Metascore
95

Universal acclaim - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 46
  2. Negative: 0 out of 46
  1. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Nov 27, 2012
    90
    A masterwork from a master filmmaker.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Nov 27, 2012
    90
    Far more ambitious than "The Hurt Locker," yet nowhere near so tripwire-tense, this procedure-driven, decade-spanning docudrama nevertheless rivets for most of its running time.
  3. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Jan 16, 2013
    89
    It's a mistake to confuse Zero Dark Thirty for "truth" – that would be a disservice to the high level of craftsmanship, from first-billed actors to below-the-line production crew, at work in this movie fiction – but there is admirably little fat on its bones.
  4. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jan 10, 2013
    88
    Zero Dark Thirty, like the mission that inspired it, commands respect, admiration, even awe in places for the logistical nightmares that had to be overcome to get it done. But it's a hard movie to love.
  5. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jan 4, 2013
    88
    Maya is as consumed with finding bin Laden as Jake Gyllenhaal was obsessed with finding a serial killer in "Zodiac," only he was doing it as a hobby.
  6. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Dec 18, 2012
    88
    A compelling contemporary thriller with the added benefit of also being an engrossing character study.
  7. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jan 10, 2013
    83
    Viewers looking for a propagandistic take will be disappointed, but even those who doubt the overall framework and existence of the so-called War on Terror should appreciate this thrilling tale of the hunt for the world's most wanted man.
  8. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Nov 27, 2012
    83
    An electric, sprawling and ambitious effort that's easy to become absorbed by, and a picture that should impress those keen on the director's intelligent, composed and determined brand of filmmaking.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 830 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 55 out of 219
  1. Dec 26, 2012
    2
    Tedious. Just because something compelling happened in real life doesn't mean it makes for a good movie. For the life of me I can't understand the critical acclaim here. Nothing in this movie feels believable, first and foremost Chastain's performance. She is miscast, shrill, and has no gravitas. I didn't believe for one second she was a "tough" high level CIA analyst. Most performances in general felt off and even the amazing Kyle Chandler was reduced to cliche. The movie feels cheap and shallow. There is zero character development, everything feels easy, the torture scenes are gratuitous, and then James Gandolfini comes bobbling in as Leon Pannetta? Although Homeland on Showtime has far-fetched plot lines, it is a thousand times more compelling and a million times better acted. Just don't get at all what the fuss is. And almost three hours. Ouch. Full Review »
  2. Dec 21, 2012
    0
    The hollywood sycophants are already drooling all over the movie, hence the ratings. However it is amazing how quickly people forget that the creators betrayed the soldiers they were embedded with, while researching 'The Hurt Locker'. The soldiers portrayed in the movie behaved nothing like real soldiers - the creators claimed artistic license while dishonoring those who were kind enough to allow the civilians an unvarnished view into their world.

    This movie is much the same, again with Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal cashing in on the lives of those who give so much, so the rest of us may live out our lives in a safer world. Critics and audiences will rave over this movie because it is "real and gritty" - despite the fact they are lucky enough to know nothing about the world the movie claims to portray. This movie is nothing more than a sycophantic attempt by media liberals to burnish President Obama's image, while cashing in on the hard work and sacrifices of those who put their lives on the line for the rest of us. hollywood, Kathryn and Mark should be ashamed. The least they could've done is give an accurate portrayal of what happened.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 6, 2013
    6
    First of all, I'm always amazed at the number of 10 and 0 reviews. People really need to stop and think about what a 10 and what a 0 implies. Whatever, just my two cents on user reviews. ---- As for the movie, I felt like giving it a 4, but that's mostly because my expectations were let down. I'm not sure what the recent love affair with Kathryn Bigelow is all about? ZDT is far from extraordinary. Everything about this movie (script, acting, direction, cinematography--everything) is smart, faultless, and safe. As such, it's hard to say anything bad about the film, yet, that's exactly why it fails to stand out. It evokes no emotion and little controversy over such a controversial topic--it's moot art. ...now I'll go read the reviews to see why I'm wrong. Full Review »