"Buried" is an ingenious concept focused on a very limited setting. For the most part, it relies on the ability of its lone protagonist to deliver a story where he couldn't interact with anyone but himself. I am then absolutely bowled over by Rodrigo Cortes' vision to tell the story of a truck driver, Paul Conroy, who one day, finds himself buried 6 feet below the ground in the Iraqi desert. A hostage in a coffin, all he finds with him are a lighter, a cellphone and a fastly depleting supply of oxygen. Aside from bouts of claustrophobia, he is soon visited by a snake - and a video clip of a separate hostage sent through his phone.
It is a thespic miracle to draw a compelling character within the constraints of Paul Conroy, played by Ryan Reynolds. Realism is stark, and there are no Hollywood contrivances to manipulate a highly volatile and ultimately fatal situation. What we do have is pure, unadulterated realism. In my book, this is how cinema should be!