“Buried” has a simple premise: Ryan Reynolds plays a civilian truck driver, Paul Conroy, working in Baghdad who wakes up trapped in a coffin. After eventually finding a cell phone, he learns that he is being held for ransom, and it’s a real-time race to come up with the money, or convince someone to find him, before he dies. The entire film is Reynolds in a box; his only interactions with other people via cell phone.
I loved it. That said, I don’t need to see it again. It’s one of those movies that is amazing on first watch, but I don’t imagine a need for repeat viewings, other than to show someone else. And lest you think this is a negative determination, it’s not. I feel the same way about “Saving Private Ryan”; loved it, don’t need to watch it again.
Does it strain credibility? Sure. Reynolds has better cell phone reception buried underground than I seem to have with AT&T, um, anywhere. At the same time, it’s easy to get caught up in the emotion and suspense of events and forgive the few questionable credibility bits, as Reynolds more than delivers. I knew that he could be entertaining for 90 minutes, but I didn’t know if he could keep my interest if the only thing on the screen was him in a box with a cell phone. The answer is that he more than kept my interest, and he should be applauded for taking on such an ambitious and risky role, and celebrated moreso for delivering at such a high level.