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Plot: Maya is a CIA operative whose first experience is in the interrogation of prisoners following the Al Qaeda attacks against the U.S. on the 11th September 2001. She is a reluctant participant in extreme duress applied to the detainees, but believes that the truth may only be obtained through such tactics. For several years, she is single-minded in her pursuit of leads to uncover the whereabouts of Al Qaeda's leader, Osama Bin Laden. Finally, in 2011, it appears that her work will pay off, and a U.S. Navy SEAL team is sent to kill or capture Bin Laden. But only Maya is confident Bin Laden is where she says he is. Runtime: 157 mins Release Date: 10 Jan 2012
i came into this movie not expecting much after reading all the hatred and i honestly was blown away by both the movie and confusion at the negativity towards it.i agree that this movie painted a somewhat favorable light towards torture, but it never really once crossed my mind until i read the negative reviews based on it. i'm sorry, but to flat out dislike a movie based on your political/philosophical views probably means you shouldn't be writing a review in the first place.people also complain about the slowness of the movie. i honestly was riveted by it, from the first minute to <more>
the last. every single scene looked to create tension, drama, and purpose towards the goal of catching osama. how is that boring exactly? if anything, i felt the director was too shallow in that the movie seemed to favor over-dramatizing and simplification of the movie in favor of entertainment value; it was too entertaining if anything. i wouldn't have minded a more complex, subtle, and intelligent plot development.as far as character development goes, i agree that there wasn't much of it, but again i didn't even care until i read the negative reviews about it. i'm confused, because i thought this was a movie about the capture of osama bin laden, not shawshank redemption. the editing, characters, and pacing were very sharp and deliberate and they were supposed to be like that for the purposes of the movie and the content. the lack of character development in favor of a relentless pace and focus towards one singular goal to me 'was' the movie and i loved it for it.honestly, i'm dumbfounded by the negative reviews. i didn't want to like this movie. i was tired that night and i'm getting old and fall asleep frequently in movie theaters. this movie earned my attention and i was on the edge of my seat until the end credits. i've watched all the major movies this year and this is, in my opinion, the best film of the year.
This movie isn't for everyone. It isn't for people who are vehemently anti-torture. It isn't for people who need a feel-good story with a happy ending. That being said, this movie had me literally on the edge of my seat for 2 1/2 hours and is a fantastic f-ing movie.People will want to compare this movie to the hurt locker, which is fair in the way that it locks you into scenes and is a war movie. The hurt locker was more of a pure war movie, whereas Zero Dark Thirty uses more dramatizations and has a more coherent direction, while still being an incredibly suspenseful movie.Some <more>
people might criticize this movie for a lack of character development, but they are really missing the point of this movie. It's not your typical Hollywood movie that introduces a protagonist and develops him/her until the conflict is resolved. This movie is about tracking and killing Osama Bin Laden, and the way they used the main character as a metaphor for America as a whole was really impressive, even while refraining from your typical, often boring character developing scenes.Much more than your average action movie, Zero Dark Thirty was a combination of badass scenes, phenomenal editing, and music, and a fantastic mostly true story with epic scope that I can't wait to see again. This is the BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR, and this is coming from a huge batman fan who also just saw Django Unchained a week ago.
