Sundance Movie Review: Buried


I first learned of Buried after the spec screenplay appeared on the Black List, a listing of the top unproduced screenplays of the year. Written by Chris Sparling, the film stars Ryan Reynolds as a U.S. contractor working in Iraq who wakes up to find that he has been buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter and a cell phone it’s a race against time to escape this claustrophobic death trap. The entire 94 minute feature takes place in the coffin, with no cutaways to the outside world. Aside from his phone, Reynolds is the only actor who appears on screen in the film.

As a former screenwriter, I’m a huge fan of minimalistic one-room thrillers — Hard Candy, Tape, The Killing Room, Frozen…etc. I’ve been looking forward to Buried since it was first announced, and tonight I finally got to screen the movie as part of Sundance’s Park City at Midnight category.

Buried is a cinematic achievement in almost every respect.

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Sundance Film Festival

Since I’m in Park City, a day before the 2010 Sundance Film Festival officially begins, I thought I’d do a round-up of the films I’m most looking forward to this year at the festival. Attending Sundance, you have to put a list together of the movies you want to see the most. Sometimes you’re lucky and you pick something that becomes the buzz of the fest — Super Size Me, Little Miss Sunshine, Rocket Science, or (500) Days of Summer. And sometimes your choices are just dead wrong, for example, last year The Informers was on the top of my must see list. But by the end of the fest, the film was my most hated movie of the year.

So these predictions are in now way definitive. They are very subjective, films that caught my interest. I usually stick to more narrative films (over documentaries) and often see more English language films. I have my little sub genres which I always feel drawn to, for instance, I usually love coming of age stories. And if they are set in the 1970’s or 1980’s, all the better. Minimalistic one-room thrillers also interest me.

This year doesn’t have many obvious breakout choices, but had a lot of solid looking films. If you’ve been actively reading the site over the last month, then you’ve probably checked out a bunch of the Sundance photo and trailer previews and you might recognize a bunch of these films. The following 18 selections are also in no particular order. Lets take a look at my choices for this year’s festival (and it might be fun to revisit this list at the conclusion of the festival, to see how right or wrong I was).

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We were surprised and interested when word came down that Ryan Reynolds would be the star of what amounts to a one-man show in the movie Buried. As details came out — Reynolds plays a civilian contractor trapped in a coffin with only a cell phone and a lighter — the movie got more intriguing. Now there’s a teaser trailer and a scene clip to show what director Rodrigo Cortés has in mind. Read More »

Sundance Photo Preview: Buried


Rodrigo CortesBuried will premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in the Park City at Midnight category, one of eight films selected from over 3724 titles from all over the world.

I’ve been following this project since it was announced. For those of you who don’t know, the story is about a U.S. contractor working in Iraq who awakes to find he is buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter and a cell phone it’s a race against time to escape this claustrophobic death trap. Ryan Reynolds stars in this one-man show, which is shot completely inside the coffin.

I love minimalistic single-room thrillers that force a bunch of characters to clash, because they seem the hardest to write. Chris Sparling’s indie screenplay is a single-room thriller with only one actor. How does that even work? More photos and posters after the jump. Read More »

Buried Movie Poster: Ryan Reynolds Is Not Happy


Hot on the heels of Rodrigo Cortes’ Buried being chosen for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, a poster has been released for the film (via Quietearth). We first got wind of this film back in summer, when it was revealed that the movie would primarily be a one-man show starring Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds plays a civilian contractor in Iraq who is kidnapped and buried alive in the desert, left with a lighter, a knife, and a cell phone to get himself out.

Fans of The Tobolowsky Files will recall that in  episode 3, actor Stephen Tobolowsky revealed that he will play a voice in the film on the other end of a cell phone line (The film was already completed at that point and he was just doing ADR). Despite this, my understanding is still that Reynolds will be the only actor we will see on screen. Will Reynolds be able to hold the film together all by himself? It’ll be an interesting experiment to witness.

Hit the jump for the poster, and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.
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First Look: Ryan Reynolds in Buried


I’m fascinated by the in-production indie Buried, starring Ryan Reynolds, as evidenced by the fact that I keep writing about it. Now Twitch presents a pair of stills from the film showing a bit of what we can expect to see when Reynolds wakes up buried alive in a shallow grave in Iraq. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:


Just a week ago we reported on Buried, the indie thriller about a civilian contractor in Iraq who is kidnapped and buried alive, to be played by Ryan Reynolds. Now The Playlist got quotes from an Autralian TV interview with Reynolds, who says the movie is all him, all the time. One man, one coffin, one crazy thriller. Read More »

Ryan Reynolds To Star In Indie Thriller Buried


Ryan Reynolds will star in Buried, a film that pushes him well out of the studio comfort zone, according to Variety. The film is about a civilian contractor in Iraq who is kidnapped and buried alive in the desert. According to the trade he has a candle, knife and cell phone; not the sort of things typically left on the person of someone who is being buried alive, so I’m tending towards the assumption there’s more going on than just Iraq war drama. Read More »