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6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 934 Ratings

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  1. Jul 3, 2015
    7
    I had pretty high expectations considering it's a 95%,and I was pretty disappointed.The acting is flawless and the photography is really good but the movie gets pretty boring.The last 20 minutes were really good and are the reason I give this movie a 7 instead of a 6.
  2. Dec 12, 2014
    10
    One of if not the best picture from a couple years ago. It's bigger, better, and more important than
    the massively over-rated "The Hurt Locker" with a far greater narrative drive, brilliant music score
    and much better photography. The true story of the biggest man hunt of our time as told here
    resonates in a powerful and disturbing way.
  3. Dec 1, 2014
    9
    It is one of the best films. The concept of the film is awesome, especially since it is based on realitate.Merita seen anyway. Very good movie about the army.
  4. Nov 21, 2014
    9
    A political thriller that outshines the impressive "Argo". Kathryn Bigelow shows us why she is one of the best working directors in the world. The tears in Maya's eyes at in the last sequence of the film are just so hunting. Great Performance by Jessica Chastain
  5. Nov 10, 2014
    8
    Flawed but fantastic, Zero Dark Thirty is intense and has a keen eye for detail and a very complex central character, brilliantly acfted by Jessica Chastain
  6. Sep 1, 2014
    10
    A film that every American owes their country to see. A rare look into the complexities of the military and a one-of-a-kind mission. Zero Dark Thirty is the best film of 2012 and along with it a stunning performance from Jessica Chastain.
  7. Jun 1, 2014
    8
    I originally gave this a 9. The movie has undeniably expert craftsmanship, is convincingly acted, especially on Chastain's part, and can be very tense. The dialogue is convincing nearly all of the time and a gritty, realistic texture permeates the whole movie. The reason I lowered my score however is that there are some very tedious sections towards the middle of the movie. Strangely,I originally gave this a 9. The movie has undeniably expert craftsmanship, is convincingly acted, especially on Chastain's part, and can be very tense. The dialogue is convincing nearly all of the time and a gritty, realistic texture permeates the whole movie. The reason I lowered my score however is that there are some very tedious sections towards the middle of the movie. Strangely, they aren't the office scenes that are boring, but some shady dealings, and a drawn out chase scene which ends without almost anything actually happening. Overall though, it's still a very exciting and engaging movie which I still highly recommend. It's also very thought provoking, and challenging at times. I have a feeling that my score will waver up and down for a while into the future. It's a very hard movie to critique. Expand
  8. May 4, 2014
    9
    So, I realise I'm late to the party in regards to this film but better late than never, right?

    On the surface of it, you can be forgiven for automatically comparing Zero Dark Thirty to Bigelow's other 'war' film, The Hurt Locker; you could be forgiven but you would be entirely wrong! The two films are completely different yet both are equally compelling, just for contrasting reasons.
    So, I realise I'm late to the party in regards to this film but better late than never, right?

    On the surface of it, you can be forgiven for automatically comparing Zero Dark Thirty to Bigelow's other 'war' film, The Hurt Locker; you could be forgiven but you would be entirely wrong! The two films are completely different yet both are equally compelling, just for contrasting reasons.

    The movie starts with audio only; calls between victims and the emergency services during the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. It's heartbreaking and horrifying without actually showing you anything. From here we jump two years and we are introduced to Jessica Chastain's character, Maya. Bigelow and writer, Mark Boal, give the audience a strong female character; a single minded woman who stops at nothing until she gets what she wants. Chastain's portrayal is a marvel; from her first 'interrogation' to the final moments, Maya's growth as a character, in strength and resolve, is utterly convincing. The only downside is that the audience never gets beneath the surface. Bigelow sacrifices who Maya is for what she does. However Jessica Chastain is so powerful in her role that the viewer will follow her story anyway without question.

    The death of Bin Laden is almost always told as the story of the brave men who stormed his compound, yet we don't get to meet this group until two hours into the film. This film isn't about these people, it's about what went on behind the scenes to allow such a mission to take place; the many layers of bureaucracy and years of research Maya and company endure just to get a meeting with the Director of the C.I.A (played by James Gandolfini).

    Some of the torture scenes make for uncomfortable viewing no matter what your opinion of it's usage. Bigelow pulls no punches in her direction and creates a visually beautiful film amid harsh environments. 
    The final half hour, the storming of Bin Laden's refuge which is shot almost in real time, is fascinating as the director switches between night vision goggles and the drab natural light of the compound, drawing the audience in and creating a tense final scene (despite the fact that we all know the ending of this story).
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  9. May 2, 2014
    8
    Good but not quite as good as The Hurt Locker. If the characters were more interesting I may have become more invested in the film's story but a very memorable and tense climax makes up for it.
  10. Apr 18, 2014
    9
    A really good true story that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Acting was incredible, Jessica Chastain deserved the Oscar for best actress in my opinion for this role but didn't end up getting it. Still a greatly acted movie. It ran long but there were just the right amount of action and drama mixed in to keep you into it for the whole time.
  11. Mar 8, 2014
    8
    Jessica Chastain's character development was great, but what about the other characters? Hmm... However, set aside that fact, and we have a realistic, intelligent and by the end, suspenseful movie.
  12. Jan 16, 2014
    9
    Flawed but fantastic, Zero Dark Thirty is intense and has a keen eye for detail and a very complex central character, brilliantly acfted by Jessica Chastain.
  13. Jan 3, 2014
    8
    You would expect a movie about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden to have a blockbuster director and an ensemble cast. Zero Dark Thirty does not have either of those things. It has a few big names James Gandolfini, Mark Strong, Jessica Chastain but no one hugely popular. The director was completely unknown to me before watching this. After watching this I might check out some of her other moviesYou would expect a movie about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden to have a blockbuster director and an ensemble cast. Zero Dark Thirty does not have either of those things. It has a few big names James Gandolfini, Mark Strong, Jessica Chastain but no one hugely popular. The director was completely unknown to me before watching this. After watching this I might check out some of her other movies (The Hurt Locker). Because Zero Dark Thirty is amazing.
    Every single cast member is Oscar worthy, even the actor playing Osama Bin Laden's dead corpse (who has a huge nose). Mark Strong is particularly awesome and should have got some more recognition for this performance, despite only having about 20 minutes of screen time.
    The story while staying true to life, is exciting and never predictable. Alexandre Desplat's moving score perfectly fits the mood of every scene and may even have the power to make you cry. Lets just say that everything besides the dragged out runtime is perfect.
    I highly recommend Zero Dark Thirty to everyone except people who get bored easily.
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  14. Dec 28, 2013
    10
    Zero Dark Thirty is an incredible achievement, and in my mind candidate for best film made so far this decade. It has brought about an important debate, but more significantly it covers ten years of the war on terror in prime fashion. Chastain's Maya, a breathtaking performance of sheer will and determination, is one of the best of modern film acting male or female. Bigelow plays for highZero Dark Thirty is an incredible achievement, and in my mind candidate for best film made so far this decade. It has brought about an important debate, but more significantly it covers ten years of the war on terror in prime fashion. Chastain's Maya, a breathtaking performance of sheer will and determination, is one of the best of modern film acting male or female. Bigelow plays for high realism but she also knows how to create great drama by stretching but never breaking those confines. Every scene belongs for a purpose and never does it feel like one is missing; that in itself is an incredible achievement. Credit her direction, the cast, and the great script by Mark Boal. Expand
  15. Nov 28, 2013
    7
    A film that benefits from a well discussed and important event in the 21st century, but seems to be over-exaggerated due to Bigelow's early acclaim of 'Hurt Locker'. Jessica Chastain has a pragmatic eloquence in her role, that rarely a thriller possesses, and her humanity and normality is shown towards the end, but I will not spoil it. 'Zero Dark Thirty' is more pensive than mostA film that benefits from a well discussed and important event in the 21st century, but seems to be over-exaggerated due to Bigelow's early acclaim of 'Hurt Locker'. Jessica Chastain has a pragmatic eloquence in her role, that rarely a thriller possesses, and her humanity and normality is shown towards the end, but I will not spoil it. 'Zero Dark Thirty' is more pensive than most modern-day war thrillers, but, like most, suffer from clichéd emotions and lack of true understanding from most of the chatracters. Expand
  16. Nov 17, 2013
    9
    Zero Dark Thirty, for the most part, is riveting, engaging, and ultimately satisfying, as it accurately portrays the hunt for Bin Laden. Great acting by Chastain. What would've made it even better is further editing and further character development.
  17. Aug 29, 2013
    10
    Incredibly gripping. The movie perfectly shows how hard can a job at CIA be. Its truly one of those true-story movies that are worth watching. It doesnt focus so much on action, but rather on interesting dialogue. Im dont usually like when people talk for the most part of the movie but Zero Dark Thirty just did it right.
  18. Jul 10, 2013
    9
    "Zero Dark Thirty" lies between art and entertainment, realism and spectacle, effectively intertwining journalism and drama--resulting in a riveting film with provocative deliberations with reflection. As a cinematic experience, the film can be an undoubtedly punishing experience at times, given that U.S.-sanctioned torture figures prominently here, and has been flirting with controversy"Zero Dark Thirty" lies between art and entertainment, realism and spectacle, effectively intertwining journalism and drama--resulting in a riveting film with provocative deliberations with reflection. As a cinematic experience, the film can be an undoubtedly punishing experience at times, given that U.S.-sanctioned torture figures prominently here, and has been flirting with controversy even before the film’s release. “Zero Dark Thirty” reunites the Oscar winning team of director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer/producer Mark Boal “The Hurt Locker” (2008) for the story of history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man.

