It may have only earned $12.7 million at the domestic box office and $3.4 million overseas, but Summit Entertainment's The Hurt Locker reaffirmed its status as a dark-horse candidate for a best-picture Oscar Sunday when the prestigious National Society of Film Critics selected it as the best film of 2009. The film had recently received similar recognition from the New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. However, such groups often give their top prizes to so-called art films or foreign-language productions that rarely receive similar recognition from Oscar voters.

04/01/2010