Film Review: Buried (2010)

Into the Dark - Film Review: Buried

For the entirety of this film, you never leave a pine box buried in the desert. It’s a gimmick, but it’s a good one. Star Ryan Reynolds and director Rodrigo Cortes work magic to build drama and suspense in a confined space. By the end of the movie, you’re as anxious for Ryan to get out of the box as you’ve ever been engaged with a protagonist before. You have to suspend a little disbelief regarding Ryan’s cell phone reception, but if you allow it, Buried becomes more than just a gitchy, claustrophobic thriller.

The Social Network has been praised for its commentary on human interaction and loneliness, and I think Buried deserves the same analysis. Physically isolated and in dire need of communication for his very survival, Reynolds’ character begins to disintegrate. At one point, he calls his mother at a nursing home. We learn she has Alzheimer’s and can barely remember who he is. What could be more devastating at a time when all you want is for someone to say they love you? What happens when the people you need the most — your mother, your wife — simply don’t answer?

In other calls with government officials and company men, Ryan hears what we all know but hate to be reminded — that we’re numbers, not people, and that our lives mean nothing when they stand in the way of profits and bad press.

It’s a bleak film. Don’t expect a happy ending.

Rating: 3.5/5 ★★★½☆ 


About Scott_S

Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (

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