Buried (film)

Last updated
Buried Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rodrigo Cortés
Written by Chris Sparling
Produced by
Starring Ryan Reynolds
Cinematography Eduard Grau
Edited byRodrigo Cortés
Music byVíctor Reyes
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • September 24, 2010 (2010-09-24)
Running time
95 minutes
CountrySpain [3]
Budget$2 million [2] [4]
Box office$21.3 million [2]

Buried is a 2010 Spanish English-language survival drama film directed by Rodrigo Cortés. [5] It stars Ryan Reynolds [6] and was written by Chris Sparling.


The story is about Iraq-based American civilian truck driver Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds), who, after being attacked, finds himself buried alive in a wooden coffin, with only a lighter, flask, flashlight, knife, glowsticks, pen, pencil, and a mobile phone. Since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, the film has received a positive critical reception.


In 2006, Paul Conroy, an American civilian working in Iraq, awakes to find himself buried in a wooden coffin with only a Zippo lighter, a pen, and a BlackBerry phone at hand. As he gradually begins to piece together what has happened to him, he recalls that he and several others were ambushed by terrorists, passing out after being hit by a rock. After calling 911 in Youngstown, Ohio, the FBI in Chicago and his employer (none of whom help him), he receives a call from his kidnapper, Jabir, demanding that he pay a ransom of $5 million or he will be left in the coffin to die. Along with the script Paul is to read, Paul also finds a malfunctioning flashlight, a glow stick, a flask with alcohol, and a pocket knife.

Paul calls the State Department, which tells him that due to the government policy of not negotiating with terrorists, it will not pay the ransom but will try to rescue him. They connect him with Dan Brenner, head of the Hostage Working Group, who tells Paul they are working to find him, to conserve the Blackberry's battery life, and implores him not to make the video that Jabir has demanded. Brenner informs Paul that a man named Mark White was rescued from a similar situation three weeks prior and is now home safe with his family. Paul calls his mother, who is in a nursing home, but she barely remembers him due to severe dementia.

Jabir calls Paul again and demands he film a ransom video, sending a photo of his colleague, Pamela, gagged with a gun to her head. Paul insists that no one will pay $5 million, so Jabir drops the amount to $1 million. Paul finds a live snake in the coffin, which he is able to drive away through a hole in the wooden crate side with a fire from the alcohol. After switching the language on the Blackberry to English, he finds the Blackberry's number, which he relays to his wife in a voicemail. Paul records the video, however, the kidnappers execute Pamela anyway and send him video of the murder. He calls Brenner, who is upset with him for making the video, which is now being played on all major networks and has received numerous views on YouTube.

Shortly afterward, distant explosions shake the area, which damage his coffin, causing it to slowly fill with sand. His employer's legal counsel calls him, asking him not to speak with anyone in order to keep the situation "contained". His employer then begins to record the call and informs him that he has been retroactively terminated from his job earlier that same day (conveniently before his capture) due to an alleged prohibited relationship with Pamela. Because of this, his company will not only not take any responsibility for his capture, but he and his family also will not be entitled to any benefits or pension earned with the company.

Brenner calls saying that the explosions that damaged his coffin earlier were in fact F-16 bombings and that his kidnappers may have been killed. Paul begins to lose hope and makes a last will and testament in video form, leaving his wife his personal savings and his son his clothes. Jabir calls demanding Paul video record himself cutting off a finger, threatening Paul’s family back home by revealing their home address. Paul complies with this demand.

Shortly after filming the video, his cell phone rings, and Paul begins to hear digging and distorted voices. The voices become clearer, saying to open the coffin, and the coffin opens. It abruptly becomes obvious that he hallucinated the encounter.

Brenner calls and tells Paul an insurgent has given details of where to find a man buried alive, and that they are driving out to rescue him. Paul then receives a tearful call from his wife Linda, and he assures her that he is going to be okay. As sand continues to fill the coffin to dangerous levels, giving Paul seconds left to live, Brenner calls and tells him that he and the rescue team have arrived at the burial site. Through the phone, digging is heard, but Paul cannot hear any digging around him. The team digs up a coffin and opens it, but it is revealed that the insurgent led them to the coffin of Mark White, the man Brenner claimed had been rescued. Knowing that he is not going to be saved, Paul tries to calm himself down and accepts his fate. The film ends with Brenner profusely apologizing to Paul as the sand finally fills the coffin and he suffocates as the light goes out, and the screen goes black.

In a post-credits scene, a lighter illuminates the name "Mark White" on the lid of the coffin, written by Paul earlier.



The film was produced by Barcelona-based Versus Entertainment, in association with The Safran Company and Dark Trick Films. [1] It was shot in Barcelona over 16 days. [7] Lead actor Ryan Reynolds stated that he suffered from claustrophobia while filming (much like the character he plays). The coffin he was in was gradually filled with sand as filming went on such that he was actually buried while shooting the film's climactic moments. Ryan described the last day of shooting as "unlike anything I experienced in my life, and I never ever want to experience that again." The production crew had a team of paramedics waiting on standby. One of director Rodrigo Cortés' inspirations was the film Rope directed by Alfred Hitchcock. [7]


Buried premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2010. Lionsgate purchased the US and UK distribution rights to the film after a bidding war with Sony Pictures Classics, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Overture Films, Miramax Films, Oscilloscope Laboratories, IFC Films, Strand Releasing, Focus Features, Summit Entertainment, Newmarket Films, Destination Films/Samuel Goldwyn Films, The Weinstein Company/Dimension Films, Fox Searchlight Pictures, After Dark Films, Paramount Vantage, First Look Studios, Magnet Releasing and CBS Films and gave the film a limited theatrical release on September 24, 2010 and a wider release two weeks later on October 8, 2010. The film's first trailer premiered with A Nightmare on Elm Street . The second trailer premiered at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International, and was attached with select prints of Dinner for Schmucks , Resident Evil: Afterlife , The Expendables and The Last Exorcism .

The film won the best European feature film of the year award at the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival in September 2010. [8]

The film was presented at the Deauville American Film Festival, in competition, and the Toronto International Film Festival, [9] out of competition, in September 2010.

Critical reception

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 87% based on 157 reviews with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Wringing a seemingly impossible amount of gripping drama out of its claustrophobic premise, Buried is a nerve-wracking showcase for Ryan Reynolds' talent." [10] Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 65 out of 100 based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [11]

Film critic Roger Ebert awarded the film 3.5 out of 4 stars and wrote that "Rodrigo Cortés, the Spanish filmmaker behind this diabolical, Hitchcock-influenced narrative stunt, makes merry mischief with camera angles and lighting". [12] Scott Mantz of Access Hollywood called it "a brilliantly twisted suspense thriller that would have made Alfred Hitchcock proud." [13] Chris Tilly at IGN gave the film a perfect 10 out of 10. [14] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone awarded the film 2 out of 4 stars, commenting: "Ninety minutes of being buried alive with Ryan Reynolds: Didn't we all suffer that in The Proposal ?" [15]

Film director John Waters named Buried as one of the ten best films of 2010 stating "The most excruciatingly painful date movie imaginable comes complete with a very smart feel-bad ending. See it with someone you hate." [16]

Filmmakers Nick Park, Peter Lord, Todd Haynes and The Wachowskis, actresses Cate Blanchett and Julie Andrews and actors Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Radcliffe, Freddie Highmore and Alistair Petrie have cited it as one of their favorite films.


Gaudí Award Best Actor Ryan Reynolds Nominated [17]
Best Visual EffectsMònica Alarcón, María de la Cámara,
Gabriel Paré and Àlex Villagrassa
Nominated [18]
Best Art DirectionMaria de la Cámara and Gabriel ParéNominated [18]
Best Editing Rodrigo Cortés Won [19]
Best DirectorNominated [17]
Best SoundUrko Garai, James Muñoz, Marc OrtsNominated [18]
Best Original Screenplay Chris Sparling Nominated
Best Film in non-Catalan languageAdrián Guerra and Peter Safran Won [19]
Goya Award Best Actor Ryan ReynoldsNominated [20]
Best Original ScoreVíctor ReyesNominated
Best Original SongNominated
Rodrigo CortésNominated
Best EditingWon
Best Director Nominated
Best SoundUrko Garai, James Muñoz, Marc OrtsWon
Best Film Adrián Guerra and Peter SafranNominated
Best Original Screenplay Chris SparlingWon
Best Special EffectsNominated
IGN Movie Award Best PerformanceRyan ReynoldsNominated [21]
Méliès International Festivals Federation Méliès d'Or Won [22]
MTV Movie Award Best Scared-As-S**t Performance Ryan ReynoldsNominated [23]
National Board of Review Award Best Original ScreenplayChris SparlingWon [24]
Saturn Award Best Actor Ryan ReynoldsNominated [25]
Fangoria Chainsaw AwardBest ActorWon
Best Limited-Release/Direct-to-Video FilmNominated
Best ScreenplayChris SparlingNominated
Best Score Víctor Reyes Nominated
Strasbourg European Fantastic
Film Festival Award
Best European FilmAdrián Guerra and Peter SafranWon [26]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ryan Reynolds</span> Canadian-American actor (born 1976)

Ryan Rodney Reynolds is a Canadian-American actor. He is one of the highest-grossing film actors of all time, with a worldwide box-office gross of over $5 billion.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kevin Conroy</span> American actor (1955–2022)

Kevin Conroy was an American actor. He was best known for his voice portrayal of the DC Comics superhero Batman in various animated media, beginning with 1992's Batman: The Animated Series and its subsequent spin-off TV series and feature films in the DC Animated Universe. Due to the popularity of his performance as Batman, Conroy went on to voice the character for multiple films under the DC Universe Animated Original Movies banner and the critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham and Injustice video games.

<i>Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker</i> 2000 film by Curt Geda

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is a 2000 American direct-to-video animated superhero mystery film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. It is the third film in the DC Animated Universe and is based on the animated series Batman Beyond while also serving as a continuation of and resolving plot points from The New Batman Adventures.

<i>Green Lantern</i> (film) 2011 superhero film by Martin Campbell

Green Lantern is a 2011 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Angela Bassett, and Tim Robbins, with Martin Campbell directing a script by Greg Berlanti and comic book writers Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim, which was subsequently rewritten by Michael Goldenberg. This was the first DC film since Catwoman not to be involved with Legendary Pictures. The film tells the story of Hal Jordan, a test pilot who is selected to become the first human member of an intergalactic police force called the Green Lantern Corps. Hal is given a ring that grants him superpowers, and must confront Parallax, who threatens to upset the balance of power in the universe.

<i>Looking for Eric</i> 2009 film by Ken Loach

Looking for Eric is a 2009 British-French film about the escape from the trials of modern life that football and its heroes can bring for its fans. It was written by screenwriter Paul Laverty and directed by the English director Ken Loach. The film's cast includes the former professional footballer Eric Cantona and Steve Evets, former bass guitarist with The Fall.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rodrigo Cortés</span>

Rodrigo Cortés Giráldez is a Spanish film director, producer, screenwriter, editor, writer and occasional actor. He is best known for directing the 2010 psychological thriller Buried.

Chris Sparling is an American filmmaker from Providence, Rhode Island.

"Stewie Goes for a Drive" is the fourth episode of the tenth season of the animated comedy series Family Guy. It originally aired on Fox in the United States on November 6, 2011. The plot depicts actor Ryan Reynolds moving into the house across the street, and Peter Griffin befriending him. Ryan flirts with Peter, making Peter uncomfortable, and their friendship ends. Meanwhile, Stewie takes Brian's car for a joy ride, and crashes it into a lamp post. Fearing the consequences, Stewie runs away from home, but then needs Brian's help when he ends up in a bad part of town.

<i>The Canyons</i> (film) 2013 American erotic thriller-drama film

The Canyons is a 2013 American erotic thriller-drama film directed by Paul Schrader and written by Bret Easton Ellis. The film is set in Los Angeles and stars Lindsay Lohan, James Deen, Nolan Funk, Amanda Brooks and Gus Van Sant. It received a limited release on August 2, 2013, at the IFC Center in New York City, the Bell Lightbox in Toronto and on video on demand platforms.

<i>The Voices</i> 2014 comedy horror film

The Voices is a 2014 comedy horror film directed by Marjane Satrapi, written by Michael R. Perry, and starring Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick and Jacki Weaver. It had its world premiere at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2014. The film was released in a limited release and through video on demand on February 6, 2015, by Lionsgate. It received generally positive reviews from critics, with many highlighting Reynolds’ performance.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ryan Reynolds filmography</span>

Ryan Reynolds is a Canadian actor and producer who has appeared in films, television series, videos, and video games. Reynolds made his acting debut on television in the teen drama Fifteen in 1990. Two years later, he made his feature film debut by playing an orphan raised in India, who is inspired by Mahatma Gandhi to go on a hunger strike in a small town in Canada in Ordinary Magic (1993). Reynolds had a recurring role on the television show The Odyssey (1993). He followed this with minor appearances on The X-Files (1996), and the television film Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996). His breakthrough role was as medical student Michael "Berg" Bergen in the sitcom Two Guys and a Girl.

<i>Mississippi Grind</i> 2015 American drama

Mississippi Grind is a 2015 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. It stars Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn, Sienna Miller, Lio Tipton, Robin Weigert, and Alfre Woodard. The film was released by A24 on September 25, 2015.

<i>Detective Pikachu</i> (film) 2019 film directed by Rob Letterman

Detective Pikachu is a 2019 mystery film directed by Rob Letterman. Based on the Pokémon franchise, the film is a loose adaptation of the 2016 video game of the same name. It was written by Letterman, Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit and Derek Connolly, from a story by Hernandez, Samit and Nicole Perlman, and produced by Legendary Pictures and Toho. It was the first live-action Pokémon film and the first live-action film based on a Nintendo game property since Super Mario Bros. (1993).

<i>A Private War</i> 2018 biographical film about war journalist Marie Colvin

A Private War is a 2018 American biographical war drama film directed by Matthew Heineman, and starring Rosamund Pike as journalist Marie Colvin. The film is based on the 2012 article "Marie Colvin’s Private War" in Vanity Fair by Marie Brenner. The film was written by Arash Amel and features Jamie Dornan, Tom Hollander and Stanley Tucci.

<i>Free Guy</i> 2021 film by Shawn Levy

Free Guy is a 2021 American science fiction action-comedy film directed and produced by Shawn Levy from a screenplay by Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn, and a story by Lieberman. The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Joe Keery, and Taika Waititi. It tells the story of a bank teller who discovers that he is a non-player character in a massively multiplayer online game who then partners with a player to find evidence that a gaming company's CEO stole the player's game's source code.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eduard Grau</span> Spanish cinematographer

Eduard "Edu" Grau,A.S.C.(born 1981) is a Spanish cinematographer, best known for his work on the films A Single Man (2009), Suffragette (2015), Gringo (2018) and his collaborations with director Joel Edgerton.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wade Wilson (film character)</span> X-Men film series and Marvel Cinematic Universe fictional character

Wade Wilson, also known by his vigilante alias Deadpool, is a fictional character and antihero portrayed by Ryan Reynolds in the X-Men film series produced by 20th Century Fox, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) media franchise produced by Marvel Studios. He is based on the character of the same name created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza for appearances in Marvel Comics publications.

<i>Spirited</i> (film) 2022 film by Sean Anders and John Morris

Spirited is a 2022 American Christmas-themed musical comedy film directed by Sean Anders and written and produced by Anders and John Morris. Starring Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds, Octavia Spencer, Sunita Mani, Patrick Page, Marlow Barkley, and Tracy Morgan, the film is a modern retelling of Charles Dickens's 1843 novella A Christmas Carol.

<i>Mother</i> (2019 Spanish film) 2019 film directed by Rodrigo Sorogoyen

Mother is a 2019 Spanish-French drama film directed by Rodrigo Sorogoyen and co-written by Isabel Peña. The film is based on the 2017 short film of the same name directed by Sorogoyen. It stars Marta Nieto, Jules Porier and Àlex Brendemühl.

Love Gets a Room is a 2021 musical drama film directed by Rodrigo Cortés. Set in the Warsaw ghetto, it stars Clara Rugaard and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Buried (2010)". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times . 2012. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Buried". The Numbers .
  3. Nelson, Rob (January 26, 2010). "Buried Review". Variety . Archived from the original on October 12, 2010. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  4. "Ryan Reynolds interviewed by Jian Ghomeshi on Q". CBC.ca . September 28, 2010. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  5. "Sundance Festival One-Sheet: Buried". Dreadcentral.com. January 18, 2010. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  6. "New Stills: Ryan Reynolds is Buried Alive". Dread Central . December 10, 2009. Archived from the original on December 15, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  7. 1 2 Boucher, Geoff (September 12, 2010). "The Directors: Rodrigo Cortés builds suspense in 'Buried'". Los Angeles Times . Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  8. Brown, Todd (October 14, 2010). "Sitges 2010: Buried Wins Prestigious Melies D'Or". Twitchfilm.com. Archived from the original on October 20, 2011. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  9. Lambert, Christine (2010). "Buried press conference photos - 35th Toronto International Film Festival". DigitalHit.com. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  10. "Buried Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  11. "Buried Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
  12. "'Buried' review by Roger Ebert". Chicago Sun-Times . Archived from the original on March 10, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  13. Mantz, Scott (September 21, 2010). "MovieMantz Review: 'Buried'". Access Hollywood . Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  14. Tilly, Chris (September 23, 2010). "Buried Review". IGN . Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  15. Travers, Peter (September 24, 2010). "Buried". Rolling Stone . Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  16. Waters, John. John Waters: Best films of 2010. joeclark.org. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
  17. 1 2 "'Pa negre', 'Herois' y 'Buried', grandes favoritas en los III Premios Gaudí". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). January 17, 2011. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  18. 1 2 3 "Nominades - III Premis Gaudí". Gaudí Awards (in Catalan). Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  19. 1 2 "'Buried' engalana su carrera hacia los Premios Goya". La Nueva España (in Spanish). January 18, 2011. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  20. "Premios Goya 2011 en EL PAÍS". El País (in Spanish). Archived from the original on June 27, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  21. "Best Actor". IGN . Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  22. Hopewell, John (October 25, 2010). "Buried wins Europe's Melies d'Or". Variety . Retrieved October 25, 2010.
  23. "Twilight leads MTV Movie Award noms". News24 . May 4, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  24. Pond, Steve (December 2, 2010). "'The Social Network' Sweeps National Board of Review". TheWrap . Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  25. Moore, Debi (February 24, 2011). "2011 Saturn Award Nominees Announced". Dread Central . Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  26. "Buried". European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation . Archived from the original on July 11, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2015.