Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rodrigo Cortés|
|Written by||Chris Sparling|
|Music by||Víctor Reyes|
|Edited by||Rodrigo Cortés|
|Box office||$21.3 million|
The story is about Iraq-based American civilian truck driver Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds), who, after being attacked, finds himself buried alive in a wooden coffin, with only a lighter, flask, flashlight, knife, glowsticks, pen, pencil, and a mobile phone. Since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, the film has received a positive critical reception.
In 2006 Paul Conroy, an American civilian working in Iraq, wakes to find himself buried in a wooden coffin with only a Zippo lighter and a BlackBerry phone at hand. He starts to piece together what has happened to him. He remembers that he and several others were ambushed by terrorists. He was hit by a rock and passed out. He receives a call from his kidnapper, Jabir, demanding that he pay a ransom of $5 million by 9PM or he will be left in the coffin to die.
Conroy calls the State Department, which tells him that due to the government policy of not negotiating with terrorists, it will not pay the ransom but will try to rescue him. They connect him with Dan Brenner, head of the Hostage Working Group, who tells Conroy they are doing their best to find him.
Jabir calls Conroy and demands he make a ransom video, threatening to execute one of his colleagues who survived the attack. Conroy insists that no one will pay $5 million, so Jabir drops the amount to $1 million. Despite his compliance in making a video, the kidnappers execute his colleague and send him the video of it. Shortly afterwards distant explosions shake the area, damaging his coffin which begins to slowly fill with sand. Conroy continues sporadic phone calls with Brenner, skeptical of his promises of help. To reaffirm his intentions, Brenner tells Conroy about a man named Mark White who was rescued from a similar situation three weeks previously and is home with his family.
Conroy receives a phone call from his employers who inform him that he has been fired from his job due to an alleged prohibited relationship with a colleague, so he and his family will not be entitled to any benefits or pension earned with the company. Brenner calls saying that the explosions that damaged his coffin earlier were in fact F-16 bombings, and that his kidnappers may have been killed. Conroy begins to lose hope and makes a last will and testament in video form, giving his son his clothes and his wife his personal savings. Jabir calls demanding Conroy video record himself cutting off a finger, threatening Conroy's family back home if he refuses, saying that he had lost all of his own children. Conroy complies.
Shortly after making the video, the cell phone rings, and Conroy begins to hear digging and distorted voices. The voices become clearer, saying to open the coffin, and the coffin opens. It abruptly becomes obvious that he hallucinated the encounter.
Brenner calls and tells Conroy an insurgent has given details of where to find a man buried alive, and that they are driving out to rescue him. Conroy then receives a tearful call from his wife Linda, and he assures her that he is going to be okay. As sand continues to fill the coffin to dangerous levels, giving Conroy seconds left to live, Brenner calls and tells him that he and the rescue team have arrived at the burial site. Through the phone, digging is heard, but Conroy cannot hear any digging around him. The team digs up a coffin and opens it, but it turns out that the insurgent led them to Mark White's coffin, the man Brenner claimed had been rescued. Now knowing that he is not going to be saved, Conroy tries to calm himself down and accepts his fate. The sand finally fills his coffin and he suffocates as the light goes out and the screen goes black. The last thing we hear is Brenner repeating, "I'm sorry, Paul, I'm so sorry," as the connection times out.
In a post-credits scene, a lighter illuminates the name "Mark White" on the lid of the coffin, written by Paul earlier.
- Ryan Reynolds as Paul Conroy
- José Luis García Pérez (voice) as Jabir
- Robert Paterson (voice) as Dan Brenner
- Stephen Tobolowsky (voice) as Alan Davenport
- Samantha Mathis (voice) as Linda Conroy
- Ivana Miño as Pamela Lutti
- Warner Loughlin (voice) as Maryanne Conroy / Donna Mitchell / number lady
- Erik Palladino (voice) as Special Agent Harris
The film was produced by Barcelona-based Versus Entertainment in association with The Safran Company and Dark Trick Films, with the support of Instituto de Crédito Oficial with the participation of Studio 37/Kinology and Icon Film Distribution.
The date of events in the film is stated as October 23, 2006, Ryan Reynolds' 30th birthday.
Buried premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2010. Lionsgate purchased the theatrical rights to the film and gave the film a limited theatrical release on September 24, 2010 and a wider release two weeks later on October 8, 2010. The film's first trailer premiered with A Nightmare on Elm Street. The second trailer premiered at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International, and was attached with select prints of Dinner for Schmucks, Resident Evil: Afterlife, The Expendables and The Last Exorcism.
Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 86% based on reviews from 153 critics, with an average score of 7.3 out of 10. The site's consensus says: "Wringing a seemingly impossible amount of gripping drama out of its claustrophobic premise, Buried is a nerve-wracking showcase for Ryan Reynolds's talent." Metacritic gives it a weighted average of 65/100 based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Film critic Roger Ebert awarded the film 3.5 out of 4 stars and wrote that "Rodrigo Cortés, the Spanish filmmaker behind this diabolical, Hitchcock-influenced narrative stunt, makes merry mischief with camera angles and lighting". Scott Mantz of Access Hollywood called it "a brilliantly twisted suspense thriller that would have made Alfred Hitchcock proud." Chris Tilly at IGN gave the film a perfect 10 out of 10. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone awarded the film 2 out of 4 stars, commenting: "Ninety minutes of being buried alive with Ryan Reynolds: Didn't we all suffer that in The Proposal?"
Awards and nominations
|Gaudí Award||Best Actor||Ryan Reynolds||Nominated|||
|Best Visual Effects||Mònica Alarcón||Nominated|||
|María de la Cámara||Nominated|
|Best Art Direction||Maria de la Cámara||Nominated|||
|Best Editing||Rodrigo Cortés||Won|||
|Best Sound||Urko Garai||Nominated|||
|Best Original Screenplay||Chris Sparling||Nominated|
|Best Film in non-Catalan language||Adrián Guerra||Won|||
|Goya Award||Best Actor||Ryan Reynolds||Nominated|||
|Best Original Score||Víctor Reyes||Nominated|
|Best Original Song||Nominated|
|Best Sound||Urko Garai||Won|
|Best Film||Adrián Guerra||Nominated|
|Best Original Screenplay||Chris Sparling||Won|
|Best Special Effects||N/A||Nominated|
|IGN Movie Award||Best Performance||Ryan Reynolds||Nominated|||
|MTV Movie Award||Best Scared-As-S**t Performance||Nominated|||
|National Board of Review Award||Best Original Screenplay||Chris Sparling||Won|||
|Saturn Award||Best Actor||Ryan Reynolds||Nominated|||
|Fangoria Chainsaw Award||Best Actor||Won|
|Best Limited-Release/Direct-to-Video Film||Nominated|
|Best Screenplay||Chris Sparling||Nominated|
|Best Score||Víctor Reyes||Nominated|
|Strasbourg European Fantastic
Film Festival Award
|Best European Film||Adrián Guerra||Won|||
- Survival film, about the film genre, with a list of related films
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