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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 17/05/2012 | CelticSoulSister
Member since : 25/10/2009
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Thanks heartily for all the r/r/c to everyone. If it appears that I've not rated you, it most likely will be due to having used up all your reviews and am waiting for your next publication. Also I've disabled receiving alerts via email for a good reason.
Pro The idea is good
Cons Pretty much everything!
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"When you're trapped….panic!!!"

RELEASED: 2010, Cert.15

RUNNING TIME: Approx. 95 mins

DIRECTOR: Rodrigo Cortes

PRODUCERS: Adrian Guerra & Peter Safran

SCREENPLAY: Chris Sparling

MUSIC: Victor Reyes

MAIN CHARACTER: Ryan Reynolds as Paul Conroy



Whilst working as a delivery driver in Iraq in 2006, American trucker Paul Conroy wakes up to find himself gagged, tied up and buried alive in a makeshift coffin constructed of wooden slats.

All Paul has with him is a cell phone and a cigarette lighter.

Baffled as to how he got to be in this situation, Paul’s memory of what happened gradually returns and he recalls he and his colleagues being ambushed.

Using the limited memory available in his mobile phone, Paul attempts to contact various people in the USA, such as family and friends….even the FBI….trying to make people aware of what’s happened to him, desperate to secure his release.

Frustrated at getting through to people’s answering machines, and having to contend with red tape from the FBI, Paul learns that his Iraqi kidnapper is demanding a huge ransom, which will be reduced if he (Paul) successfully completes several tasks from inside the underground wooden coffin. Failure to confirm will result in members of his family being killed, and him being left to die.


The idea of being trapped underground with no way out is one of my worst fears, and it is that which drew me to watching this film, curious as to how the storyline would be handled.

From the beginning until a fair way through the film, I wanted to scream at Paul to stop wasting the little bit of air he had access to, and to be very careful so as to conserve the charge in his cell phone. In the same situation, I feel that I would have tried certain escape methods that he didn’t appear to….I won’t say what they are here, as to explain may evolve into a spoiler.

Ryan Reynolds’ acting wasn’t too bad, but for me his speech was for the most part, so very indistinct that I wasn’t able to get a firm grip on what was going on in his mind, or the true content of his frenzied phone conversations. The people he was speaking to on his cell phone also may just as well have been speaking Swahili for all the sense I could make of it….which leads me to an ongoing question that I often ask inside of my head when watching certain films….why on earth do people not speak clearly? The only person I could clearly understand was an Englishman who Paul was intermittently conversing with…he came across as totally audible, so why not everybody else?

I actually found most of this film pretty boring, to say the least. A couple of things also didn’t ring true for me, such as Paul using his cigarette lighter for illumination. I’m pretty sure that the fuel inside of the lighter would have run out long before it did, plus the lighter, being made of metal, would have been too hot for Paul to keep holding in the way that he did.

I do appreciate that it must be very difficult to construct a meaningful film where there is only one main character who is stuck inside of a small wooden box, several feet underground, but I don’t feel that in this instance it was handled in the best possible way. I would much have preferred to – rather than all the screaming and shouting (which of course I understand comes from panic) have been privy to Paul’s inner thoughts, spoken in narrative.

The musical score did irritate me in parts. Some of it is avant-garde type sounds comprised of bangs, pops, clicks and percussive weirdities…which is very OK….but there are other parts where it becomes orchestrated and is far too loud, drowning out the dialogue which is already difficult enough to comprehend.

I did pretty much yawn through most of Buried, but am glad that it didn’t drag on any longer, as I simply wouldn’t have been able to continue watching.

I do feel that Buried would come across far, far better in novel format, as for me it isn’t really a situation and storyline that rests well put into film, especially in the way that it has been constructed.

However, I would imagine that despite my own very definite misgivings, Buried could appeal to a lot of people who like a good action thriller, even though the action all takes place inside of an underground coffin. It just didn’t hit my own spot though, and failed to move me in any direction at all. The only feeling I experienced whilst watching, was boredom.


At the time of writing, Buried can be purchased on Amazon as follows:-

New: from £3.28 to £13.08
Used: from 84p to £8.85
Collectible: One copy currently available @ £6.50

A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.

Thanks for reading!

~~ Also published on Dooyoo under my GentleGenius user name ~~

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Comments on this review

  • Dentolux published 14/06/2012
    I enjoyed it, although it's the type of film you are only ever going to want to watch once.
  • jonathanb published 01/06/2012
    I thought it was an interesting idea but wasn't sure if it could sustain a whole film. It doesn't sound as though it could.
  • catsholiday published 18/05/2012
    I hate it when you struggle to hear or see in many cases what is happening in a film!
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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