THE HURT LOCKER has an awful lot of problems, the least of which is a story that is very simple, predictable, one one-dimensional. All I could think after the film was, "That's it?" followed by "two and a half hours, and I still have no friggin' idea what a hurt locker is."
The characters are all one-dimensional to the point of being caricatures, and the editing is so confusing that it's hard to follow what little plot there is. If this is the best film of the year, then it was a very, very weak year.
The first third or so of the film is very engaging, but the level of redundancy and the lack of character development make it hard to continue caring about them through the length of the film. It also has some pretty big pacing problems, especially in the second half of the film.
Perhaps it's that I actually follow the war news, but there was nothing remotely surprising in this film.