    Maya (Jessica Chastain) is a CIA operative and her only objective is the unrelenting pursuit of leads to uncover the whereabouts of Al Qaeda's leader, Osama Bin Laden. Maya is a lone wolf-- a CIA agent who sticks to her convictions that bin Laden is not hiding out in caves in Afghanistan, but is likely living in relatively open sight. Based on true events, and from firsthand accounts by the CIA agents involved, the movie sets itself up very much like a docudrama. Characterization is passed over and the viewer forced to merely follow along procedurally with the characters; namely, Jessica Chastain's Maya. She is the anchor of the entire film, the one person you are given to carry you through the story, but if you are looking for a background on her you won’t find it here. There are no secondary storylines here, this is strictly how Maya and her colleagues working tirelessly and continuously to find Osama Bin Laden.

    We watch her evolution from that first torture scene, from a smart-suited observer and wet around the ears, to several years later into her tenure in Pakistan, where she now leads the interrogation and taps a strong-arm to do the punching for her.
    The movie turns into the ultimate procedural, in which computer work, matching photographs, and one seeming irrelevancy after another in an old interrogation video lead Maya to a man known as Abu Ahmed, who, at regular intervals, drives a white S.U.V. from Peshawar to a house in Abbottabad. It's takes an half an hour before we first hear a name we recognize, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, the trusted bin Laden courier who will eventually lead the CIA to their mark. Though at this point in the film, victory is still years away. Over the course of a decade, Maya finds promising leads that turn into dead ends, and then unpromising little tidbits that turn into even better leads. It’s imprecise work that requires meticulous attention to detail and not much of a private life.

    Progress is slow in "Zero Dark Thirty,” but the flow of information is fast and continuous, and the movie doesn't wait for you to catch up. There are more than 100 speaking parts--fellow analysts, CIA chiefs, national security advisers, and SEAL team members, many of them played by familiar faces. Characters enter for a scene or two, and just as quickly disappearing--sometimes before we have had a chance to register who they really are. Sometimes Bigelow don't even tell us the names, because she puts enough trust in the audience to assume we'll have a working knowledge of who the major players are. The coldness in tone changes drastically during the final act, when Bin Laden's compound is breached. Suddenly a wealth of emotions hits you, your gaze is unwavering, and the suspense is overwhelming. Even knowing how the story ends, it doesn't change the immense power of the final minutes.

    “Zero Dark Thirty” is a film that most Americans will no doubt embrace their patriotism enthusiastically, while others might have misgivings about the use of torture on detainees. But the film's depiction of such torture doesn't condone it; it's a record of it, as part of the narrative jigsaw drawn from those who were involved.
    Jessica Chastain delivers an Oscar worthy performance-powerfully and defiantly standing own her own, and never backing down despite years of exasperating obstacles. An absorbing richly textured portrayal of a dark, pivotal chapter in American history that forever changed our lives.
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  19. Jun 20, 2013
    10
    The best movie of the year, Zero Dark Thirty flawlessly builds up the tension until the grand finale. Bigelow's directing creates a film with grand scale while also paying attention to details. Former journalist Mark Boal once again writes an airtight screenplay that intelligently tells this important story. The raid scene was brilliantly done with no music behind the images and theThe best movie of the year, Zero Dark Thirty flawlessly builds up the tension until the grand finale. Bigelow's directing creates a film with grand scale while also paying attention to details. Former journalist Mark Boal once again writes an airtight screenplay that intelligently tells this important story. The raid scene was brilliantly done with no music behind the images and the night vision shooting, this helped me be immersed in the movie and feel like I was there. This film also has stirred up controversy and sparked heated debates, which is a feature of great movies most of the time. Great movies cause us to question our worldview, which is precisely what Zero Dark Thirty does. Expand
  20. Jun 7, 2013
    8
    If you're expecting a no holds barred action thriller then you will hate this. I was surprised by this movie. I felt empty after watching it. I felt sad for our culture. I felt sad for the current state of the world. It's a cautionary tale. The brilliance of Bigelow is that with this film and with Hurt Locker she sends her message in a bottle to us in the form of the military andIf you're expecting a no holds barred action thriller then you will hate this. I was surprised by this movie. I felt empty after watching it. I felt sad for our culture. I felt sad for the current state of the world. It's a cautionary tale. The brilliance of Bigelow is that with this film and with Hurt Locker she sends her message in a bottle to us in the form of the military and patriotism. Her messages fly right over people's heads, the very people she is critiquing. If you "get" this movie, you aren't clapping because Bin Laden gets axed, you are clapping because someone finally pointed out how crazy our world is. Expand
  21. May 25, 2013
    10
    Precise, flawless and one of the best films of the 2012. The second consecutive masterpiece of Ms. Bigelow and Mr. Boal after "The Hurt Locker". It's a great achievement in directing, acting, script and editing.
    "Ms. Bigelow's direction here is unexpectedly stunning, at once bold and intimate: she has a genius for infusing even large-scale action set pieces with the human element."
    Precise, flawless and one of the best films of the 2012. The second consecutive masterpiece of Ms. Bigelow and Mr. Boal after "The Hurt Locker". It's a great achievement in directing, acting, script and editing.
    "Ms. Bigelow's direction here is unexpectedly stunning, at once bold and intimate: she has a genius for infusing even large-scale action set pieces with the human element." Manhola Dargis, The New York Times.
    "As a moral statement, Zero Dark Thirty is borderline fascistic. As a piece of cinema, it's phenomenally gripping an unholy masterwork." David Edelstein, New York Magazine (Vulture)
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  22. May 21, 2013
    9
    I thought this was one of the best films of the year. It was visually pleasing, had a great story line, had a great actress, and really informed you on what actually happened in the finding of Osama Bin Laden. Movies that make you feel emotion are good. This movie made me feel pissed about the people who did nothing. This is why it was a great movie. I gave it a 9/10 because it was not theI thought this was one of the best films of the year. It was visually pleasing, had a great story line, had a great actress, and really informed you on what actually happened in the finding of Osama Bin Laden. Movies that make you feel emotion are good. This movie made me feel pissed about the people who did nothing. This is why it was a great movie. I gave it a 9/10 because it was not the best of the year. Expand
  23. May 16, 2013
    7
    i don't understand why this is a critically acclaimed movie because it has no quality to be in a Hollywood movie and i know it showed a first hand information but it could be a documentary for all i care.
    a boring two and a half hours that i couldn't wait so i can see the end it has no action no thriller no stand out performances well there is one when maya snapped but that's it
    i don't understand why this is a critically acclaimed movie because it has no quality to be in a Hollywood movie and i know it showed a first hand information but it could be a documentary for all i care.
    a boring two and a half hours that i couldn't wait so i can see the end it has no action no thriller no stand out performances well there is one when maya snapped but that's it literally.
    they kept saying the wolf and the wolf and i was anticipating this person so much until he showed up praying in his office not even able to pronounce the most important three lines in Islam i mean if you gonna choose someone to play that role please don't choose him based on his look rather than his pronunciation to Arabic letters and it's really ironic that they tried so hard to show maya as a tough CIA agent who really wanna get to the bottom of it but the fact that she wasn't able to fill her role.
    the only thing positive about this movie is your anticipation to see the end that's it.
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  24. May 8, 2013
    8
    That way the Bigelow directing this film, cold, ruthless; the script and the way that was born you absorbed in this terrorist puzzle that love and admired. and check that Argo beside Zero Dark Thirty is a kids film.
  25. Apr 28, 2013
    8
    I loved seeing all the work it took to get Bin Laden. This is a really good movie not a great one. Some moments in this film are very exciting, especially the last 30 minutes when you know what's coming.
  26. Apr 27, 2013
    10
    Zero Dark Thirty is a perfect film a movie that reflects America's patriotism and faith in a woman wanting to capture the most wanted man in the world dotod is a movie full of action drama and a magnificent Final voltage Jessica Chastain this spectacular
  27. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    intense movie comes final conclusion of iraq freedom. this good movie can be slow but last 30 minutes of are epic. this movie is pretty good and story pretty good
  28. Apr 21, 2013
    8
    To all the 'professional critics who gave this movie a 10; have you seen Apocalypse Now or Deer Hunter or Full Metal Jacket or Platoon? If you are making a war movie those are the bench marks, so with that in mind an 8 is generous for ZDT, which is really just a patriotic action movie. Still it is immeasurably better than Argo, which inexplicably won Best Picture, but i suppose there isTo all the 'professional critics who gave this movie a 10; have you seen Apocalypse Now or Deer Hunter or Full Metal Jacket or Platoon? If you are making a war movie those are the bench marks, so with that in mind an 8 is generous for ZDT, which is really just a patriotic action movie. Still it is immeasurably better than Argo, which inexplicably won Best Picture, but i suppose there is poetic justice in that since Hurt Locker robbed Avatar (karma). I have a sneaking suspicion if Bigelow had a penis ZDT would have lower scores from female critics (whole generally seem to dislike war movies as violence glorifying patriarchal war propaganda. maybe that crap is ok when practiced by 'wymin'.) If you see this movie expecting a 10 you will be disappointed, but if you go in anticipating a good action movie ZDT won't let you down. Expand
  29. Apr 20, 2013
    8
    It's tough to make a movie where everybody knows what will happen since it's a historic event, but Bigelow did a fantastic job in my mind doing so. Jessica Chastain was fantastic in the lead role and all the of the other actors did a great job too. It's a little long, but it has enough to keep you interested in it. Good movie.
  30. Apr 20, 2013
    9
    Nice The movie was so nice and good. I love it.
  31. Apr 6, 2013
    10
    Having now watched ZDT twice my appreciation has increased. It's really quite masterful as a work of film making, maybe the best of 2012. But it's not an easy film to watch for those expecting hyper action or in your face acting. Jessica Chastain was expertly cast as an obsessive agent who spent years trying to discover the whereabouts of UBL. While the torture scenes were tough to watchHaving now watched ZDT twice my appreciation has increased. It's really quite masterful as a work of film making, maybe the best of 2012. But it's not an easy film to watch for those expecting hyper action or in your face acting. Jessica Chastain was expertly cast as an obsessive agent who spent years trying to discover the whereabouts of UBL. While the torture scenes were tough to watch I never felt the film glorified it as a means of extracting info. The slow build up to the raid was perfectly timed. And even a second time around the final compound scenes were thrilling. No wonder it was bestowed with Oscar nominations. Expand
  32. Apr 6, 2013
    8
    A fantastic and compelling performance by Jessica Chastain is guided by the equally impressive job of directing by Bigelow. Intensely done with such poise. This unraveling story comes together in a provocative but real way.
  33. Mar 24, 2013
    9
    Very good. Picking ARGO over this film for Best of the Year is like picking a butter knife over a gleaming Bowie's blade: if all you want to do is spread butter, both will work, but don't insult our intellects by saying the butter knife is better in any way except it's SAFER.
  34. Mar 21, 2013
    9
    Saw this movie for the first time just a couple of days ago. After hearing about it for so long, I expected a lot and it delivered. It's one of the best portrayals of the manhunt to find and kill OBL that I've seen. Not long ago, I saw a report on In Focus Martin Sheen about the SEAL museum and I gained a real respect for what these guys do... Zero Dark Thirty enhanced that even more.
  35. MHD
    Mar 16, 2013
    8
    One Of The Best Movies This Year Kathryn is An Amazing Director Well acting Specialy Jessica Chastain Who Give The Best Performamce This Year
  36. Mar 13, 2013
    8
    A tit-for-tat vengeance it ostensibly acclaims, ZERO DARK THIRTY is a gritty, hard-boiled account of our anti-heroine Maya’s relentless pursuit of Usama Bin Laden, and the most precious calibre of Kathryn Bigelow’s latest film (after her precedent Oscar champion THE HURT LOCKER 2008, 8/10) is it soberly obviates any hyperbole which is attendant with its sensational thematic source.

