Zero Dark Thirty


With Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Jason Clarke, Jennifer Ehle, Kyle Chandler, Harold Perrineau

Written by Mark Boal

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

Shortly after Bush Jr. decided to finish what his dad started in Iraq (using the September 11 attacks as fuel to go after Saddam Hussein), he declared that he was no longer really bothered to track down Osama Bin Laden, public enemy number one believed to be responsible for the biggest terrorist attacks on American soil. But, the pursuit to bring him to justice did not cease. Said to be based on accounts from people involved in the operation, the viewer is taken on this journey of intelligence, investigation, tactical operation, and its many dangers.

Told through the eyes of CIA operative Maya, the viewer encounters many tentacles of the operation, which includes the notorious water-boarding torture techniques to extract information, a lot of leg work, dead ends, Middle Eastern dangers including suicide bombings, a whole lot of government bureaucracy and the toll it takes on those involved. Had it been focused only on the Seal Team 6 mission to take Bin Laden out (once a relatively positive indication was established that he resided in a Pakistani compound), the film would have been a basic Black Ops action flick. But the drama and tension created in the depiction of many years of frustrating, elusiveness and near misses draws the viewer into a startling piece of modern history. Even though we all know the outcome, Bigelow keeps the viewer's eyes on the screen for close on 160 minutes.

As co-producers, director (Bigelow) and writer (Boal), this team won their Oscar categories (and others) with The Hurt Locker, and it is a bold step to immediately thereafter take on the Middle Eastern subject again.

Zero Dark Thirty won many awards, including Best Actress Golden Globe. Nominated for 5 Oscars.

PS. I was blissfully unaware that Jessica Chastain was also the lead character in the Horror movie Mama (which I saw a week before Zero Dark Thirty.

6 / B
- Paul Blom

0 1 2 3 4 5 6
- A - B - C

Click below for Bigelow & Boal's The Hurt Locker
Hurt Locker

6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temp.
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

- A: Multiple Viewing Potential
- B: Deserves Another Look
- C: Once Should Suffice

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