I'm not claiming that this movie is 100% factual or even close to it but I think the filmmaker did a brilliant job of chronicling the UBL saga. IMO the theme of the movie in a nutshell is this: We got this guy maybe? but at what cost and were we justified? These are not easy questions to answer and they are left open ended for the most part.The three main criticisms I've come across in the reviews is that 1 The movie is propaganda 2 It glorifies torture and 3 It is factually inaccurate. The third is probably a legitimate criticism but the movie really makes no pretenses about <more>
being a documentary and there is a prominent disclaimer at the beginning that it is based primarily on eye-witness accounts and it is common knowledge that those can be unreliable . Regarding the death of UBL - well the movie even leaves that open ended which is pretty consistent with the actual reported events. We only get brief blurred glimpses of the side of his face and the only definitive identification comes from the 'expert' protagonist who is clearly somewhat derailed and obsessed with the manhunt and who also stated UBL was at that location with 100% certainty .That leads in to the first criticism. I fail to understand how this movie can be perceived as propaganda. How does portraying a 10 year ordeal culminating in an unglamorous methodical execution style raid in which a helicopter crashes and SEALS kill possibly innocent bystanders with machine like precision where the target's identity is not a even a certainty even remotely constitute a biased pro American agenda? Not to mention that the whole raid is brought about by a hunch and a fluke stroke of luck and not any actual key pieces of information obtained through interrogation other than a name . If anything luck was the deciding factor in taking down UBL - not American awesomeness.Now the torture - How does showing torture equate to glorifying torture? Does Braveheart glorify torture too? Again - this had the opposite effect on me. The viewer is forced to confront the unpleasant reality that we tortured many detainees probably pointlessly in our desperation to capture UBL and bring him to justice. What was the primary motivation? Revenge? Safety? Do the ends justify the means? Essentially that's the exact question the filmmaker is posing to the viewer by exposing the torture to public scrutiny.Perhaps this movie just rubs people the wrong way because they find it too sympathetic to government officials. It's easy to criticize to the Government and trust me I am far from an optimist when it comes to American politicians so I do it often. Obviously our leaders were faced with some difficult decisions after 9/11. Did we handle things the best way? Certainly not, but for better or worse this thing played out the way it did and we have to deal with it and move forward.
Taut adaptation of the real-life account in the massive manhunt for Osama Bin Laden ; The best historical thriller since ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN. (by george.schmidt)
ZERO DARK THIRTY 2012 ***1/2 Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Harold Perrineau, Mark Strong, Fredric Lehne, Mark Duplass, James Gandolfini, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Mark Valley. Taut adaptation of the real-life account in the massive manhunt for Osama Bin Laden with a CIA task force scrambling against time in the endless goose chase of Public Enemy No. 1 with worldwide speculations, last-minute decision making and genuine helplessness in the never-ending pursuit for justice and finally redemption on a global scale. Mark Boal's streamlined and sharply <more>
woven screenplay is so tightly strung that it manages to pinprick you to reality when a shocking moment of brutal action pops onto the screen, thanks to expert direction by Kathryn Bigelow. The only backward step is the too precise pacing and airlessness throughout but weighing on the slender yet capable shoulders of Chastain, as the rookie CIA analyst whose decade long endeavor brings about the release for millions. The best historical thriller since ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN.
This film has received a lot of gripe for not being historically accurate, specifically because it included scenes that included EIT's Enhanced Interrogation Techniques . Unfortunately those that criticize this are surprisingly ignorant, or purposefully deceitful. If you want convincing evidence that EIT's were instrumental in keeping the world safe and in limiting terrorists, you must check out the book Hard Measures from Jose A. Rodriguez the former chief of the CIA's clandestine service.As far as the action sequences and the plot line go it is as good as can be expected from <more>
Hollywood. They are intense, well choreographed and get the point across. Of course they depict some of the most secretive and poorly known groups in our intelligence and military services so the fidelity is always suspect as it was likely someone's interpretation. As a soldier myself, I always find inconsistencies and dramatic twists that affect the accuracy and veracity of these kinds of films, but none that necessitate discussion here.Overall the gestalt of what transpired is all there. Bad guy does something terrible, we dedicate a wonderful group of highly trained and completely committed men and women to finding and killing him, and at the end it all works out with the bad guy being dead.I recommend that you see this film, it's definitely worth it.
