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A man is caught in a desperate race against time in this claustrophobic thriller from director Rodrigo Cortes. Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is an Ameri...

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Review of "Buried(DVD)"

published 20/02/2011 | Drewster-Rooster
Member since : 25/03/2010
Reviews : 493
Members who trust : 183
About me :
Wondering if it's safe to come back.......It's been a long time.....
Pro Premise, Pacing, Acting, Everything!
Cons None for me!
very helpful
Did you enjoy it?
Characters / Performances
Special Effects

"Time is Running Out"

Promo poster for the film

Promo poster for the film

Buried 2010

Region 2 DVD review


DVD release date: 14/02/2011
Certificate: 15
Running Time: 91 minutes

Ryan Reynolds
Ivana Miño (vocal only)
Robert Paterson (vocal only)
José Luis García Pérez (vocal only)
Stephen Tobolowsky (vocal only)
Samantha Mathis (vocal only)

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1462758/
Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1000212761/

Imagine waking up in the pitch black darkness not knowing where you are. Your first instinct would be to move but as you try to sit up you bang your head against something, you reach to the side of you but your arms and hands come into contact with something too. Panicking you fumble around for a source of light, your phone perhaps? Or maybe some matches? Luckily you have a lighter to hand so you ignite it, if you can see where you are perhaps you can make some sense of the situation, but where are you?.

You are in an old wooden coffin and are buried underground. Frightening, yes? And that’s what Paul Conroy finds himself in “Buried” – with only a mobile phone, a lighter and no means of escape things look pretty bad for Paul. Who put him there and why? Will he get out before he runs out of clean air or will someone come to his rescue? That’s as much as I’m going to reveal, to find out any more you’ll have to see for yourself, only the film has the answers...
A One Man Show

Focusing entirely on one man and the situation he finds himself in “Buried” is a clever and very powerful film, the whole running time of the film features Paul in the coffin and apart from various camera angles the only person we ever see on screen is Paul himself. That doesn’t mean that Paul is alone though, the phone he has been left with works and this allows other people to be in contact with him and as the story plays out we find out why he is where he is and for what reason. It was a brave decision by the filmmakers here to focus the entire story on just one man and his predicament and for the most part this works wonderfully onscreen. Ryan Reynolds has the weight of the film squarely on his shoulders in what must have been an uncomfortable performance and is impressive in his portrayal of the terrified captive. The range of emotions he goes through are well played and are believable at all times, clearly this was an opportunity to really get his teeth into the role and he succeeds in making us buy into the situation he unwillingly finds himself in. We share his frustrations as he tries to get help from the various people he contacts on his mobile phone, having to explain who he is to different people, forced to clarify and repeat minor details which delay any chance of rescue whilst at the same time being acutely aware of the terrifying reality of what could happen to him.


The film exploits the most basic emotion of fear and plays on the survival instinct we all have and pitches itself in such a way that you can’t help but become involved in the storyline, tight camera angles and sequences where you can’t see what is happening but can only hear the character breathe and panic only serve to heighten the viewing experience. Indeed the films opening 90 seconds are filmed entirely in the dark and the only sounds you pick up on are that of Paul waking up and trying to work out where exactly he is by a series of knocks and moans, the impressive camerawork is established immediately and you are given no respite from the ordeal the character has to go through and as much as the character is put into a horrific situation you can empathise with him and share the feelings of fear, frustration and hope.

The pacing of the film is pitched just right and whilst you may assume that watching some bloke in a wooden box wouldn’t be the most thrilling way to pass on 91 minutes the compelling storyline and the way it builds in intensity makes for a riveting experience. Anyone suffering from claustrophobia or a fear of enclosed spaces needs to be aware that the film will affect you and it does make for an unsettling viewing, the character is forced to move around his confines during some parts of the film and watching him try to bend and contort his body to change positions really brings home just how tight the space actually is. Any lighting is provided by the items Paul has at his disposal so at times there is only his face highlighted by the glow of his phone, other times there is the bright, harsh light of the flame from his lighter which allows more of his surroundings to be seen and then there is the darkness which completely envelops him. As far as staging and creating the atmosphere goes “Buried” is impressively shot and filmed and looks frighteningly realistic onscreen and along with Ryan Reynolds’ performance this is a film which has a lot going for it.

Due to the limited nature of the storyline I don’t really want to discuss too much as to what happens to Paul as realisitically there can only be two possible outcomes, either he gets out of the box or he doesn’t. The narrative of the story provides hope that a rescue will take place and whether this does happen I will leave for you to discover for yourself, what I would say is that the ending is impressive and is in keeping with the rest of the film and again is incredibly acted by Reynolds. For what could have been quite a straightforward and simplistic storyline there are plenty of surprises in store if you choose to watch this film and whilst there are times when there appears to be a lull in the action these need to be there to make the more frantic sections work even better.
DVD Details

The soundtrack to the film is stark and for the most part very quiet, this is a positive aspect of the film as it highlights just how desolate and alone Paul actually is. When the soundtrack does kick in its during the quicker sections of the film and does what any good soundtrack is supposed to do and accompanies the action as it plays out.

I was very impressed with this film as you can probably tell from reading my review, I didn’t know that much about it other than having an idea of the basic storyline and all in all it proved to be a lot better than I anticipated. My rental copy of the film came courtesy of Lovefilm and did include the extras you would find on the retail version of the film; specifically an audio commentary, interview with the films director Rodrigo Cortes and a making-of-featurette entitled ‘Unearthing Buried’. Subtitling and language options are available should you need them and whilst the film carries a UK 15 certificate this is mostly for the perilous premise of the film itself and a few instances of bad language but isn’t really anything that offensive.
Conclusion and My Rating

Being a newly released DVD the film is available to buy from amazon.co.uk for just under £10.00, I’m not sure if its quite worth that amount as it is a film that I would only ever want to watch once as now I know the outcome a repeat viewing isn’t really required. If you are able to I would suggest renting this one or waiting for the price to come down, it’s a great film which packs a punch but I doubt I would want to watch it again. I’m going to award a perfect 5 star rating for “Buried” as there are no reasons to deduct any marks, the storyline is gripping, the acting is superb and overall this is an impressive release which should appeal to a lot of people.

Thanks for reading my review. Please be aware that this may also appear on dooyoo under my username

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Comments on this review

  • jonathanb published 15/04/2011
    It's a horrendous premise but the film sounds great. Probably not one for claustrophobics though.
  • KathEv published 10/03/2011
    Not for me I think!
  • Violet1278 published 25/02/2011
    An exceptional review of this rather disturbing film! E from me.x
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Product Information : Buried(DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

A man is caught in a desperate race against time in this claustrophobic thriller from director Rodrigo Cortes. Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is an American truck driver who has been contracted to work in Iraq, and while delivering a load of kitchen equipment as part of a humanitarian aid program, he's captured by insurgent guerrillas who intend to hold him hostage. Paul is struck unconscious, put into a coffin-like box, and buried, and when he comes to, all he has to help him get out is a lighter, a cell phone, a pen, and a jacknife. Trapped underground with a limited supply of air, Paul frantically calls his family, his employer, and American military and political representatives, trying to remain calm as his chances of survival slip farther away with each passing minute.


Listed on Ciao since: 28/01/2011