101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (*so far)

This contemporary war movie centers on the members of an EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit at work in war-torn Iraq. Screenwriter Mark Boal, formerly a journalist, embedded himself with a bomb squad to get a feel for their experience, and the results are evident onscreen in the characters’ naturalistic behavior. Boal said in Collider, “We were trying to make the dialogue feel spontaneous and lifelike, and the whole movie experience to feel tense and authentic and intense. And to do all that, you wanted it to feel kind of like you were parachuted into the war and not parachuted into a movie, so that was all very much our sort of goal for the script.” The film succeeds, throwing us into the action from the first nail-biting moment, and winning the 2010 Writers Guild Award for Original Screenplay.