Posted: March 1, 2011 in Films
Tags: , , ,

Starring: Ryan Reynolds

Director: Rodrigo Cortes

Year: 2010

This film is about a man in a box.  Okay, there is more to it than that…or is there?  I saw the advertisement for this film on Facebook of all places, so I made the mistake of giving it a go.  When it started, I thought I had a faulty disk or something because the screen was just black, like the tv was turned off.  Then I heard some grunting, lots of heavy breathing and a few girly squeals – then no other than Ryan Reynolds’ face appeared as he flicked on his cigarette lighter.  Well, at least THAT explained the girly squeals!  No, I actually don’t think Ryan is that bad of an actor, despite some of the bad attention he often receives, mainly from comic book fans who seem to not want him as their Green Lantern hero in the upcoming Green Lantern movie out this Summer for one reason or another.

So come on, what really happens then I hear you cry.  Well, Paul Conroy (Reynolds) is a truck driver in Iraq, who gets kidnapped and buried alive inside a wooden coffin so many feet under the ground.  The kidnappers have been quite polite though by allowing him to have a mobile phone (a Blackberry mobile phone may I add – they clearly have taste), a cigarette lighter and a pencil buried with him.  Awww.  Bless.  He uses the mobile phone to contact his wife and his employers who had given him a safety number to call (how convenient) but he was only able to leave messages for them both.   He was begging them to try to find his location.  Why doesn’t he just check his location on his Blackberry?  Modern technology is useful for these situations.  He is obviously an Apple fan and had no idea a Blackberry could do this.  The actual kidnapper contacts him eventually and demands a hefty ransom for his release.  Oh dear. 

Paul does eventually manage to get help from the State Department who know people who deal specifically with people who have been kidnapped, so we get to hear lots of whining going on in the dark as he tries to persuade them for help.  Whilst he receives help over the phone, he writes down little notes on the coffin lid with his pencil, using his lighter for light.  But every time the lighter goes off, the screen goes pure black – and I did find this quite off-putting.  It reminded me of looking into a dark room, and to be frank, made me rather sleepy.  Very often things start to get too much for Paul, and he does consider taking his own life…only to stop and think about his family for a minute, which prevents him from doing so.  Sometimes you think ‘he should have done’ because it would have ended the film quicker!

The kidnapper sends him many threats, which lead to lots of stand out moments in the movie, and it’s only when these threats and orders start being received that you start to take an actual interest.  By this time though, the movie has nearly finished and your eyes are drooping having been staring at a dark screen for over an hour.

The ending has a twist to it, and it leaves you thinking ‘i’m so glad I’m not in that situation’.  I just wish the movie had more ‘light’ in it.  I understand it was how it was supposed to be, you weren’t supposed to see any of the other characters as such, because it’s better that way.  It’s better we don’t see what these other people look like, because if we did, then we wouldn’t be in the box with Paul.  We would know things, and he wouldn’t.  They obviously wanted us to feel as though we were in there, in that situation with him.  It worked, but I didn’t think it worked as well as it could have done.  It just felt like there was something missing.  I would have liked to have seen some sort of flashback, something that allowed him to look back at something that included daylight and other actors.  I felt as though I couldn’t breath whilst watching it, it was very claustrophobic.  If that is what the producers/writers were after, then well done,  because they certainly succeeded in that department!  I just didn’t feel as though the movie was ever going anywhere.  Not much happened in it and when it started to get going, it was nearly finished!  I was left disappointed.

I understand this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, it certainly wasn’t mine.  But if you are into your thrillers, the dark, being alone with Ryan Reynolds (in a box), and a psychological feeling of dread, then this film is for you.  If however you are after seeing lots of actors, many different scenarios and a fast paced storyline, then stay away.

The film is called Buried – and for me, it can stay that way.


  1. I heard a lot about this back when it was at the movies. IMDB regards it quite highly, but I doubt I’d both with it after your review.

  2. Jacob says:

    Totally agree with you, ending left a bad taste in the mouth, ergo Reynolds mouth was filling with sand, but yeah it should have ended something like this; Reynolds is recovered just before he suffocates, the rescuers are in a warzone and they have to try and escape, it would have opened the movie up and made it more intense, running for the LZ through the mosques in the area etc, so many avenues could have been exploited. Movies that leave you feeling disgusted are not worth watching, and unless you don’t have a soul you too would have been left with a sour feeling, otherwise not a bad movie.

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