    The
    A tit-for-tat vengeance it ostensibly acclaims, ZERO DARK THIRTY is a gritty, hard-boiled account of our anti-heroine Maya’s relentless pursuit of Usama Bin Laden, and the most precious calibre of Kathryn Bigelow’s latest film (after her precedent Oscar champion THE HURT LOCKER 2008, 8/10) is it soberly obviates any hyperbole which is attendant with its sensational thematic source.

    The film centers closely on Maya’s perspective (excludes the last 30-minutes of re-enactment of the actual raid), the camera prowls around her, sifts meticulously her reflexes towards the mires she is engulfed with, meanwhile, Kathryn adopts a much daring path to categorically circumvents Maya’s personal life and background foils, which inevitably will cause some unbecoming distance towards its core audience, but it does enhance a tincture of ceremonial sacrifice in her devotion, a fatalism glory in her trials and tribulations which can empathize in any other individual’s own track of life.

    Standing firmly as an apolitical film fanatic, I could stay unruffled with its vexing “torture” controversy because as it is mentioned in the film, “it is just biology”, the truth lies unscathed here and there no matter how we try to whitewash it, and it is extremely feasible to exert the extreme action under the extreme circumstances, the film really has some guts in not hedge the issue and instead, it emboldens us to question ourselves to face the darkest side of our humanity, Maya’s gradual stolidness towards torture could be applied to anyone if facing a similar situation (there are profuse nefarious activities happening everyday everywhere). So a film should not be punished to reveal the inconvenient truth” which slams the hypocrisy of the ruling class, it is foreseeable that not everyone would be happy with the film, but what is the most quintessential conviction is that this sort of film should own its voice and place in the market and earn its appeal.

    Kathryn recruited most of her THE HURT LOCKER crew in this film, so the dusty texture, erratic camerawork, superb sound effect and visual blast are viscerally cogent. Jessica Chastain, whose excellency I may not repeat here, but her flair of arresting attention is inscrutably immense, even as plain as simple contemplation, she would blow you away. Her illustrious future is clearly beckoning and Meryl Streep can feel a sense of relief since finally there is someone who can suit her shoes, interestingly, it is the very much underused and under-appreciated actress Jennifer Ehle who resembles a staggering young Meryl Streep countenance in the film, and among a dozen of male ancillary roles, Jason Clarke should be honorably mentioned albeit his screen-time diminution in the latter half of the film does leave his Oscar-chance awry.

