A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Nothing is shown, but Paul is accused of having an affair with a co-worker, which he denies.
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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."
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.