Directors: Rodrigo Cortés
Ryan Reynolds. Buried Alive. In A Box. For 90 Minutes.
In a nutshell, that is Buried. Quite a concept, eh? In the wrong hands, this could be an absolute disaster. I mean, how can you make a 90-minute movie about someone in a box without it becoming trite and boring? Thankfully, director Rodrigo Cortés was more than up to the task for this challenge. Buried is easily one of the most suspenseful movies I have seen in quite some time, and it never has a dull moment.
Ryan Reynolds stars as Paul Conroy, an American truck driver in Iraq who was ambushed by insurgents while working. He blacked out during the attack and woke up buried alive. We don’t see any of the attack in the movie — this starts with Conroy in the box, desperately trying to find a way out. He is buried with a Zippo lighter and a cellphone, and he frantically uses the latter to call anyone and everyone who might help out (often with less than desirable results). We hear the conversations with everyone he talks to — 911, the Pentagon, his employer, etc. — but we never see things from their end. All we see is Conroy and the flickers of light from his Zippo, or the illuminated screen of the cellphone.
This is very much a one man show, and Reynolds does an admirable job keeping viewers entertained despite the lack of options on screen. His portrayal of Conroy is what I imagine most people would act like — he reacts in ways that I would likely do as well, alternating between rational thinking to just generally freaking the fuck out. Combine his performance with Cortes’s claustrophobic camerawork and you have one hell of a stressful movie.
Buried could have easily been a trainwreck of epic proportions, but it exceeded any and all expectations I had going into it. This is a non-stop thriller from beginning to end, and there were a lot of moments where I had no idea what was going to happen. As a vehicle for suspense, this is very impressive. Quite frankly, Buried is one of the best movies to come out in 2010. Highly recommended, unless you have severe claustrophobia.