    The film altogether is more like a phlegmatic rumination of a persistence of what we believe than a panegyric for unsung heroes, it establishes its unyielding stance out of a presumed HOMELAND-esque political thriller pattern, personally it is that kind of film I admire more than I enjoy, and Ms. Bigelow and the screenwriter Mark Boal are the unsung heroes here.
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  37. Mar 8, 2013
    10
    Like Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln, Jessica Chastain was perfect in this film. I was 13 years old when September 11th happened, It was my first glimpse of hatred in this world. For many kids my age we felt our innocence taken away from us on that day. "Who would do such a thing to our country and why?" Was a thought i wrestled with for weeks. For me, Zero Dark Thirty was an insight into theLike Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln, Jessica Chastain was perfect in this film. I was 13 years old when September 11th happened, It was my first glimpse of hatred in this world. For many kids my age we felt our innocence taken away from us on that day. "Who would do such a thing to our country and why?" Was a thought i wrestled with for weeks. For me, Zero Dark Thirty was an insight into the situation that left many of us feeling helpless. The torture in this film brought some controversy to it, Is it saying torture helped? I don't think so. I think that part of the film was used to show the tenderness of Chastain's character. A strong woman living in a world dominated by violence and men. In the end, it was Chastain's never quite attitude and determination to find Americas number one enemy that prevailed. The Raid was very effective. I remember being so into it as if we were really watching OBL coming to his end. Powerful Film. Expand
  38. Mar 3, 2013
    7
    It wasn't near as good as critics say it is. The only reason it got such high ratings is because of it's subject matter. I'm not saying it wasn't good. It was pretty good but not great. The only exciting part was the last 30 minutes of it though. I would never want to watch it again.
  39. Mar 2, 2013
    10
    A film 10 years in the making had better be good, a concept I held with John Carter, a film 100 years in the making. Unfortunately John Carter was horrendous and let down its literary background. Zero Dark Thirty doesn't have the luxury of being a fictional story or being a story so old its original fans grand kids are in their sixties. It pretty much had to be excellent, didn't it? TheA film 10 years in the making had better be good, a concept I held with John Carter, a film 100 years in the making. Unfortunately John Carter was horrendous and let down its literary background. Zero Dark Thirty doesn't have the luxury of being a fictional story or being a story so old its original fans grand kids are in their sixties. It pretty much had to be excellent, didn't it? The film follows CIA analyst Maya (Jessica Chastain) in her search for Osama Bin Laden following 9/11. The film spans a decade in the search through two administrations, torture, tragedy and heartbreak. The answer to that question by the way is unequivocally yes. Zero Dark Thirty is a taut clever thriller with a devastating lead performance by Chastain. The film not only follows the hunt for Bin Laden but it also tells the tale of a woman so hell bent on one goal that it slowly but surely breaks her down. It's not just a search for justice, justice found through dubious means for that matter, but a film that looks at the psychological toll a search like this can have on those conducting it. It's a movie I found myself very involved in, a film which makes you want to yell at the screen (you will know what scene) and a film that will leave you gratified but also a little bit fried, which I can only imagine was the point, for the viewer to feel like Maya. Screenwriter Mark Boal and Director Katheryn Bigelow have created a unique thriller that is extremely guarded and insular while never lacking in substance. The cast is excellent with Chastain giving a career high performance. However she is also supported by other actors bringing their A game from Jennifer Ehle to Jason Clarke. Ehle plays well opposite Chastain as a straight laced analyst whose nativity doesn't really suit her job. Clarke is the most interesting character in the film, a very closed off torturer who begins to tire of the constant brutality. The characters are beautifully written and equally well acted. The direction ensures the tension never really stops throughout the film and it keeps your interest throughout making for an exceptional viewing experience. A worthy follow up to The Hurt Locker and worthy of all the Oscar praise it is receiving. Expand
  40. Mar 1, 2013
    9
    The only people offended by this movie would be those who were part of Al Quada and were greatly affected by the death of their comrade, Osama Bin Laden. I can't tell you how many times I fantasized about the main character in the film. But its overall a good movie but there is not much action its mostly storytelling until the last 20-30 mins. of the film. But its definitely worth a watch.
  41. Feb 18, 2013
    9
    I've been complaining about the lack of the ultimate movie about the 9/11 for quite a long time. I don't complain anymore, the tragic event finally has its masterpiece.
  42. Feb 18, 2013
    10
    Why are there bad reviews? THE MOVIE IS AWESOME, by far the best movie of 2012. It makes the Dark Knight Rises look like Garbage for little Kids.
  43. Feb 17, 2013
    8
    I have to admit I didn't like Bigelows last The Hurt Locker and because of that it wasn't my intention to see this movie. Another reason for me to "boycott" Zero Dark Thirty was because I have seen Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt in the trailer but somehow I persuaded myself to go to the theatre. But this time Bigelows directing just improved. Jessica Chastain as the lead acted really goodI have to admit I didn't like Bigelows last The Hurt Locker and because of that it wasn't my intention to see this movie. Another reason for me to "boycott" Zero Dark Thirty was because I have seen Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt in the trailer but somehow I persuaded myself to go to the theatre. But this time Bigelows directing just improved. Jessica Chastain as the lead acted really good as she did before in The Tree of Life or The Help and the other actors did good as well. Mark Boals script also kept the audience interested and the sound in the theatre was amazing. I really felt like being there. But after I went out of the theatre I only got one question on my mind why did the academy snubbed Kathryn Bigelow when even someone like David O. Russel got nominated? Expand
  44. Feb 16, 2013
    10
    Zero dark thirty was a great experience for me, I really liked Joel's acting in the film. Even though the film is about the greatest manhunt in history which some people will thing is boring) the film has good pace, it picks up fast and it's a thriller documentary which leaves you hanging. From the exotic places to the nutty warfares, Zero Dark Thirty is a 10/10 movie for me.
  45. Feb 16, 2013
    9
    Zero Dark Thirty is one of those rarer than rare films that challenges its audience while entertaining it. While thrilling in its execution the assault on bin Laden's compound is unforgettably suspenseful and exciting it's disturbing in its depiction of "harsh interrogation", and demands of us that we answer: we tortured to get our enemy; does justice prime morality? Was it worth it?Zero Dark Thirty is one of those rarer than rare films that challenges its audience while entertaining it. While thrilling in its execution the assault on bin Laden's compound is unforgettably suspenseful and exciting it's disturbing in its depiction of "harsh interrogation", and demands of us that we answer: we tortured to get our enemy; does justice prime morality? Was it worth it? Must hail Jessica Chastain, who deserves the Oscar in a very strong field. A brilliant and unique film. Expand
  46. Feb 14, 2013
    8
    This movie excels in a few areas but falls short in others. I was pleasantly surprised to see Kathryn Bigelow direct another movie after the above average (not amazing) Hurt Locker. Though she didn't tread far from her foundation of a military setting. The story of Bin Laden's hunt was well laid out and relatively easy to follow. I was also glad to see that the movie paced itself very wellThis movie excels in a few areas but falls short in others. I was pleasantly surprised to see Kathryn Bigelow direct another movie after the above average (not amazing) Hurt Locker. Though she didn't tread far from her foundation of a military setting. The story of Bin Laden's hunt was well laid out and relatively easy to follow. I was also glad to see that the movie paced itself very well apart from the Hurt Locker where you start with a bang and are waiting 45 minutes for more action. You get spurts of action/interrogations that shed light on what our government has been doing behind closed doors that eventually lead up to the 20-30 minute raid on the compound. However I felt no suspense in a movie that tried so hard to do so. Many scenes that dealt with the protagonist being shot at or blasted by a bomb left no impact on the story or characters, they were just loud scenes thrown in to make sure you weren't falling asleep half way through the movie. And the end scene was just watchable, it had no suspense, you just watched it like the rest of the movie. The acting was average (probably not their fault just the material) with exception to the main protagonist. The end scene though was well worth the price of admissions. The level of accuracy with how a special forces team would handle that op is unparalleled. Everything from the tactics, to formations, and gear was spot on: as well as the sound effects of the breaching charges and suppressed weapons. All in all this movie isn't a flop. It's well written, properly paced, and is mature with the material and how it is presented. If your looking for an action movie this isn't it, and if you don't have the patience to sit through extended dialogue scenes then you will not enjoy this movie. Expand
  47. Feb 13, 2013
    10
    Gritty stuff. Facts aside, you couldn't pen a script that seethes as much as the true story behind the hunt for Bin Laden. Weaved together are historical boiling points from around the globe that lead to the climactic crescendo of how the went down. The frame of the puzzle is laid in the first half of the film, then as the connections are made the tension builds to whistle-boilingGritty stuff. Facts aside, you couldn't pen a script that seethes as much as the true story behind the hunt for Bin Laden. Weaved together are historical boiling points from around the globe that lead to the climactic crescendo of how the went down. The frame of the puzzle is laid in the first half of the film, then as the connections are made the tension builds to whistle-boiling intensity as the final act begins. You don't need to be an American to realise the impact of the actions contained in the storyline, the direction from Bigelow and the admirable tenacity given over by Chastain grab your attention and build the wholly thrilling journey to an applaud worthy crescendo. Movie of the year! Expand
  48. Feb 10, 2013
    9
    I really am having trouble understanding the lack of love for this film. I tend to be on the same wavelength when there's such a discrepancy between critical and public opinion of a film or game, but I'm baffled this time. The acting is quite solid. Apart from a convincing performance from Jason Clarke as an alternately brutal and casual CIA agent and an unbelievably affecting andI really am having trouble understanding the lack of love for this film. I tend to be on the same wavelength when there's such a discrepancy between critical and public opinion of a film or game, but I'm baffled this time. The acting is quite solid. Apart from a convincing performance from Jason Clarke as an alternately brutal and casual CIA agent and an unbelievably affecting and believable performance from Reda Kateb as captive/torture-victim Ammar, I don't think that anyone deserved any awards because there have been several tour de force films recently released that can't be ignored, but I wouldn't criticise any of the performances of any of the actors at all.

    For the most part I found the story compelling and tense. We can debate the accuracy of the plot until the cows come home, but at the end of the day there are few that can conclusively say what did and what didn't happen. At any rate, I wasn't watching this under the pretence that it was the gospel according to Kathryn Bigelow, I was watching it because I wanted to see an action/thriller about a series of pivotal events that I happen to have been alive for. Yes there are parts where dramatic license is apparent, but find me a film where that isn't the case. All that aside, from what I've read, the final assault on the compound is portrayed very very closely to how it actually went down, which is a detail that I greatly appreciated.

