In an interview, Rieckhoff said the anger about "Hurt Locker" stems not so much from such small inaccuracies -- for example, the uniforms the soldiers wear in the film weren't available until well after the time the story took place -- but rather from the depiction of the main character, Sgt. 1st Class William James.
Portrayed by Jeremy Renner, who's nominated for Best Actor, James is a daredevil who in one scene takes off his protective armor while disarming a bomb because, as he says, "If I'm going to die, I'm going to be comfortable." He runs alone through the streets of Baghdad with his sweat shirt hood up like a gangster. Later, he takes two soldiers hunting for insurgents in Baghdad's back alleys without any backup.
James's fellow soldiers are, or try to be, by-the-book professionals. They call James "rowdy" and "reckless," and one worries out loud that his leader's crazy antics are "going to get me killed." James is as much cowboy as soldier, and vets fear he could become an iconic figure in the American imagination should the movie win a bunch of statues.
"Films, almost more than anything, will be the way Americans understand our war," Rieckhoff said. "So we feel that there is a responsibility for filmmakers to portray our war accurately. We see ourselves as watchdogs. . . . When he puts a hood on like Eminem and starts roving outside the wire, it's ridiculous."
Gallucci, a former sergeant who served in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, says he kept hoping James would get "blown up throughout the entire movie. I wanted to see his poor teammates get another team leader, who was actually concerned about their safety."
Some Iraq, Afghanistan war veterans criticize movie 'Hurt Locker' as inaccurate