Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program alumna Kathryn Bigelow's newest film The Hurt Locker opened to critical acclaim in New York and Los Angeles on June 26, and will open in select cities nationwide and in Toronto this Friday, July 10.
The Hurt Locker is an action film that stars Jeremy Renner, Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes, and follows a bomb disposal team in Iraq. The film was nominated for a Golden Lion at the 2008 Venice Film Festival, where Bigelow won four film awards, including the Young Cinema Award for Best Film Venezia 65. Bigelow also directed Point Break (1991), Strange Days (1995), and K-19: The Widowmaker (2002).
Bigelow was awarded the annual Andrew Sarris award–which is named for School of the Arts Film Program professor and critic Sarris, and honors outstanding service and artistic achievement of distinguished Film Program alumni–at the 22nd annual Columbia University Film Festival this spring.
"It is a true honor to receive the Andrew Sarris award," Bigelow said. "My time at Columbia, and in Andrew Sarris' class in particular, was a time of great inspiration and creative expansion."
The Hurt Locker has received overwhelmingly positive reviews, from critics and the public alike. As of July 7, the film had a 95% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the popular online movie review database.
"If The Hurt Locker is not the best action movie of the summer, I'll blow up my car. Viscerally exciting, adrenaline-soaked tour de force of suspense and surprise, full of explosions and hectic scenes of combat, but it blows a hold in the condescending assumption that such effects are just empty spectacle of mindless noise."-A. O. Scott, The New York Times
"A near-perfect movie....Writer Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow have pooled their complementary talents to make one of the rare war movies ... this one's the tops."-Richard Corliss, Time
"Cause to rejoice. Director Kathryn Bigelow gives the film an intensity you will not shake ..." -Peter Travers, Rolling Stone