    But at the end of the day, the thing that really makes this movie shine is the direction. Finding a single man in Pakistan is like finding a needle in a haystack, especially if he doesn't wish to be found. Bigelow managed to make 5 years of exactly this into a rather tense experience. From innocuous conversations interrupted by terrorist bombings, to the fevered search for a single man on a cell-phone amongst a market full of men on cell-phones, to the is-he-or-isn't-he-a-threat suspicion of every contact they meet, the film is handled with great talent. I'm not intending to be sexist, but it's not often you see a female director take hold of such a film and pull it off in such a mature and deft way. And lastly, the final assault on the compound is filmed in realistic darkness and completely without music. The scene lasts almost exactly as long as the real-life event, and there are some striking and chilling shots of soldiers befitted with night vision skulking in the darkness. To repeat myself, I can't understand the discrepancies between public and critical opinion this time round, and I think that this film deserves much more respect that it's getting.
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  49. Feb 10, 2013
    7
    We can safely say this movie was a bit rushed, and it appears to be more of a struggle in approach between fictional re-imagining and borderline documentary. Regardless, this is a gripping tale of America's not-so-finest doing whatever it takes to find justice. I found myself gripped from start to finish, having not felt the effects of the stiched-together plot line, but rather watchingWe can safely say this movie was a bit rushed, and it appears to be more of a struggle in approach between fictional re-imagining and borderline documentary. Regardless, this is a gripping tale of America's not-so-finest doing whatever it takes to find justice. I found myself gripped from start to finish, having not felt the effects of the stiched-together plot line, but rather watching some great performances in an interesting setting. Expand
  50. Feb 10, 2013
    7
    An above average movie made into a masterpiece by the critical reaction.
    It has superb directing, good acting and pace. But it also treats torture in such a ingenious way that it may sound like propaganda.
    A flawed plot so ignored by well-made torture scenes is what makes Zero Dark Thirty a overrated shallow movie.
  51. Feb 3, 2013
    10
    Great CIA movie with a few amazing action scenes. The fact that it actually happened makes it even more worthwhile! I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone!
  52. Feb 3, 2013
    9
    One of the best films I have seen for a while. Although running time is long, I was engaged throughout and wanted to see more. Kathryn Bigelow provides a gripping account of the events between 9/11 and Bin Laden being killed which proves to be a fascinating story. Jessica Chastain puts in a brilliant performance, although I didn't expect anything less. Top stuff.
  53. Feb 2, 2013
    7
    The movie is solid and good watch. I give it a 7 mainly because we already know essentially what went down that night, we know the ending, we know the basic plot, etc so there really isn't much suspense... The movie is also pretty slow paced and I think cutting out 20 minutes wouldn't have taken much away. Otherwise there's not too much to complain about. But it is definitely not the bestThe movie is solid and good watch. I give it a 7 mainly because we already know essentially what went down that night, we know the ending, we know the basic plot, etc so there really isn't much suspense... The movie is also pretty slow paced and I think cutting out 20 minutes wouldn't have taken much away. Otherwise there's not too much to complain about. But it is definitely not the best movie out in the last couple years as the critic scores would make you believe (95? really?). Expand
  54. Feb 1, 2013
    8
    Zero Dark Thirty was not the movie I expected. I went in expecting more of an international thriller involving the capture of Osama Bin Laden but the movie has much more of a crime drama feel to it. It's very slow and has almost no action whatsoever. That's not necessarily a bad thing it's just not what I expected based on the trailers for the film. I will also say this: The critics haveZero Dark Thirty was not the movie I expected. I went in expecting more of an international thriller involving the capture of Osama Bin Laden but the movie has much more of a crime drama feel to it. It's very slow and has almost no action whatsoever. That's not necessarily a bad thing it's just not what I expected based on the trailers for the film. I will also say this: The critics have highly overrated this film. Now don't get me wrong, I do not mean to make this review sound negative because I thought it was a really well made movie. The acting, especially by Jessica Chastain was superb. She's truly one of the best female actresses out there and I expect her to have many more leading roles in the near future. I also thought that the way the movie focused on her struggles to fight for her stance was well done. Lastly, I loved how the film ignored any political bias whatsoever. I was worried that there would be a slight liberal slant in the film and I didn't think there was any. With the way media is today, that was refreshing. The only negatives I had were that the ending wasn't done as well as it could've been and didn't feel like it fit with the tone of the movie. Also, the director decided to break up the movie into chapters for some reason and that was a terrible decision. The film flowed just fine without it but that added an episodic element that made a long movie feel even longer. Nonetheless, it was a good movie that was enjoyable, albeit long, to watch. Expand
  55. Feb 1, 2013
    10
    The best performance of the year (Jessica Chastain) in the best movie of the year. The narrative in the beginning is, however, sort of stiff. But in this case, it is actually in favor of the movie, catching the frustration and length of the hunt for bin laden. And I thing Kathryn Bigalow does a great job by not judging the torture scenes, leaving the viewer to decide on his own whetherThe best performance of the year (Jessica Chastain) in the best movie of the year. The narrative in the beginning is, however, sort of stiff. But in this case, it is actually in favor of the movie, catching the frustration and length of the hunt for bin laden. And I thing Kathryn Bigalow does a great job by not judging the torture scenes, leaving the viewer to decide on his own whether this is justified. The final scene is just terrifically staged, a haunting sequence, even as we know the outcome. A must see. Expand
  56. BKM
    Jan 30, 2013
    9
    Zero Dark Thirty spans 10 years and two presidential administrations in its depiction of the hunt for 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. Naturally there's a lot of material to cover and a single viewing probably can't put everything into the proper perspective. Still, Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Marc Boal keep things moving along at a fluid pace and the tension is never less thanZero Dark Thirty spans 10 years and two presidential administrations in its depiction of the hunt for 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. Naturally there's a lot of material to cover and a single viewing probably can't put everything into the proper perspective. Still, Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Marc Boal keep things moving along at a fluid pace and the tension is never less than palpable despite the fact that we know how it's going to end. Jessica Chastain is superb as the agent who devotes herself unfailingly to the elimination of bin Laden, only to be left with the realization that the price may have been her own humanity. Expand
  57. Jan 27, 2013
    9
    Amazingly made film! Kathryn Bigelow's direction is technically perfect, and Mark Boal matched this with a honest, and very realistic screenplay. Jessica Chastain is perfect at playing a passionate and frustrated officer, in fact there isn't a bad acting performance in the whole film. The only downside.... the ending, we didn't need the last 5 minutes, but I can forgive for this. TheAmazingly made film! Kathryn Bigelow's direction is technically perfect, and Mark Boal matched this with a honest, and very realistic screenplay. Jessica Chastain is perfect at playing a passionate and frustrated officer, in fact there isn't a bad acting performance in the whole film. The only downside.... the ending, we didn't need the last 5 minutes, but I can forgive for this. The quality of the film is of the highest standard! A must see film. Expand
  58. Jan 27, 2013
    9
    Great film. Beautifully shot and compelling throughout, despite the fact that the bulk of the action is confined to the final act. The performances were great, especially Chastain as Maya. I did not get the impression that the film was promoting any particular viewpoint, but instead presented information and allowed the viewer to draw his or her own conclusions. There seem to be a lot ofGreat film. Beautifully shot and compelling throughout, despite the fact that the bulk of the action is confined to the final act. The performances were great, especially Chastain as Maya. I did not get the impression that the film was promoting any particular viewpoint, but instead presented information and allowed the viewer to draw his or her own conclusions. There seem to be a lot of reviewers who made up their minds that they would hate this for one reason or another before even seeing it. That's too bad. Unfortunately many of these people saw fit to publish their biased and uninformed positions in this forum. I would urge you to ignore them and see the film for yourself. Expand
  59. Jan 25, 2013
    7
    Zero Dark Thirty is a film I'd still call important for its deep depiction of one of the largest manhunts in history, yet to call it a masterwork or even hold it up on a pedestal as one of the greatest espionage films of all time is strictly an overstatement. The film is tricky, informative, and occasionally entertaining, yet it's heavy, meandering, and shortchanging in the regards ofZero Dark Thirty is a film I'd still call important for its deep depiction of one of the largest manhunts in history, yet to call it a masterwork or even hold it up on a pedestal as one of the greatest espionage films of all time is strictly an overstatement. The film is tricky, informative, and occasionally entertaining, yet it's heavy, meandering, and shortchanging in the regards of characters. This can become a difficult thing to tolerate when the whole film is watching characters interact with others when morally just decisions are on the line or soon being proposed. Expand
  60. Jan 24, 2013
    10
    Zero Dark Thirty is a masterful work of filmmaking that demonstrates the painful and long journey of one of the greatest manhunts in history. Osama bin Laden orchestrated the attack at the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001 and killed around 3,000 civilians and we hunted him for the next 10 years. Kathryn Bigelow has directed a thrilling and exciting epic that gives us trueZero Dark Thirty is a masterful work of filmmaking that demonstrates the painful and long journey of one of the greatest manhunts in history. Osama bin Laden orchestrated the attack at the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001 and killed around 3,000 civilians and we hunted him for the next 10 years. Kathryn Bigelow has directed a thrilling and exciting epic that gives us true people in a true situation as they try to hunt down possibly the most wanted enemy our country has ever seen. As I watched this movie I felt a certain tension inside me, I mean if you have ever watched the news before we all know they succeed in their mission, but it Expand
  61. Jan 23, 2013
    9
    An intense adult drama from beginning to end. If you prefer action over dialogue, don't worry because Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and Willis all have movies currently in theaters or coming soon for you to waste your money on instead.
  62. Jan 22, 2013
    10
