The Hurt Locker, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, is about a month in the life of three US bomb squad technicians working in Iraq. Based on the real life observations of writer Mark Boal, these soldiers speak of explosions as putting you in "the hurt locker". There have been a slew of comments from Hollywood about both the war in Iraq and the war on terror. By and large though, films like In The Valley of Elah, Rendition, Redacted and Lions for Lambs have failed to translate to box office success.
By contrast, The Hurt Locker has already grossed more then $10m (£6m) in US cinemas since its release last month - and that is despite having no big stars among the cast, with the exception of cameos from Ralph Fiennes and Guy Pearce. "I think there is a lack of politics, a lack of speeches in the movie," says Bigelow, when asked about why it has proved a hit with audiences. “But the main reason is that it's an action film. And also, speaking as a member of the general public, I had no idea what things like EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) stood for. "Mark's reporting and screenplay opens a window for us onto that world."