It's not the most original of premises nor is it the most complicated plot but boy does it work. Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is an American contractor working in Iraq. When his truck convoy gets ambushed by kids with stones and a group of Iraqis he gets kidnapped and wakes up in a coffin. The coffin is buried somewhere in a desert in Iraq and isn't much bigger than 7 foot by 4 foot. But it's not all bad. The kidnappers were nice and provided a lighter, a telephone, some glow sticks, a knife and a bit of alcohol. Nice chaps. All they ask in return is £5 million ransom money. Cue lots of phone calls and flicking light.
Hunger was a major issue in the coffin.
There is no soundtrack in true suspense style and it's difficult to throw in fancy cinematography when the camera has to stay within the limits of the box. (Though the last shot is top class.) The direction is pure awesome thanks to Rodrigo Cortés. You may think there isn't much to do with a man in a box but there is. The main thing? Timing. When the phone goes off, when the lighter goes out. These sort of things make movies brilliant. Alfred Hitchcock was king of it and I'm sure he would have been proud of Buried.
Ryan's contortionist act was progressing brilliantly
Best bit? The bit in the coffin. That was wicked. I jest. Hmmm tricky one. I'll say the introduction. We're introduced into this situation and Reynolds reacts just as you or I would.