Jessica Chastain in Command ! ! ! (by drakula2005)
Do not get me wrong, the movie is not that good when you get the lovely, energetic, fascinating and brutally honest portrayal of Chastain's CIA agent Maya out of the picture.It would've still be solid, controversial and updated with events, but the X-particle would have been missing.That's what the actress brought to the movie.The cast is fine-a solid, convincing ensemble, that did their respective jobs very well.I can see why people like Mark Strong and James Gandolfini got some roles in the movie.It's always good to work with a so-called red-hot director at the helm of her <more>
so-called favourite turf- war movies.Their cameos, especially Gandolfini's because Mark Strong was under the spotlights for a little longer made a refreshing break from the main tone of the movie midway through it, at the moment we needed something different the most.Overall, the cast was an improvement over Bigelow's last effort in the genre.With "The Locker" i wasn't impressed at all, i was actually on the other end of emotions-i did not understand what all the people saw in it.Overlong and flat, you' be left wondering why so many strange sequences occurred in the movie.And if you are still awake, that is.But Bigelow has improved in those few years.She has a better eye for the cinematic, her cast is stronger, she changes paste effortlessly and now has a sense of jumping in one scene after another almost flawlessly.Those things, in my humble opinion, were not that visible in "The Locker" as mostly critics screamed they were.But the movie ended being the biggest Oscar contender and winner without being the best movie that same year, so what do i know.The only department "The Locker" still overshadows "Zero Dark Thirty" is the tension.No that it wasn't evident here, but more than enough was provided by Bigelow in her last effort.Well, frankly, the nature of the movie was different and couldn't have hurt it.So, with all that being said, with the beautiful performance by Chastain, who is becoming a real power on the horizon with every single movie she takes, with a haunting performance from Reda Kateb's Ammar in the beginning, where one might feel heartbroken for the guy, what's the problem with the movie, You might ask.The script!This thing that has been nominated out of sheer patriotism is worth nothing.Some of the lines Boal wrote were sheer ridiculousness at it's finest.No one screams words like "motherfucker" in the CIA director's face at a high-level terrorist-related meeting, even if there is no profane context hidden behind it and even if the CIA boss's role has been handled by the almighty Tony Soprano.Jessica Chastain was actually so good and mesmerizing throughout the course of the movie, that she handled this particular scene with calm and confidence.She was the one screaming it, if it is not yet crystal-clear.And she's been forgiven, she's not to blame at all.Continuing with Boal's outrageous screen writing we find ourselves in the middle of a mission, where the SEALs who behaved like total children throughout their limited number of scenes, shame on you, Edgerton, i'm looking at you, because one would expect this from Chris Pratt enter a suspect's house and begin to quietly repeat every single inhabitant's name until, like rabbits, they all come out and they all get shot.A totally unneeded and distracting scene, which took off a lot from the sheer brilliancy and tension off the last sequence of the movie.And even if there were some documented evidence speaking that it was all true, i don't believe that a clever off-the-grid person will be so stupid to get out and check who is calling him by name in the middle of a SEALs mission in his home.I repeat, even if it were true, for the sake of the film itself, leave it out, do not go there!!That's why i think the final act was less suspenseful than Bigelow's last warfare effort.Besides the fact we all now how it ends, of course.And, once again, thank God Jessica Chastain is around to save the day and bring some humanity and emotion to the movie.:But what the heck, let's give a 100/100 to the movie, because we love America".That's the reception right now, as it was with "Argo"...and once again, thank the cinematic Gods for Jessica Chastain's true, emotional, fascinating, electrifying performance!!At the very end she showed that even in a job well done and even in the years spend doing nothing but this particular job, there is no consolation, there are no smiles, nor happiness.Only a 12-years long hole of emptiness that's being left there.Like a homecoming soldier, who still lives with his brothers in arms, Jessica Chastain's Maya-has a tough way ahead of her.A way filled with new strives and challenges, dreams even.But a long and tough way back to ordinary life, life as it was.This sense of nostalgia is brought in absolutely uncompromising way to the screen by Chastain.The movie itself would have been a 6/10 without Chastain to say the least, with Boal it falls even steeper, but this new actress by Hollywood laws that is , makes this whole ride unforgettable in the coming awards-season.Two thumbs up for a lovely Chastain and hopefully an Oscar this time around!!My rate:9/10
A chronicle of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden from the perspective of the CIA culminating with the raid by Navy SEALS? Yes, please. While this year's Act of Valor had the action and authenticity, Zero Dark Thirty brings the writing, pacing, and true story to the big screen, and it's one hell of a ride.Relative unknown Jessica Chastain takes the lead as Maya, an abrasive and driven CIA agent that joins the search for those that are responsible for 9/11. Over the course of a decade, her grit and determination bring the ultimate goal within reach: finding enemy #1, Osama Bin Laden.This <more>
