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6.7

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. Jan 6, 2013
    5
    Zero Dark Thirty is a step down in almost every way from the Hurt Locker. Almost no suspense, a main character that has no depth, and a somewhat slow and sluggish first half. I was hoping the first 2 hours were more like the last 30 minutes.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Dec 20, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Simply outstanding. Kathryn Bigelow, now that she's made the character-driven Hurt Locker and this phenomenally-paced thriller, has positioned herself as the dramatic chronicler of record in modern American warfare. No, she's not covering this stuff comprehensively, but the dramatic choices she makes, the slices she and her writers have focused on, so effectively tell the story of this era that I was thinking that we're lucky to have her as the credits of ZDT rolled. Chastain, the chameleon, is terrific in the film and will rightly be praised through the awards season. But I want to give special praise to Jason Clarke, who I've appreciated so thoroughly in Brotherhood and The Chicago code - he was an inspired casting choice. The enhanced interrogation sequences are technically no more difficult to watch than similar scenes in other films (most recently Safe House), but Clarke's ability to represent the interrogator's calculated pinballing between brutality and humanity is powerful. It's not a short movie, but I was riveted throughout. My audience gave the film a modest round of applause. I think they were more stunned by what they had just seen than anything else. Expand
  11. 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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  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Jan 27, 2013
    5
    When Kathryn Bigelow went on American TV recently to address the controversy that had built up concerning the torture scenes in Zero Dark Thirty, her main defence for the film was that it is a movie and not a documentary. This statement is fair enough in itself, but a movie is first meant to be entertainment and other considerations are secondary. A documentary, on the other hand, is firstWhen Kathryn Bigelow went on American TV recently to address the controversy that had built up concerning the torture scenes in Zero Dark Thirty, her main defence for the film was that it is a movie and not a documentary. This statement is fair enough in itself, but a movie is first meant to be entertainment and other considerations are secondary. A documentary, on the other hand, is first factual and then hopefully also entertaining. Zero Dark Thirty is for the most part too complex to be easily understood from a historical point of view and, on the whole, to slow too be first rate entertainment. Even the last 30 minutes or so which shows the navy seals storming the suspected hideaway fortress of Bin Laden fails to be either as exciting or as informative as a recent documentary on the subject called ' Bin Laden: Shoot to Kill'. For me this documentary steals Bigelows thunder with its richly detailed reconstructions and dazzling insights into the whole operation. Zero Dark Thirty, unfortunately, never gets to cinematic grips with an unsatisfactory script that whilst not pandering to its audience, nevertheless treats them with contempt by leaving out many more interesting and revelatory details than it puts in. Expand
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. Mar 28, 2013
    6
    I must have been watching a lot of films because I could not see what was so controversial about this film. In fact I did not quite get what all the fuss was all about. Unlike prior Bigelow projects, this one is dull and feels very long. I could not get excited about the chase and was not elated by the achievement.
  18. May 19, 2013
    6
    Zero Dark Thirty is a well made film. It has an interesting story, a realistic feel, and a likeable main character. Despite all of this though whether for its length, lack of excitement, or my personal feelings I did not enjoy it that much. I think it is boring. It was like going to an art museum and seeing this painting everyone was crowded around. You go up to the painting to see whatZero Dark Thirty is a well made film. It has an interesting story, a realistic feel, and a likeable main character. Despite all of this though whether for its length, lack of excitement, or my personal feelings I did not enjoy it that much. I think it is boring. It was like going to an art museum and seeing this painting everyone was crowded around. You go up to the painting to see what all of the fuss is about and you are like what do all see in this. It is alright but it is nothing spectacular. That is exactly how I feel about this film along with Lincoln and Argo. While the film is well made I personally did not enjoy it that much. If it did connect with me it would have certainly gotten an 8 but because of my boredom throughout the majority of the film it gets a 6. It is ok. Not a bad film and is well made but personally I did not find it that interesting. If you are into these Academy Award Wining films you will enjoy Zero Dark Thirty but if not get ready to take a nap. Expand
  19. 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.
  20. Aug 3, 2013
    5
    Ok it happened in real life, but it didn`t make for a great movie. It was kind of long, and did pick up my interest at the end but still nothing special. It`s like a shiny Documentary and I don`t like documentaries.
  21. 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
  22. May 25, 2014
    6
    Simply overrated to say the least the movie was a bore from start to finish even the last 30 minutes of this film couldn't save it from being an over exaggerated borefest that strays from the source. Yeah Jessica Chastain did a good job but the real person was a guy not sure why hollywood wanted a female for this role Overall i give it a 6.5 don't think ill be watching this anytime soon.Simply overrated to say the least the movie was a bore from start to finish even the last 30 minutes of this film couldn't save it from being an over exaggerated borefest that strays from the source. Yeah Jessica Chastain did a good job but the real person was a guy not sure why hollywood wanted a female for this role Overall i give it a 6.5 don't think ill be watching this anytime soon. Argo was such a better film then this POS Expand
  23. Lyn
    Jan 13, 2013
    6
    I gather that the critics' adoration of this film has a lot to do with the impressive technical moviemaking involved -- and it is impressive. But I felt that it needed to give Maya, the main character, more of a personal life and identity to make up for the fact that (obviously) we know how it will end. Both of those shortcomings make it less thrilling than "The Hurt Locker," in myI gather that the critics' adoration of this film has a lot to do with the impressive technical moviemaking involved -- and it is impressive. But I felt that it needed to give Maya, the main character, more of a personal life and identity to make up for the fact that (obviously) we know how it will end. Both of those shortcomings make it less thrilling than "The Hurt Locker," in my opinion. I wondered if the torture aspect had been blown out of proportion by the media controversy about it, but must admit that those scenes were disturbing. Expand
  24. 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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  25. Jun 4, 2013
    6
    "Zero Dark Thirty is no question a suspenseful, edge of your seat thriller while all the same being a worthy recreation of the biggest manhunt in history. That being said its also a huge let-down. A movie that is just good, when it needed to be perfect." B-
  26. 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
  27. 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.
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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
