In avoiding its war's controversial history and in its allegiance to the present moment, The Hurt Locker (2008) actually sharpened its resonance for its contemporary wartime audience. Its reliance on the seemingly discontinuous historicity of moviegoing both obscures and realizes how war films fashion citizenship. The film occupies familiar ground in the American war film genre and its frontier masculinity, with gender dynamics that are markedly traditional for the era that would see the combat exclusion lifted for women and gay soldiers in the US military. Ultimately, the film risks reducing viewers to the function of spectator-citizen-soldiers.


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