With The Hurt Locker, I ended up watching a very different film than I intended to. The plan was to sit down and enjoy a dramatic war movie with nuanced performance and subtlety; an Oscar contender. By the end though, I was watching a high suspense thriller that happens to take place in Iraq. It’s not an insignificant difference, and it was one I needed to make before I could fully appreciate what I was watching. Expectation is often the bane of a viewer’s existence, and that’s never more true than when one finally watches an Academy nominee. The film was released on June 26th and Oscar-buzz began shortly thereafter. Ever since then, our unformed opinions have been molded by everything BUT the movie itself. I hate this for a number of reasons, but mostly because it’s unavoidable. Either see it opening day, or go live in a cave. Otherwise you had better be prepared to do battle with the forces of subjective opinion, because brother, they’re a-comin.