Widely considered the first great film about the Iraq War, The Hurt Locker was named best picture of 2009 by the San Francisco Film Critics Circle.
The story was written by a freelance writer who was embedded with a bomb squad. It follows the tour of members of a U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit in Iraq as they contend with defusing bombs, the threat of insurgency, and the tension that develops between them. The trailer has won an award as Best Trailer of the Year from the LA Film Critics Association.
The Men Who Stare at Goats, is based on the book of the same title by Jon Ronson. Both incorporate actual events in the military intelligence community — psychological experiments used in the service of interrogation, brainwashing, and mind-control.
In this case, however, the focus is on creating a “super-soldier” by tapping into the paranormal — activities such as mind-reading, psychic intimidation, healing, passing through solid objects, and weather-control. The title itself comes from an experiment (apparently real) to impose a fatal heart attack on a de-bleated goat that was happily munching away on some morsel, simply by staring at it with the full powers of human concentration. It was this single, apparently successful, heart attack-inducing incident that got the attention of the author — enough to construct an entire story around it. Check out the trailer.