremy Renner), Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) -- manipulate wired explosives and are holed up in the desert under enemy sniper fire. Bigelow builds each scene with unbearable tension and never loses sight of the strange, sad mindset of these men. In one scene, we see James daunted by an aisle in an American supermarket, starkly demonstrating that in some sad, primal way, war is all these men really know. Moon In this brainy, modest sci-fi film directed by Duncan Jones (David Bowie's son), Sam Rockwell plays an astronaut who has been working on the moon for the past three years mining Earth's new energy source, Helium-3. Toward the end of the astronaut's tour of duty, eager to return to his wife and daughter -- with whom he has only been in contact with via delayed tape recordings -- an accident occurs and he wakes confronted by an identical clone of himself, albeit an angrier, more paranoid clone. As in a neat Twilight Zone episode, there is a thoughtful, intelligent structure to this tale, and Rockwell, as usual, leaves an offbeat, individual stamp on this troubled space dude.

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