The Hurt Locker is a great film in every respect and is destined to be a classic which will be talked about in the next century. I can see, however, that some people won't 'get it' because it dispenses with most of the technical and narrative means that almost every Hollywood war movie avails itself of. But if you can put your expectations on one side, the film is amazingly fresh and powerfully moving.
The use of hand-held camera, which often has documentary resonances, together with a narrative evenness which treats all moments as equally significant could be expected to produce a distancing/alienating effect in the viewer, and if you are expecting crescendos and diminuendos it probably does just that. Yet these devices are capable of having the opposite effect, drawing the viewer into the very grit and grain and breath and terrible ambiguity of events as they unfold for a team of bomb disposal technicians operating in the dangerous streets of Iraq. Impeccable editing makes this work and you end up knowing in your bone-marrow that war is hell, that soldiers end up doing their own thing as plans give way to chaos, that for some war is nevertheless addictive, and that seemingly ordinary people are capable of insane degrees of bravery.
The direction and acting are superb and without the slightest false note. Particularly look out for a scene in which Jeremy Renner's Sergeant William James answers his compadre's question on how he faces the high probability of death day after day, and apparently without fear. With a few deft strokes, the character of William James becomes rounded, complex, utterly human and complete. [The protagonists are ambling along in an armoured vehicle, chatting rather laconically.]
Give this film a chance and it will blow you away!