Buried (film)

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Buried Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRodrigo Cortés
Produced by
Written byChris Sparling
StarringRyan Reynolds
Music byVíctor Reyes
CinematographyEduard Grau
Edited byRodrigo Cortés
Distributed byLionsgate
Release date
  • September 24, 2010 (2010-09-24)
Running time
95 minutes
Budget$2 million[3]
Box office$21.3 million[4]

Buried is a 2010 English-language Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Rodrigo Cortés.[5] It stars Ryan Reynolds[6] and was written by Chris Sparling.

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, as Brenner falsely claims, 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 (voice) 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.[1]

It was shot in a time period of over 16 days in Barcelona.[7] One of director Rodrigo Cortés' inspirations was the film Rope directed by Alfred Hitchcock.[7]


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.

The film won the best European feature film of the year award at the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival in September 2010.[8]

The film was presented at the Deauville American Film Festival, in competition, and the Toronto International Film Festival,[9] out of competition, in September 2010.

Critical reception[edit]

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 86% based on reviews from 155 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."[10] Metacritic gives it a weighted average of 65/100 based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[11]

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".[12] Scott Mantz of Access Hollywood called it "a brilliantly twisted suspense thriller that would have made Alfred Hitchcock proud."[13] Chris Tilly at IGN gave the film a perfect 10 out of 10.[14] 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?"[15]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Subject Result Ref
Gaudí Award Best Actor Ryan Reynolds Nominated [16]
Best Visual Effects Mònica Alarcón, María de la Cámara,
Gabriel Paré and Àlex Villagrassa
Nominated [17]
Best Art Direction Maria de la Cámara and Gabriel Paré Nominated [17]
Best Editing Rodrigo Cortés Won [18]
Best Director Nominated [16]
Best Sound Urko Garai, James Muñoz, Marc Orts Nominated [17]
Best Original Screenplay Chris Sparling Nominated
Best Film in non-Catalan language Adrián Guerra and Peter Safran Won [18]
Goya Award Best Actor Ryan Reynolds Nominated [19]
Best Original Score Víctor Reyes Nominated
Best Original Song Nominated
Rodrigo Cortés Nominated
Best Editing Won
Best Director Nominated
Best Sound Urko Garai, James Muñoz, Marc Orts Won
Best Film Adrián Guerra and Peter Safran Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Chris Sparling Won
Best Special Effects Nominated
IGN Movie Award Best Performance Ryan Reynolds Nominated [20]
MTV Movie Award Best Scared-As-S**t Performance Nominated [21]
National Board of Review Award Best Original Screenplay Chris Sparling Won [22]
Saturn Award Best Actor Ryan Reynolds Nominated [23]
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 and Peter Safran Won [24]

See also[edit]

  • Survival film, about the film genre, with a list of related films


  1. ^ a b c d "Buried (2010)". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012.
  2. ^ Nelson, Rob (January 26, 2010). "Buried Review". Variety. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  3. ^ "Ryan Reynolds interviewed by Jian Ghomeshi on Q". CBC.ca. September 28, 2010. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  4. ^ "Buried". The Numbers.
  5. ^ "Sundance Festival One-Sheet: Buried". Dreadcentral.com. January 18, 2010. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  6. ^ "New Stills: Ryan Reynolds is Buried Alive". Dread Central. December 10, 2009. Archived from the original on December 15, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Boucher, Geoff (September 12, 2010). "The Directors: Rodrigo Cortés builds suspense in 'Buried'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  8. ^ Brown, Todd (October 14, 2010). "Sitges 2010: Buried Wins Prestigious Melies D'Or". Twitchfilm.com. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  9. ^ Lambert, Christine (2010). "Buried press conference photos - 35th Toronto International Film Festival". DigitalHit.com. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  10. ^ "Buried Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  11. ^ "Buried". Metacritic.
  12. ^ "'Buried' review by Roger Ebert". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 20, 2010.
  13. ^ Mantz, Scott (September 21, 2010). "MovieMantz Review: 'Buried'". Access Hollywood. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  14. ^ Tilly, Chris (September 23, 2010). "Buried Review". IGN. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  15. ^ Travers, Peter (September 24, 2010). "Buried". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  16. ^ a b "'Pa negre', 'Herois' y 'Buried', grandes favoritas en los III Premios Gaudí". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). January 17, 2011. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  17. ^ a b c "Nominades - III Premis Gaudí". Gaudí Awards (in Catalan). Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  18. ^ a b "'Buried' engalana su carrera hacia los Premios Goya". La Nueva España (in Spanish). January 18, 2011. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  19. ^ "Premios Goya 2011 en EL PAÍS". El País (in Spanish). Archived from the original on June 27, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  20. ^ "Best Actor". IGN. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  21. ^ "Twilight leads MTV Movie Award noms". News24. May 4, 2011. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  22. ^ Pond, Steve (December 2, 2010). "'The Social Network' Sweeps National Board of Review". TheWrap. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  23. ^ Moore, Debi (February 24, 2011). "2011 Saturn Award Nominees Announced". Dread Central. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  24. ^ "Buried". European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation. Retrieved July 31, 2015.

External links[edit]