I’ve seen Kathryn Bigelow’s tense, muscular Iraq War movie before, but rewatched it in late January 2017 as it’s the first film covered by a distance learning course I’ve enrolled in. We used it to examine signifiers of genre, looked at various The Hurt Locker DVD covers from around the world, analysed the opening scene and more. Jeremy Renner is very good and there’s something relentless in the way that Bigelow moves from one taut, dread-filled sequence to the next, reflecting with her pace and structure the main character’s inability to slake a thirst for adrenaline-producing situations of extreme danger. For me this is hands down the best war film of modern times. (*****)