    Technically sound, meticulous, and gripping. I suppose I can understand people's complaints about the rather slow feel of the film, but I believe that was the intent. Bigelow set out to not only make a film about the hunt for Bin Laden, but to create a metaphor linking this hunt to the war in general. Sure this film will not appeal to everyone, but if you have a deep appreciation for theTechnically sound, meticulous, and gripping. I suppose I can understand people's complaints about the rather slow feel of the film, but I believe that was the intent. Bigelow set out to not only make a film about the hunt for Bin Laden, but to create a metaphor linking this hunt to the war in general. Sure this film will not appeal to everyone, but if you have a deep appreciation for the visual artistry that film can offer, then you can greatly respect Bigelow and her efforts to make this landmark film. One thing I can say for sure is that: YOU SHOULDN'T EXPECT TO ENJOY THIS MOVIE. It's meant to be a bit melancholy and leave you pensive, asking yourself: "Was it worth it?" or "Did we even win?" Expand
  63. Jan 22, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Jessica Chastain made this movie with her performance. Zero Dark Thirty is the story of bin Laden's death. And it was really good. Just let me point out one issue I had with the film though that made me refuse to give this film a 10. Right as they're invading and one of the helicopters are crash landing, it crash landed in the court yard of bin Laden's compound. I don't know who's idea that was to have that moment in the movie, but don't you think that if it crash landed in the courtyard of bin Laden's compound that somebody would have rushed to bin Laden's aid and get him the hell out of there??? Anyway, besides that I thought the film was amazing. Although, seeing the general public's reception to this film I was skeptical about it going in. And after seeing it for myself, what an amazing movie. Its honestly worth all the critical acclaim and Oscar nods and Golden Globe wins its received. Although, at one point during the film I did feel like I was watching another episode of Homeland.... oh well. Very good movie. Loved it. Would go see it again. Expand
  64. Jan 21, 2013
    8
    I'll start off by saying that this movie should be considered an action documentary and nothing more. There is no character development, the plot randomly jumps forward in time, there is constantly new information being added, and the movie is rather long. That being said, it was highly entertaining.
  65. Jan 21, 2013
    8
    Another well crafted movie by Bigelow. While after hearing all the praise for this film I expected to love this movie more than I did, I still felt that this was a very strong film. While it may take a little time to get moving, the last third is a as entertaining as any movie I have seen this year. Very strong writing, visuals, and acting. This is one of the better movies of 2012.
  66. Jan 21, 2013
    9
    The direction, cinematography, and editing are above reproach, and the film is riveting. But there is little for the mind here and less for the heart. Rather than a story about terrorism, it's a story about an obsessed female agent, and Ms. Chastain, however effective, is no Claire Danes.
  67. Jan 21, 2013
    8
    I will put this movie in the top ten of the year although I thought "Lincoln"was better. This film made think of several things throughout. One, why does no one show the attack on the Twin Towers? Michael Moore did and I think that would have really added a lot to this film's tension level. Second, Iraq is only mentioned in passing further raising the question of why we invaded thatI will put this movie in the top ten of the year although I thought "Lincoln"was better. This film made think of several things throughout. One, why does no one show the attack on the Twin Towers? Michael Moore did and I think that would have really added a lot to this film's tension level. Second, Iraq is only mentioned in passing further raising the question of why we invaded that country. Third, were water boarding and other enhanced methods of interrogation actually useful in obtaining the information that led to OBL? Fourth, what a risky decision to go into Pakistan without their approval? Any film that gets your mind working on so many levels is a success. The film plods at some points but actually keeps its edge when the attack occurs on the compound. Another accomplishment and a mystery to me as to why Bigelow was not nominated for Best Director. As for nominations, Chastain is never given enough freedom in her role to be the winner for Best Actress. She does not talk enough to come close to Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook". A first detailed look into the hunt for OBL and a well done one at that. Expand
  68. Jan 21, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Zero Dark Thirty is now one of my favorite military films. The best part of this film was the accuracy of the events that transpired and the realness of the characters. There were a few short scenes that really stood out to me.
    The interrogation of Ammar showed that the US military are not cliche Super-Man heroes, they are anti-heroes, as much of what they do is in the morally gray area, but they do what they believe needs to be done for good of the country.
    When they are storming OBL's fortress, and Justin stops to look at the husband and wife he killed, it shows that the Special Forces aren't a bunch of heartless meat heads.
    Also, the fact that they double tapped everyone they killed was a great addition that they surprisingly do not include in most, if any, Special Ops films.
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  69. Jan 21, 2013
    9
    Pretty damn good! Chastain did a very fine job with a strong supporting cast. We may not learn much more about Bin Laden and further details on Al-Qaeda, but we are served with satisfaction in the exhilarating final 30 minute raid. I knock this one down from perfect status only for it's length.....in places it slugs along only to be jazzed up with an explosion here and there. All in all,Pretty damn good! Chastain did a very fine job with a strong supporting cast. We may not learn much more about Bin Laden and further details on Al-Qaeda, but we are served with satisfaction in the exhilarating final 30 minute raid. I knock this one down from perfect status only for it's length.....in places it slugs along only to be jazzed up with an explosion here and there. All in all, it's a fine film that will stick with you. Expand
  70. Jan 20, 2013
    9
    Yes clearly movie attention spans are being simplified thanks to jersey shore and honey boo boo. The movie never really felt slow but it has a steady pace. It creates an interesting jigsaw puzzle that stretches our core beliefs as Americans and how we were supposed to act in order to fight the War on Terror. It shows every little detail and subsequent acts that the Western world had toYes clearly movie attention spans are being simplified thanks to jersey shore and honey boo boo. The movie never really felt slow but it has a steady pace. It creates an interesting jigsaw puzzle that stretches our core beliefs as Americans and how we were supposed to act in order to fight the War on Terror. It shows every little detail and subsequent acts that the Western world had to endure. Was some of it possibly fictionalized, perhaps but none the less everything felt genuine. The final 30 minutes of the assault are riveting. Go see it. Expand
  71. Jan 20, 2013
    7
    A tedious journey leading up to an anti-climactic ending makes Zero Dark Thirty a tough movie to love, but its well written storyline, whether or not holding true to what actually happened kept me interested the whole 2 and a half hours. Was it good? Yes. Did it live up to its hype? No. 72/100
  72. Jan 20, 2013
    10
    A truly great film,the story moves along at a even pace, highlighting key moments in the search for bin laden,culminating in a not so Hollywood battle scene at the end,which adds a much more realistic feel to the film.
    The performances are brilliant,particularly Jason Clarke who in my opinion gets better with each film i watch him in.
    its a good story, i would imagine not a totaly true
    A truly great film,the story moves along at a even pace, highlighting key moments in the search for bin laden,culminating in a not so Hollywood battle scene at the end,which adds a much more realistic feel to the film.
    The performances are brilliant,particularly Jason Clarke who in my opinion gets better with each film i watch him in.
    its a good story, i would imagine not a totaly true account,but then when i watch a film i am looking to be entertained not have questions answered....ill watch the discovery channel for that.
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  73. Jan 20, 2013
    8
    The fictional account of how Osama Bin laden was captured and one of the most controversial films seems to be a big letdown. The premise was quite interesting at the first parts of the movie where the torture scenes the most controversial ones were the most interesting parts as it let's you see the worst in humans and the opinion of the filmmakers of torture as they see in the Government'sThe fictional account of how Osama Bin laden was captured and one of the most controversial films seems to be a big letdown. The premise was quite interesting at the first parts of the movie where the torture scenes the most controversial ones were the most interesting parts as it let's you see the worst in humans and the opinion of the filmmakers of torture as they see in the Government's point of view. Jessica Chastain's acting was stellar. At the start of the movie she was innocent and mostly clueless at the things involved in the Osama hunt but as time passes frustrations have her determined to kill the infamous terrorist with great zeal. It also shows how CIA agents develop over the course of their careers albeit fictional. That in mind the film could get one big bore for me. The pacing seems to be really slow but I guess that's how the account of "how to hunt a terrorist" should be not fast and easy lives will have to be lost and frustrations are built to the extreme. That said the movie is a must see. Expand
  74. Jan 20, 2013
    9
    Zero Dark Thirty is more than skin deep; this film forces the active viewer to reinterpret their ethical priorities. In addition to excellent filmmaking, Zero Dark Thirty delivers a metal fitness course for those who are willing.
  75. Jan 20, 2013
    9
    Excellent, and the audience I was in even clapped at the end. Yes, it does have about 20 minutes more than is usually good for moving the movie along but it is definintely worth the wait. Liberals will really hate this movie because it doesn't paint the world as they utopia they want to live in. I am surprised Hollywood let this one out; of course it doesn't stand a chance to win awardsExcellent, and the audience I was in even clapped at the end. Yes, it does have about 20 minutes more than is usually good for moving the movie along but it is definintely worth the wait. Liberals will really hate this movie because it doesn't paint the world as they utopia they want to live in. I am surprised Hollywood let this one out; of course it doesn't stand a chance to win awards because it isn't about social justice but real evil in the world. Expand
  76. Jan 19, 2013
    10
    I feel like a lot of people went into this thinking it was going to be some type of fast paced thrill ride like its predecessor, Hurt Locker, or its Oscar competitor, Argo, so when it was a 2.5 hr story that had little no action it people were in a word, disappointed. This is in large part the fault of the marketing team, who made it out to be something that it wasn't. Not to mention itsI feel like a lot of people went into this thinking it was going to be some type of fast paced thrill ride like its predecessor, Hurt Locker, or its Oscar competitor, Argo, so when it was a 2.5 hr story that had little no action it people were in a word, disappointed. This is in large part the fault of the marketing team, who made it out to be something that it wasn't. Not to mention its emphasis on the use of torture by the CIA operatives which bothered so many. So all the 0 reviews are rather misplaced in my opinion.

