Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
Zero Dark Thirty is story of Maya (Jessica Chastain) who was the CIA operative in charge of the manhunt for Osama Bin Laden from 9/11 until his death on May 2, 2011. The movie is a tale of 2 parts – the 12 years leading up to May 2, 2011 and the invasion/killing of Bin Laden in his “fortress” at 12:30 am on that day. The first part is about 1.5 hours of the movie and it shows the political/drama side of Maya’s tracking and research to narrow in on Bin Laden’s whereabouts. This is the part that may turn some of you away due to the dry dialogue which is full of words/names you’ve never heard of nor could pronounce. There are some scenes of “torture” that don’t even compare to torture seen in many horror movies so there isn’t much to worry about in terms of it being too graphic or violent. If any of you have seen the Hurt Locker (also directed by Kathryn Bigelow) then you might discover much of the same feel from the first part of Zero Dark Thirty as it is almost documentary-like without being too hard to watch. The only problem I see is people finding this first part of the film a little difficult to understand since this is the Bin Laden story not many people know about. However, just as you might start to doze off or ask yourself “is there another hour of this political drama?!?!?” the real fun begins. I like to call the 2nd part of this film the “real life Mission Impossible” because it is nothing but thrilling, suspenseful, shocking and showcases military-style espionage at its best. Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 manages to do what the United States had been working on for 12 years and that was capture/kill Osama Bin Laden and we get to see it on the big screen.
Now as I’m sitting there watching this movie, I have to ask myself how much of this is truth and how much is what the government wants us to know or would allow Kathryn Bigelow to put in her film. I seriously doubt any of this is far from the truth especially after the Hurt Locker. After watching this movie, I can say that it is riveting, emotional and entertaining. I’ve seen many political thrillers recently (Green Zone, Fair Game, Lions for Lambs) that have both action and drama, but Zero Dark Thirty has to be the best I’ve seen, especially for ones made about modern warfare which I’m not really a huge fan of. I tend to love war movies about older wars like WWII, American Revolution and the Civil War so I was surprised on my enjoyment with this film. I actually enjoyed it to the point that I could see it winning best picture for 2012 (and I have seen all of the potential nomination thus far to know). I’m not saying that I think Zero Dark Thirty is the best movie of 2012, but I can see the Academy thinking so, and I’m ok with that even though I’d still give it to Argo. At the end of the day, Zero Dark Thirty is a bold and thrilling political movie about something we Americans give a shit about, and anyone else out there that hated what Osama did to the world. Co-starring Mark Strong, Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke, Mark Duplass, Jennifer Ehle, Harold Perrineau and James Gandolfini.
8/10 Stars – Dramatic, thrilling, suspenseful, informative and gripping. Not one to watch over and over due to political overload but worthy of at least once!
Zero Dark Thirty is one of the most interesting political films I have seen in a while (discounting Argo), and when it comes to politics that is saying something. Zero Dark Thirty always had something ahead of the rest in that it tells the story we as American’s are all dying to know the details of. It just so happens that those details as told by Kathryn Bigelow are dramatic, enthralling, impressive and thrilling. I can’t speak to the truth of it all and honestly as a movie I am not sure it really matters. The film does the trick, informing and entertaining its audience. I wavered between liking and furrowing my brow at Jessica Chastain’s performance. She has moments of brilliance and then moments that make you go huh. But I give her props, the role she plays is a difficult one. Portraying a real person, and add to that the reality of the situation the character is apart of is beyond difficult to act in and to watch. But back to my original point, being the story we all want to know there is a power to this film most would under-estimate. Zero Dark Thirty is definitely worth the hype surrounding it.
8/10 Stars – You will be hypnotized by what you see and hear in Zero Dark Thirty and it will linger long after the movie is over.
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