Buried movie review - Aussieboyreviews


Despite the entirety of the claustrophobic 90-minute runtime being set inside a coffin, Buried features brilliant cinematography, an exciting concept and an outstanding script. Ryan Reynolds also gives one of his career’s best performances.


After being attacked by a group of Iraqis, American truck driver Paul Conroy wakes up to find himself buried alive inside a coffin. With the help of only a pen, a lighter and a cell phone, he must escape this claustrophobic death trap before time runs out.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Rodrigo Cortés
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, José Luis García-Pérez, Samantha Mathis, Stephen Tobolowsky
Writer: Chris Sparling
Release Date (Australia): 7 October 2010
Runtime: 95 minutes/1h 35m
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Country: Spain
Language: English, Arabic

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (MA15+)

Thematic material includes sustained peril as a man is trapped in a coffin whilst buried alive, as well as scenes in which the coffin slowly fills up with sand and a scene in which the character must cut off his finger.

Violence (M)

The film contains scenes of violence, including brief footage of a woman being shot and a scene in which a man cuts off his finger, in which his severed finger is briefly viewed.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

The film contains occasionally aggressive use of the word “f**k” and an aggressive use of the word “c**t”.

mpaa rating

R (for language and some violent content)

Aussie boy's thoughts

Buried is an exceptionally written and directed thriller that consists entirely of claustrophobic tension, quick-spoken phone calls and a career-best performance from Ryan Reynolds. And the plot is excitingly original yet unbelievably simple: an American truck driver wakes up to find himself buried alive inside a coffin with only a pen, a lighter and a cell phone. But as movies go, it becomes a race against time to escape this confined death trap.

Believe it or not, the film is stocked with gorgeous cinematography, brilliant dialogue and most impressively, the whole 95-minute runtime is set inside this coffin with our main character, played by Ryan Reynolds. Just by hearing this, it’s safe to assume that the thrill factor and tension in this movie relies mostly on the claustrophobia of this confined setting. But even though we never leave this claustrophobic location, it still gives us plenty of oxygen to breathe as it jumps between sequences that keep us on the edge of our seats.

The big thing is, when you make a film set entirely in an enclosed location such as a box, the filmmakers and screenwriters have limited strategies to keep the audience entertained and riveted. In Buried, it comes down to the writing, dialogue and performances. As a justification for dialogue, the main character chooses to make phone calls with emergency hotlines and loved ones in an attempt to seek help with escaping. Despite being a very tense, often bleak movie, there are several undeniable lines of humour spoken over these phone calls.

At the same time however, some of these said calls can also be aggressive, stressed or even heartbreaking. During the third act when the situation is becoming increasingly dangerous and climatic, this is where the dialogue manages to be as desperate and intense as ever, aided by beautiful soundtrack and the masterclass cinematography capturing a range of different colours. But it’s a remarkable and devastating performance by Ryan Reynolds that makes us care. During the phone calls, the voices we can only hear are very convincing, but it’s the heavy-breathing and distressed Reynolds who deserves the ultimate credit. Buried will captivate audiences all around, but it’s also a must-watch for aspiring filmmakers, screenwriters and actors.

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