    Now to the film itself. From the standpoint of film making, there is little criticize about this. Bigelow's directing, Chastain's performance, the writing, all summed up to a fantastically made film. In my opinion, it should win Best Picture for 2012, but its not far and away better than Argo, Lincoln, or Silver Linings Playbook.

    All in all, Zero Dark Thirty is a fantastic film, all be it not as satisfying as the Hurt Locker, that should be appreciated for its display of artistic film making, acting, and story telling, rather than not being the action movie that the public thought it was.
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  77. Jan 19, 2013
    10
    Kathryn Bigelow has done it again. A poignant, intense, honest and personal story that juxtaposes the sophistication and shortcomings of our ever evolving military. It doesn't, as many critics have touted, 'glorify torture.' Rather, it portrayed our use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques' in a way that leaves it up to the viewer to decide if the ends justify the means. Jessica ChastainKathryn Bigelow has done it again. A poignant, intense, honest and personal story that juxtaposes the sophistication and shortcomings of our ever evolving military. It doesn't, as many critics have touted, 'glorify torture.' Rather, it portrayed our use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques' in a way that leaves it up to the viewer to decide if the ends justify the means. Jessica Chastain delivers a tour de force performance. At times raw and emotional, but never grisly or exploitative, I highly recommend this movie. Expand
  78. Jan 19, 2013
    10
    Per other reviews, I believe the film was not tedious. An intricate road was formed by Bigelow to lead the viewer to the promise land. I was thoroughly entertained for all 2.5 hours of this film. There are scenes that draw you to the edge of your seat without letting you down for even a second. The final scene of the film was shot perfect. Contrary to popular belief, the operation was noPer other reviews, I believe the film was not tedious. An intricate road was formed by Bigelow to lead the viewer to the promise land. I was thoroughly entertained for all 2.5 hours of this film. There are scenes that draw you to the edge of your seat without letting you down for even a second. The final scene of the film was shot perfect. Contrary to popular belief, the operation was no bang boom bag'em and tag'em operation. It was great to see a film take so many risks. 9/10 Expand
  79. Jan 19, 2013
    10
    Bigelow's new film is an example of (what it seems to me) a new trend, new wave for the American film production. It is about time for some things to start to change! ZDT is not pretentious moral story carefully crafted and polished to be liked by large infantile and sterile audiences! ZDT is not a compromise and it is not conclusive, it doesn't make it's own statements, it doesn't provideBigelow's new film is an example of (what it seems to me) a new trend, new wave for the American film production. It is about time for some things to start to change! ZDT is not pretentious moral story carefully crafted and polished to be liked by large infantile and sterile audiences! ZDT is not a compromise and it is not conclusive, it doesn't make it's own statements, it doesn't provide quick and false answers and it doesn't take moral stand behind what it depicts which is by my opinion its greatest strength. This is not sterile work like many amusement-seeking moviegoers and "eminent" journalists wished it to be! Are Boal and Bigelow to be blamed that these consumers won't be able to see Maya's chin and nose up in the air as the proud motherf**ker who killed bin Laden? NO!!! And what they get at the end? Only Maya's tears!
    ZDT is intellectually challenging work of art, meant to trigger conversation, to provide options. It insists that people should be able to build their own opinions about what they see. I completely understand that some of those opinions may not be positive, i get that. But claiming that ZDT with all of its ambiguity is just a propaganda or that it glorifies torture, is desperate, outrageous, conservative and shameful backlash! As a cinematic experience it is thrilling, dark, mournful, strange and uncompromisingly beautiful! As an artistic achievement I see it as ingenious polemical statement against the Hollywood based dis-empowerment of the spectator! As a screenplay and dialogue, it is a work of a genius since it provides the audience with political ambiguity and ambivalence. As a film, it is probably one of the greatest American films ever made. Thank you Bigelow and thank you Boal for this bold masterpiece.
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  80. Jan 16, 2013
    10
    Damn fine entertainment. This movie grabbed hold of me from minute one and never let me go for 2 hours 40 minutes. As advertised, it's a dramatization of the 10 year manhunt for the most wanted terrorist in history. As such, it can't and won't answer all your questions about the search for and eventual killing of Bin Laden. It has come in for some heavy criticism for depicting torture as aDamn fine entertainment. This movie grabbed hold of me from minute one and never let me go for 2 hours 40 minutes. As advertised, it's a dramatization of the 10 year manhunt for the most wanted terrorist in history. As such, it can't and won't answer all your questions about the search for and eventual killing of Bin Laden. It has come in for some heavy criticism for depicting torture as a key tactic of the CIA. However, as Bigelow correctly states, to downplay the torture of al Qaeda operatives would have been to whitewash history. In the early stages, it does feel like there is an emphasis on this aspect. Was that the intention, and if so, why? The fact is, like it or not, people were tortured by the CIA for information. It made me wonder if it's possible that without the use of water boarding and such tactics, OBL might still be alive and free. Some of the reviewers here clearly don't get it, but I think that's more of a reflection on them than the movie. This film is well written, well acted and expertly directed. But you'll need something resembling a brain to enjoy it. Expand
  81. Jan 16, 2013
    10
    If your a red blooded patriotic American and not freaked out by the sight of terrorists having a little water dribbled on their face your going to love this film. If your thin skinned ACLU dues paying liberal your still going to love this film, (but for all the wrong reasons.) If you are squeamish at the sight of intense violence you might have to cover your eyes for big chunks of thisIf your a red blooded patriotic American and not freaked out by the sight of terrorists having a little water dribbled on their face your going to love this film. If your thin skinned ACLU dues paying liberal your still going to love this film, (but for all the wrong reasons.) If you are squeamish at the sight of intense violence you might have to cover your eyes for big chunks of this film but see it anyway because its that great. Adapting a major historical event (especially one shrouded in classified information) to the big screen and making it totally plausible and so compelling you don't want it's 2 hours and 40 minutes to end is a minor miracle. I'll pay full fare to see it again this weekend. Expand
  82. Jan 16, 2013
    10
    Fantastic film. And if you don't believe it, my friend, this is how it's gonna go down. I'm going to hold you down, stuff a rag down your throat and pour water up your nose. You will like this film sooner or later. How soon is up to you.
  83. Jan 16, 2013
    7
    The CIA's search for Osama bin Laden is detailed, particularly thru the efforts of one fervent woman (Jessica Chastain). The trail starts with the torture of detainees that garners tiny bits of information, then follows a lead that results in the crucial raid. Keep in mind, this takes 157 minutes, a lot of which is spent in closeups of Chastain's frustrated face. Much of the earlyThe CIA's search for Osama bin Laden is detailed, particularly thru the efforts of one fervent woman (Jessica Chastain). The trail starts with the torture of detainees that garners tiny bits of information, then follows a lead that results in the crucial raid. Keep in mind, this takes 157 minutes, a lot of which is spent in closeups of Chastain's frustrated face. Much of the early discussion is complicated and confusing. Even after they get a break, the time is spent in debate and delay. The final assault is played out with dramatic detail, without music or flashy staging. Director Kathryn Bigelow has crafted scenes of interest and occasional power, but the movie is simply too long. Much of the early setup could have been sacrificed to tell a more compelling story. It's never boring, but it sure is long. Expand
  84. Jan 15, 2013
    8
    Not the greatest film ever, but despite the extremely drawn out nature of it and the sometimes slow dialogue sequences, it captivated me quite a bit. One of the biggest problems is that it does what The Dark Knight Rises did times ten, being that the time table of the movie is spread out to a ridiculous level, so much so that it feels like the first 2/3rds of the movie, which would beNot the greatest film ever, but despite the extremely drawn out nature of it and the sometimes slow dialogue sequences, it captivated me quite a bit. One of the biggest problems is that it does what The Dark Knight Rises did times ten, being that the time table of the movie is spread out to a ridiculous level, so much so that it feels like the first 2/3rds of the movie, which would be nearly two hours, feels like it simply glosses over various past events and doesn't really get anything done. And that's the point. But it wasn't perfectly executed. Meanwhile, the last third of the movie is very closely strung together, the final scene being nearly thirty minutes long. This was a great scene, but the change felt inconsistent. One more complaint - the characters weren't very interesting nor was it easy to care about them - and it seems like they didn't really try with this, nor was it really the point. Maya, the main character, is fairly boring and feels two dimensional. The most interesting character is probably Dan, whose actor Jason Clarke does an excellent job being fearsome in the interrogation scenes. Overall I feel as though there are complaints to be had, but honestly I still really enjoyed the movie quite a bit. It's one of those movies that's more just a smart thriller that's made without much emotion in mind, and it does a good job with it in my opinion. Expand
  85. Jan 15, 2013
    9
    Reading the user reviews it seems more and more obvious that the attention span of the average viewer keeps shrinking. Apparently if there is no action or character development then the watching gets dreary. Thinking no longer seems an option? Learning either? In this excellent movie we get a good overview of the pursuit of Bin Laden, as the clues are hunted down and many discarded exceptReading the user reviews it seems more and more obvious that the attention span of the average viewer keeps shrinking. Apparently if there is no action or character development then the watching gets dreary. Thinking no longer seems an option? Learning either? In this excellent movie we get a good overview of the pursuit of Bin Laden, as the clues are hunted down and many discarded except the one most successful clue pursued obsessively by a few. As a history buff I love a good historical detective story and this is one, but if your thing is Super heroes; robots; endless violence and bathroom humor don't bother. Expand
