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‘Hurt Locker’: The cost of heroism

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Like every war before it, the U.S. invasion of Iraq has generated its share of movies. “The Hurt Locker” is the first of them that can properly be called a masterpiece.

Working from a screenplay by Mark Boal (based on his experiences as an embedded journalist with U.S. troops), director Kathryn Bigelow accomplishes two difficult things: She crafts a taut and harrowing movie in which the suspense level rarely dips below excruciating, and she delivers an exceptionally detailed, first-hand account of the day-to-day existence of U.S. soldiers, the way “Platoon” did for Vietnam or “Saving Private Ryan” did for World War II.

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