movie is evidence that Kathryn Bigelow can continue to meet the high standard she set with 2008's The Hurt Locker. Even though the search takes place over a decade and there are many more setbacks than successes, Zero Dark Thirty keeps your attention throughout and has you on the edge of your seat for the gripping conclusion. The acting is superb; Chastain knocks it out of the park and the performances by Jason Clark and Kyle Chandler add a lot of depth both of them should get more prominent roles in my opinion, especially Chandler . In the end, though, it's all about the story. With the book No Easy Day coming out last year, this story is already known to some, but it's always different to see it on the big screen. The fact is that Americans grew tired of wars that seemed to be producing no results, so it's a pretty big deal when our original target is finally eliminated. Whatever your political stance is, you have to respect how important this event was. The script was actually originally written before Bin Laden was killed and was subsequently changed afterwards , so believe me when I say that this film isn't the waving of a victory flag. Instead, Zero Dark Thirty is a testament to how long and difficult the mission was.The only real issues I had with this film are also something to be appreciated - the true story wasn't overly cinematic. I don't want to give anything away, but the end sequence just didn't feel as smooth as the rest of the movie. Go check it out and judge for yourself, though!8/10
Appealing to delve into the freshness of portraying this most contemporary of wars. This is a war movie and it is one of the first Hollywood ones dealing with the War against Al-Qaeda. Similar to how the climax of WWII culminated in D-day this is the first big movie showcasing the climax of the war against al-Qaeda dropping the elite 6 over Ben-Laden's house and like the many portrayals of D-Day in the history of cinema there will likely be other portrayals of the elite six coming down and getting Ben-Laden. A war not so much about troops or arms or traditional battles of armies but <more>
rather a clandestine war consisting of sly CIA operatives and fanatical terrorist leaders hiding from the world. Victories and defeats not won or lost by traditional army battles but by achievements in intelligence or thwarted efforts to gain knowledge, continued concealment leading to more acts of terrorism. The beginning shows one of the battles of this contemporary war as an American operative tries to gain information through use of torture. Interestingly exposed is the strategy to gain information through the mechanism of torture. It shows how we did it and raises questions as to the morality of it. The movie did not leave the morality open for the audience but provided its biased interpretation of the situation. Innovative to make a detailed account of this contemporary war however this innovation might be giving this film more accolade than it deserves and although a very good movie not the best one of the year. More sterile historical lesson than cinematic experience as the step-by-step detailed process in getting Ben-Laden moving through the scattered military bases seemed well researched yet long, not completely thrilling and at times a bit confusing. The protagonist was the driving soul of this movie slowly becoming more and more driven, obsessed? with her goal of getting Ben Laden this was to the detriment of anything else in her life especially human interaction. She had vulnerability but a mere couple of minutes was devoted to making a real character thus the sterile feel was not only in how the story was told but was also infused into the main character. She ultimately became more symbol than human being. I do not know if one person was behind all this intelligence gathering it is hard to believe that all these years it could be one person yet the movie made it seem that it was all on this woman's shoulders. This gave Zero Dark Thirty a feminist quality by having this woman becoming the symbol and visual connotation of the CIAs secretive war against Al-Qaeda. The men either couldn't hack the intensity of the tortures and wanted to go back home, were far less committed and driven or were mere subservient foot soldiers for the female protagonists. The male soldiers were literally her arms as in a scene she touches one of them on command so that he would punch the victim being tortured. Even the elite 6 felt like extensions of this female protagonist. It was interesting to give this movie this feminist quality but it didn't seem realistic, not because it was female but because it seemed like there was only one person trying to get Ben-Laden.It was immersive, there were some nice scenes transporting us to the middle east as we see the desert towns and hear the call to prayer. A well researched, well made, immersive movie about this freshly portrayed contemporary war.
Enigmatically crafted narrative, engaging direction and exquisite performances (by hal1981)
Kathryn Bigelow's direction for this film missed out on an Oscar nomination and I can just about see why. I much preferred Ben Affleck's intricately filmed Argo or more appropriately Paul Greengras' thrilling Green Zone. That is not to say her direction is lacking here, it is interesting and unique and more importantly does not dwell on one aspect, particularly in scenes following troops in action.Jessica Chastain leads the acting performances alongside a brilliant Jason Clarke. There are also very enjoyable cameos from Stephen Dillane and James Gandolfini. Overall the support <more>
cast is of the highest order, and for me both Mark Strong and Kyle Chandler play traditionally awkward, dull government roles very artistically indeed.Highly thrilling, intelligent and at times emotional, Zero Dark Thirty confirms film's very healthy engagement with post 9/11 related war material.