  86. Jan 15, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Truly the film that defines a decade of politics. A thrilling and fascinating account of the hunt for the most wanted man in History. Jessica Chastain's performance was great! She was a cold and calculating CIA operative who spent years dedicated to finishing her mission. She was tough and did not care who's face she got into as long as she was able to stay the course on Bin Laden. Her final scene showed the pain and anguish of someone who's life work came to an end in one night and she was now faced with an uncertain future. Zero Dark Thirty is a film that must be seen. A+ Expand
  87. Jan 14, 2013
    10
    An important film. Subtly brilliant and perfectly thrilling, Zero Dark Thirty is beautifully paced; at a near 3 hour running time, the film moves along nicely, never dragging. Mark Boal wrote a terrific script; it's dense and might include a little too much information, but I felt like that gave the film another level of authenticity. The performances are flawless. Jessica Chastain isAn important film. Subtly brilliant and perfectly thrilling, Zero Dark Thirty is beautifully paced; at a near 3 hour running time, the film moves along nicely, never dragging. Mark Boal wrote a terrific script; it's dense and might include a little too much information, but I felt like that gave the film another level of authenticity. The performances are flawless. Jessica Chastain is incredible; she plays the character wonderfully and her performance is worthy of every praise it's getting. The supporting cast is perfect as well, Jason Clarke stood out to me. Kathryn Bigelow's direction is what really makes this film special though. Her vision and attention to detail is admirable and it truly elevates the experience. The film builds to a thrilling ending that ranks among the most intense endings I've ever seen. It's ironic actually because I (roughly) know how this story ends, but the last 40 minutes or so are thrilling nonetheless. Powerfully acted, wonderfully directed, and brilliantly written, Zero Dark Thirty is easily one of the absolute best films of 2012! Expand
  88. Jan 13, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Overall this was a great movie the only upsetting part of it was at the end the mission to kill bin Laden was not Navy S.E.A.L team six it seemed like they were left out of a lot of movies that they should have been in. (Black Hawk Down!) Expand
  89. Jan 13, 2013
    8
    This movie fell just short of my VERY high expectations. I was expecting this movie to be a ten, but it felt a little slow in the beginning and got more and more exciting as the movie went on. The acting was solid and well performed and got the message out. Overall, this movie was very good and you should see it.
  90. Jan 13, 2013
    9
    In "Zero Dark Thirty," any inkling of controversy or artificiality is ironed out by a masterfully crafted narrative, an unbelievable performance from Jessica Chastain, and an uncommonly methodical tone that effortlessly weaves the audience throughout a web of complexity.
  91. Jan 13, 2013
    10
    Amazing! A gripping plot. great action. complex and dynamic. one of, if not the best film out right now. Dramatised in some ways but if it wasn't would just be a documentary. A must see for any REAL movie lover.
  92. Jan 13, 2013
    10
    Easily the best picture of 2012. Anyone marking this film down has to have been inebriated. How do you tell a story that everyone knows the keynotes to, definitely knows the ending, all while keeping them interested throughout? Not an easy task, but it does help if you have Jessica Chastain to rely on. We forget that real people play the biggest roles in these kind of things. Tension,Easily the best picture of 2012. Anyone marking this film down has to have been inebriated. How do you tell a story that everyone knows the keynotes to, definitely knows the ending, all while keeping them interested throughout? Not an easy task, but it does help if you have Jessica Chastain to rely on. We forget that real people play the biggest roles in these kind of things. Tension, humor, unease, shock, passion, vengeance, triumph. Expand
  93. Jan 12, 2013
    9
    It's not a documentary! There that's to all the people saying they didn't learn something about this or that, or they wanted to know how this or that. .Or arguing about whether torture is ok or not. It's a movie, very, very loosely based on what happened.
  94. Jan 12, 2013
    8
    This is a well directed, we'll acted DRAMA that will probably (and unfortunately) win the Oscarfor best ppicture because of its subject matter. It isn't uber-patriotic but still left me feeling as though I had taken in a one-sided, based account of said events. The screenplay is at times gripping and much like it's predecessor, the hurt Locker, the cinematography and performances areThis is a well directed, we'll acted DRAMA that will probably (and unfortunately) win the Oscarfor best ppicture because of its subject matter. It isn't uber-patriotic but still left me feeling as though I had taken in a one-sided, based account of said events. The screenplay is at times gripping and much like it's predecessor, the hurt Locker, the cinematography and performances are excellent. If you go into this expecting an action-thriller, you'll leave satisfied. If you're looking for an accurate historical account, I'd advise looking elsewhere. Expand
  95. Jan 12, 2013
    9
    Kathryn Bigelow's ability to portray the moral complexities of modern warfare in a way that feels fresh and even handed, is worth recognition. Her biggest accomplishment is never letting the audience forget that warfare involves humans doing awful things to other humans. The soldiers aren't faceless brutes, and Al Qaeda isn't reduced to religious fanatics. Everybody's humanity isKathryn Bigelow's ability to portray the moral complexities of modern warfare in a way that feels fresh and even handed, is worth recognition. Her biggest accomplishment is never letting the audience forget that warfare involves humans doing awful things to other humans. The soldiers aren't faceless brutes, and Al Qaeda isn't reduced to religious fanatics. Everybody's humanity is preserved, which makes the violence that more haunting. That being said, the film is more shallow than The Hurt Locker, probably because the narrative is of a bigger scope, which allows less screen time to delve into the psyche of the characters. Expand
  96. Jan 12, 2013
    9
    Kathryn Bigelow has done it again. Zero Dark Thirty is a triumph, that doesn't get bogged down by politically incorrect material that it chooses to use. The scenes of torture, combined with some excellent acting from Jessica Chastain had me hooked from the beginning, but it wasn't until the end of the movie, at the very last scene, when I realized that, like the Hurt Locker, Zero DarkKathryn Bigelow has done it again. Zero Dark Thirty is a triumph, that doesn't get bogged down by politically incorrect material that it chooses to use. The scenes of torture, combined with some excellent acting from Jessica Chastain had me hooked from the beginning, but it wasn't until the end of the movie, at the very last scene, when I realized that, like the Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty is just another character study of an important person that is put into events bigger than they can imagine. Yes, the movie is about catching and killing OBL, but what makes ZDT so good is how Chastain's character changes through the years in her obsession to find one of the worst men in recent history. Yes, people are going to be ignorant and give it zeroes for a score because maybe they were bored or they just hate when critics love a movie, but those people are wrong. This movie deserves the praise it's getting, because it's a tribute to an historic event in our history, has incredible acting, and is more than what you make it out to be. This was the first movie in awhile that after the credits roll, I just sat there for five minutes and processed all that I saw. Don't let the haters keep you away, this is an excellent movie and should be seen by every American citizen. Expand
  97. Jan 12, 2013
    7
    Critic's darling Katherine Bigelow is one of the few directors that received great critical acclaim . Long gone is the lady behind visceral, action hits such as Point Break and Blue Steel; her films now are still a technical virtuoso and wonderfully shot, but tackling serious topics in a thoughtful way. Yes, it does tackle a heady, Oscar worthy topic such as the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.Critic's darling Katherine Bigelow is one of the few directors that received great critical acclaim . Long gone is the lady behind visceral, action hits such as Point Break and Blue Steel; her films now are still a technical virtuoso and wonderfully shot, but tackling serious topics in a thoughtful way. Yes, it does tackle a heady, Oscar worthy topic such as the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. Yes, Jessica Chastain is great and shaping up to be the next Meryl Streep. Yes, it is incredibly polished with great cinematography. But is it entertaining? Does it hold the audience's full attention? In spots, it is compelling. Do we really care for the characters? Well.. sort of. Is it Over-rated by critics? Yes, it sure is. Still an Oscar contender though but not a strong competitor against more 'stronger' Oscar nominees such as Lincoln or the Life of Pi Expand
  98. Jan 11, 2013
    10
    this movie is the example of how a good movie have to be. Is incredibly emotional and beastly. You feel stressed in the final part of the movie but is a good stress. fantastic and highly recommended
  99. Jan 11, 2013
    9
    As a film, I really enjoyed it. It is engaging from beginning to end. This is not an action film, it's an attempt at a slightly dramatized re-enactment.

    However, I don't feel like the government should have authorized this material for the masses.
  100. Jan 10, 2013
    10
    Endlessly fascinating. For me the ambiance was like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with more powerful action scenes and a faster rhythm. We are lucky to have a master film maker produce a movie like this for now and for posterity. It is just so strong, so many excellent scenes filled with more and more and more information and emotion always moving forward to an end we all know but thru aEndlessly fascinating. For me the ambiance was like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with more powerful action scenes and a faster rhythm. We are lucky to have a master film maker produce a movie like this for now and for posterity. It is just so strong, so many excellent scenes filled with more and more and more information and emotion always moving forward to an end we all know but thru a process we did not. A must see for serious citizens and serious film lovers. Expand
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: Stephanie Zacharek
    Feb 27, 2013
    100
    Zero Dark Thirty is precise, definitive filmmaking, yet Bigelow refuses to hand over easy answers. Some people call that evasion. I call it the ultimate despair.
  2. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Jan 21, 2013
    100
    Gripping throughout, with an impressive central performance, this is like a Dogme 95 redo of a Chuck Norris film - by heroic effort, the good guys find and kill a bad guy. How you feel about that is something Bigelow leaves you to decide.
  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.