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Movie Review

Buried also known as “Sepultado,” “Enterré,” “Enterrado,” “Enterrado Vivo,” “Haudattu,” “Buried - Lebend begraben,” “Buried - Sepolto,” “Pogrzebany”

MPAA Rating: R for language and some violent content.

Reviewed by: Gabriel Mohler

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
War Suspense Thriller Drama
1 hr. 35 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
September 24, 2010 (limited—10+ theaters)
October 8, 2010 (33 theaters)
DVD: January 18, 2011
Copyright, Lionsgateclick photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Lionsgate

IRAQ—What is the significance of Iraq in the Bible? Answer


FEAR, Anxiety and Worry… How to deal with it biblically


Copyright, Lionsgate



Copyright, Lionsgate

About snakes

About murder

Featuring: Ryan Reynolds (Paul Conroy), José Luis García Pérez (Jabir), Robert Paterson (Dan Brenner), Stephen Tobolowsky (Alan Davenport), Samantha Mathis (Linda Conroy), more »
Director: Rodrigo Cortés
Producer: Versus Entertainment, The Safran Company, Dark Trick Films, Studio 37, more »
Distributor: Lionsgate

“170,000 SQ miles of desert. 90 minutes of oxygen. No way out.”

If you check out this film, you better not have claustrophobia! In this survival thriller, Paul Conroy, played by Ryan Reynolds, is a truck driver who has been buried alive in a desert of Iraq. The entirety of this film takes place in the coffin, as he makes phone calls, tries to preserve air, and fights snakes, sand, and explosions.

This may be the most amazingly original film I’ve ever seen; however, the ending turned it into a tragically wasted opportunity, which I’ll get to in a minute.

The most morally offensive thing in this film is the language. There are about three dozen f-words; in one scene, Paul screams the f-word over and over. There are also s-words, misuses of God’s name and “Hell,” and a few other foul words.

Some mature elements are when Paul is falsely accused of an emotional affair with a colleague (which is not prominent) and, of course, the intense peril.

Just because there may not be anything morally offensive besides the language doesn’t mean it’s worth watching. Spoiler alert here, but you’ll thank me for it. Right at the end, Paul is apparently just about to be saved. His wife is thrilled; his rescuers are digging. Then his rescuers realize they came to the wrong place, and the movie ends as the coffin fills with sand.

So, in the end, the movie is deliberately depressing, when it could have had an inspiring message about triumph and helping others. This may not be morally offensive; however—similar to uncalled-for gore in movies—it obviously leaves a very negative effect. It is implied that another man in the same situation might have been saved instead of Paul, but the effect is nonetheless unnecessarily disturbing.

Some positive elements include a father making one last video of himself for his family, and blessing them, before his closely expected death. This is touching. Self-sacrifice is illustrated when Paul makes a video of himself cutting off his finger to save his family from terrorists (it’s not graphic; in fact, the camera cuts away as he’s actually doing it. You just see the severed finger briefly afterward).

When watching the movie, I naturally thought to myself, “What would I do if I was in this situation?” The first thing that comes to mind is, PRAY! Paul loses his temper many times because “luck” doesn’t seem to be favoring him and because the limited people he calls are his only hope. If God had been his ultimate hope, perhaps he would have been more peaceful (and perhaps the language wouldn’t be so crazy). The movie does deliver a positive message about perseverance, but this is drowned in the ending, which will make you so upset that you’ll forget about his inspiring perseverance which ended up being in vain.

Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE! Watch it on-line, full-length motion picture.

About hope

About prayer

If Christian principles were taught in this movie, even the tragic ending would leave a beneficial message. As it is, the film is one of the saddest, wasted opportunities I’ve ever come across.

You’ll be better off having not seen this movie.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—This film is entirely shot in a coffin buried under the ground. There are no flashbacks or any other scenes that take the viewer outside of the coffin. Ryan Reynolds is the only actor cast in the movie. This movie is very ambitious because it uses only one actor and a very tight space, but the suspense is enough to keep viewers engaged.

The only moral objects that I can recall in the movie were a few scenes where the main character used bad language to illustrate his frustration. There was no nudity, but there was a couple scenes of violence, one that is shown on a cell phone video the main character is viewing and the other violent scene involved self-mutilation.

The ending scenes were dramatic and could be possibly upsetting to some, but, for me, these scenes just brought me to the edge of my seat in suspense. The movie centers around the theme of death and the desperation to stay alive. The main character is in a life or death situation, but he doesn’t pray, he just panics.

The most heartwarming scene of this dark film was when he contacted his wife and tearfully spoke to her and assured her that he would be ok. Compared to most of Hollywood’s offerings, this film wasn’t offensive. If you like ambitious filmmaking and good acting and you can stomach some bad language coupled with a few disturbing scenes and a dark tone, you will enjoy this movie as I did.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Keely, age 21 (USA)
Negative—As a movie-buff, I liked the movie for its originality and suspense, but as a Christian, it was a disaster for me morally. Any movie that elicits a strong sense of emotional involvement always rates highly with me for its filmmaking quality. At times, I felt like I was in the coffin with the victim. I watched the film on a 40-inch, flat-screened TV, so I imagine the feeling of being trapped was even more pronounced viewing it in a theater.

However, its moral rating is very offensive, but not because of the bad language or violence. There were expletives to be sure, words that I might also use if faced with a similar situation, and the violence is graphic, which is not surprising for a movie based on war and terrorism.

What I objected to was the total absence of faith in the victim. God was never sought nor called upon (even in vain!) in desperation or anger. I would expect most people in such dire circumstances to cry out to the Creator, certainly agnostics, who constitute the majority of non-believers. This was most curious to me and very disturbing generally of films made today depicting a worldview that buries any message of hope for this life and beyond through faith. In short, I enjoyed “Buried” for its artistic qualities, but I’m also critical of it for excluding “God… our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—David, age 54 (USA)
Movie Critics
…My admiration for Cortes' artistic integrity was tinged with irritation, that kind of good-for-you-but-please-stop-doing-that feeling you might get when an idealistic young relative starts lecturing you about American slaughterhouses just as you begin to carve the holiday roast. …
—Mary Pols, Time magazine
…a horror movie with delusions of moral grandeur… Mr. Reynolds has never been a deep actor, and the emotional demands of his role are beyond his range. The crude screenplay does him no favors. …
—Stephen Holden, The New York Times
…Ryan Reynolds has limited space to work in, and body language more or less preordained by the coffin, but he makes the character convincing if necessarily limited. …[3½/4]
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…On the minus side? It’s just Ryan Reynolds in a coffin for an hour and a half. … on a technical level “Buried” is impressive, at times blisteringly suspenseful, making the most of a ripping score and Reynolds' fully charged agony…
—Kyle Smith, New York Post
…Reynolds is excellent as the Everyman whose shoes we can easily slip on. … a powerful thriller, awash in terror. A few moments, however, test our suspension of disbelief and the limits of logic. …
—Claudia Puig, USA Today
…silly and gimmicky…
—Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe