One of the best films of the year is opening in Los Angeles and New York this weekend and it's a thriller you can't miss.  "The Hurt Locker" may be the best Iraq-set film made so far even if the political reasons behind the war matter little in the context of the story.

A tour-de-force for director Kathryn Bigelow ("Point Break"), "Locker" follows an Army bomb squad on tour in present day Iraq.  The trio played by Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty risk their lives diffusing bombs in a number of strange and time-sensitive situations.  How they handle the thrill and stress of their jobs  provides insight into their characters and each clearly has a different point of view.

Speaking to the actors, we discussed shooting in Jordan and the difficulties of the exhausting heat.  Bigelow and Boal gave some insight on how they were able to get the independently made film financed.

As a bonus, check out two riveting scenes from the film as well.

"The Hurt Locker"  opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday.  It expands across the country on July 10.  Don't miss it.

With over a decade of experience in the movie industry, Ellwood survived working for two major studios and has written for Variety, MSN and the LA Times. A co-founder of HitFix, Ellwood spends his time relaxing hitting 3’s on the basketball court and following his beloved Clippers.