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Film Review: Buried

Mar 08, 2011 06:28AM ● Published by Wendy Sipple

The entire movie takes place in a coffin and somehow Buried remains interesting until the end which is a major compliment to director Rodrigo Cortes.

This movie will be particular hard to take for the claustrophobic viewers as it captures the feeling of confinement that well.

Ryan Reynolds stars as Paul Conroy, who is a truck driver that is kidnapped in Iraq. He wakes up in a coffin, buried with a lighter, cell phone and a couple of other items. Buried never cheats as it plays out in real time and not once relies on flashbacks or cuts to the outside world. In fact it even shows a pitch black screen when lighters and flashlights black out. 

I was impressed with Ryan Reynolds performance. He is able to grab the audience’s attention without much use of his body, a tough achievement for any actor. The real star of the film is the director Rodrigo Cortes who expertly crafted this film with the largest of limitations. Not one shot feels stale and the different lighting he utilizes in the film keep the frames interesting.  Buried immerses us in the experience to the point that I felt the fear of claustrophobia watching the film, and I am not that claustrophobic of a person.

Buried does have its drawbacks, and the most glaring is how the lead is written. In the grand scheme of things he does not come across as likable. It would have been more effective if the lead was a character who we genuinely liked. Also the conclusion will be debated as well. I see the point the writer and director were trying to make, but I don’t think it is an ending that will be a crowd pleaser.

Buried is a tensioned-filled thriller and is definitely worth a look. If you like “Hitchcock” type tension and suspense -- which is what this film aspired to do -- you will like Buried.

FILMS LIKE BURIED: The Hurt Locker, Rear Window and 127 Hours

Click here to buy the film directly from Amazon.com.


Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.

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