I had wanted to check out Buried while it was in the theaters but never got around to seeing it. Obviously, this urge was driven by my Ryan Reynolds fandom, which many would classify as irrational or inexplicable.
I can say without reservations that this is arguably Reynolds's finest hour, at least until the Deadpool movie happens. Sure, he's his funny self in Waiting..., Van Wilder, and Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place, an amiable father in the underrated Definitely, Maybe*, and an apt sleazeball in Adventureland, but he had not been previously required to take on a role like that of Paul Conroy in Buried.
*Perhaps it's no coincidence that both the movie and the Oasis album of the same name are underrated. The title doesn't help much, as it seems unable to assess itself, but the movie (which I've written about here) and the album are both damned entertaining. I'd certainly say that the Oasis album is superior, but I could throw either on and be happy.
Coming to in a slipshod wooden coffin buried in the Iraqi desert, Conroy is stripped of everything but a Blackberry, a Zippo, his flask, and some lights. What follows upon his regaining consciousness is an exercise in claustrophobia that does not relent and would surely have induced unbearable unease had I actually seen it in the theater.
Relatively unknown director Rodrigo Cortes never lets his camera leave the box. What unfolds is a suspenseful one-man show that drives anxiety and fear to great heights. It may not reach the apex that 127 Hours does, but it succeeds in surpassing the likes of Phone Booth, whose sense of claustrophobia simply isn't as fully realized.
It's at your beck and call. Be not afraid.