  32. Mar 21, 2013
    0
    Well...truly amazing how bad a movie can be. Truly amazing how bad a script can be. Truly amazing how bad actors can act, I turned off the sound after a few minutes. This is worse than a home video of your dog catching a frisbee. Chastain is a complete miscast. Easily the worst movie of 2013, and the year has just started.
  33. Jan 8, 2013
    8
    A topic of discussion everyone is familiar with, the already known outcome, the dramatization of true events and mixing them altogether in a single film, Zero Dark Thirty is a good film if I look at it from the perspective of filmmaking only. However, it doesn't offer that much, it has no characterization whatsoever. The main character of the film is Maya (played by Jessica Chastain), aA topic of discussion everyone is familiar with, the already known outcome, the dramatization of true events and mixing them altogether in a single film, Zero Dark Thirty is a good film if I look at it from the perspective of filmmaking only. However, it doesn't offer that much, it has no characterization whatsoever. The main character of the film is Maya (played by Jessica Chastain), a young CIA officer who has done nothing but spent her entire short career on Osama bin Laden. Now, I'm totally okay with that but her life, her character should have been supported by a backstory. There should have been several flashbacks as to why she joined CIA in the first place. I'm still okay if there aren't any flashbacks or her story, but her character seems unbelievable and uninspiring at times. She doesn't have any theory to prove why she is right, she just says she is right. And obviously, she is. It doesn't have to do anything with Chastain's performance, she has done a brilliant job and all the critic wins and potenial nominations in major awards are totally deserving for her.The real problem is how her character has been written by Mark Boal and how the entire screenplay of the film has been dealt with. The running time is 2 hours and 30 minutes and it really feels that long because the first half of the movie seems ridiculously boring and irritating. I expected the content of a different nature, the real and original content that has been kept away from the public for so many years, not the moulded one. The real truth about the September 11 attacks, all the suicide bombings and finally Osama bin Laden's killing. It felt like I was watching a documentary at times. Kathryn Bigelow still has been able to do her job pretty well, the direction of the film is somewhere in between good and excellent. And it cannot be ignored that when it comes to films like this, her vision and method of direction are way more than outstanding. Moving on to the screenplay, it is good but definitely not the best. The dialogues should have been more intense rather than simply showing the scenes incorporating torture that is a good way to escape when you know your writing isn't brilliant enough. Editing and the pacing of the film are kind of good but they don't feel balanced at times, there is not one way of pacing of the storyline, sometimes it gets fast and sometimes it gets so slow. The best things about this film are its last 30 minutes of operation which led to Osama bin Laden's killing; its background score which is pretty intense and proves to be more supportive than screenplay at times, Bigelow's direction (a little bit supported by Mark Boal's writing) and Jessica Chastain's performance which is downright astonishing. I can call Zero Dark Thirty a great film but it is not better than Bigelow's previous direction 'The Hurt Locker', which was more intense, which had plenty of jaw-dropping scenes and which had more characterization. Every major critic you see would be commenting that ZD30 would win the Best Picture Oscar. This fact is making it so overrated that it would fail to build upto a lot of people's expectations who haven't watched it yet. Same thing happened to me. I watched it with the expectation and the mindset that it is the best film of 2012 but it isn't, it is one of the best but not the ultimate best film. A lot of people are associating this movie with the fact that if they are Americans then they should obviously like this movie because it depicts what took America to finally kill bin Laden. If we are going to talk about it from that perspective then I can say that this movie is nothing but a false reality, how America hides the truth and only shows what it wants its public to see. There are a lot of theories about September 11 attacks and some of which are logical and actually make sense but still, people don't want to believe that because they are afraid of losing the so called trust in their government. OBL's killing is also blurry, nobody knows what really happened that day. The US government just made an announcement that they have killed bin Laden. If they actually killed him then why did they not show his face on the television? Anyway, this is not the topic of discussion here. The film should be taken as piece of entertainment rather than taking it as a piece of reality and the same goes to US Senate, ZD30 has given rise to a huge political controversy as according to the Senators, they don't torture anyone. They should also understand that the incorporation of dramatization and fiction is necessary to build up the tension and give rise to intense moments to keep the film interesting. The key conclusion is that this film could get all the major awards in Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and BAFTA Awards because of its genre, Bigelow's brilliant direction and Chastain's performance and which, to some extent, is reasonable but I don't think it should be winning the Best Picture but the chances are it will! Expand
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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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  37. 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
  38. Mar 20, 2013
    4
    I expected much more. Torture yeah yeah we know it's nessecary but not really enjoyable to watch. Someone said "Just because a women directed it doesn't mean its bad' what she got to do with this its still bad I have scene female directed films that wer 8 stars.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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
  42. 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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  43. 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
  44. Apr 9, 2013
    6
    In Jean-Paul Sartre's story “The Wall,” a political prisoner who is sentenced to death is given the option of betraying the location of his comrade in order to live. He gives the police a false location thereby gaining a little more time before he is executed. To his shock, his execution is canceled. Unknown to him, his comrade had been moved to a different location, and he hadIn Jean-Paul Sartre's story “The Wall,” a political prisoner who is sentenced to death is given the option of betraying the location of his comrade in order to live. He gives the police a false location thereby gaining a little more time before he is executed. To his shock, his execution is canceled. Unknown to him, his comrade had been moved to a different location, and he had inadvertently given the police the correct information. Whether or not he could enjoy his reprieve is dubious--he had sentenced his friend to death, but without meaning to. For Sartre, the story had existentialist implications about mortality and the senselessness of life, but for Zero Dark Thirty, it illustrates an important point, which is that torture or threat of death does not yield reliable information, since prisoners will say anything to stop the pain or save their own lives. It is generally acknowledged that torture is ineffective besides being immoral, inhumane and illegal. Torture is outlawed by the United Nations Convention against Torture, which has been ratified by 47 countries.

