Buried Movie Poster Image




Intense buried-alive thriller may be too grueling for most.
Parents recommend
  • Review Date: September 21, 2010
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie seems to say that sometimes bad things happen to good people, and there's very little anyone can do about it.

Positive role models

Paul never gives up trying to save his own life, and he spends his time thinking of his wife and child, even though he appears not to have led a squeaky-clean life. He learns to trust others and ask for help via the cell phone he has with him. He writes information down for future reference, and he's constantly solving problems. All of that said, the movie's outcome may obscure some of the character's finer points.


Paul is threatened by his unseen captors, and he shouts at various people on his cell phone. Viewers see grainy video images (on a cell phone) of another girl being tortured with a gun to her head. In another scene, Paul must chop off his finger to appease his tormenters, but nothing is shown. A snake enters the coffin, and Paul kills it with fire.


Nothing is shown, but Paul is accused of having an affair with a co-worker, which he denies.


Many uses of "f--k," as well as "hell," "son of a bitch," "s--t," "c--t," "ass," "goddamn," "oh my God," and "d--k."


One mention of SeaWorld.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Paul has a metal flask with him, but it's never revealed what's inside. It could be alcohol or water. He also carries and takes pills for anxiety.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Buried is a very intense thriller that takes place entirely within a coffin buried under the sand. Considering that most people have an innate fear of being buried alive, the movie can be nearly excruciating to watch -- although it's very well made. The main character (played by Ryan Reynolds) has a lighter, a cell phone, and some other supplies, but he's the only person shown on screen. Expect some intense behavior and strong language (including many uses of "f--k"). Brave older teens and grown-ups may be intrigued, but be ready for nightmares.

What's the story?

Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is a non-military contractor driving a truck in Iraq, circa 2006. He wakes up in total darkness, shocked to discover that he's in a coffin, apparently buried alive somewhere in the Iraqi desert. He has a cigarette lighter and a flask, and he has been given a cell phone, a flashlight, and a couple of glow sticks. He begins calling anyone he can think of for help, all the while fighting an endless array of troubles -- mainly the ever-diminishing air supply inside the coffin, but also a snake attack, a cave-in, and the horrible, horrible panic that won't ever completely go away...

Is it any good?


Spanish director/editor Rodrigo Cortés makes an impressive U.S. debut from a tightly crafted, classically thrilling script by Chris Sparling. The idea of staying entirely inside the coffin for a full movie is a huge challenge, and the filmmakers have mounted it admirably; they reveal information a little at a time, provide an emotional ebb and flow (with essential rest periods for the audience), and ramp it up when the time is right.

This, it goes without saying, sets the stage for a tour-de-force one-man show, and Reynolds makes it his own; it's a superb performance, possibly Oscar-worthy. Overall, Buried is an astonishing, even daring achievement. The major problem is that it plays into a deep, basic human fear, and most viewers may not want to put themselves through it. In other words, it's a very, very good film, but it's difficult to recommend.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the psychological horror in this movie. Does it have more or less impact than gorier horror films? Why?

  • Is this movie scary? What's the difference between this kind of terror and something more supernatural?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 24, 2010
DVD release date:January 18, 2011
Cast:Ryan Reynolds, Samantha Mathis, Stephen Tobolowsky
Director:Rodrigo Cortes
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and some violent content

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byMissMolly77 January 22, 2011
For a one-man film, Ryan Reynolds held his own. As for the entire story line; completely rediculous. Keeping him in the box throught the Entire film did not give the feeling of being there with him leading to suspence and thrill. Nope. More like frustration to see that he didn't use the objects left with him to his advantage in the most common sence, life-or-death way. Putting aside how the box went from rediculously small to large enough for him to stand in and back and forth throught the film, he would have been dead within at least 10 minutes if they were trying to make the film realistic..Which is the point of most movies right?..To engage the audience.. Perhaps if they did incorporate a scene or two outside of the box, it would have drawn some attention away from the unrealistic time. And I can't help but say, they should have went with a lower ranked actor than Ryan Reynolds to star in this film. He has earned his status as a well respected actor..I hope this film doesn't pull him down.
Adult Written bymoudymoon September 27, 2010
Kid, 10 years old January 23, 2011


Well someone buried him alive and someone tried to save him so there are good and bad role models. He had to do violent things so that he had a chance of escaping. He uses the f word alot too. I expected more. Though it was OK. IT WAS NOT SCARY! DO NOT THINK THIS IS A HORROR! But do you want to know if he lives or dies? I ain't tellin' so rent it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models


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