    Nevertheless, it would take hours and hours of research to try to figure out when and where the CIA used torture, and it's not clear if it continues to this day. There has been an outcry questioning the veracity of Zero Dark Thirty, which depicted torture in a callous and shocking way worthy of the Nazis and their Gestapo tactics, with no suffering, remorse, or emotional reaction on the part of the agents who inflicted the torture. In one scene, when one of the torturers is being transferred back to head offices, he admits to burnout simply by saying, “I've seen too many guys naked.” Too trite and not very funny.

    The focus of the rave reviews is Jessica Chastain's performance, which is understated, yet dramatic and regal. And for Americans, the film provides an opportunity to be seen as the good guys, having taken out the criminal who orchestrated the death of 3,000 people, mostly innocent civilians, on 9/11. But there are problems with the character of Maya, played by Jessica Chastain, who may not exist in real life and might be a composite of several female agents. In the film, she is a young woman with steely determination, but with no personal life or past. She has no love life, there is no mention of family, hobbies or interests--she was recruited out of high school and has done nothing but devote herself to long hours of office detective work. When witnessing torture, she has no reaction and no feelings. One character notes, “Washington says she's a killer.” But having been recruited for office work right out of high school, it's clear she has never seen battle and has never killed anyone. She's a bright kid who does her homework, she's determined, but she has no personality and no past. So she's exceedingly dull, and even Jessica Chastain could not work around that problem very well.

    In one scene, at an executive meeting, when asked who found the safe house, Maya replies, “I'm the motherf***er who found the place.” In an interview with ex-CIA agents, it was noted that if an agent said that at a high-level meeting to a CIA director, the agent would be fired immediately. Because Hollywood types constantly use the f-word in every conceivable part of grammatical speech, they think everybody does, and they assume that intelligent people are rendered inarticulate without it. There were other inaccuracies in the finale as well, which were remarked upon in interviews with the Navy SEALS.

    In any case, the perfection of this movie was marred by historical inaccuracies and the almost unwatchable graphic torture scenes which were inappropriate for high-quality cinema, having been taken out of any kind of moral, artistic, or symbolic context. Perhaps these scenes focus attention on the acceptance of torture, thereby helping to bring it to an end, but it still does not make for high art or good cinema. There are other off-camera ways to depict this critical moral issue, such as showing the political fallout and the ill effects on the people who had to do it, as well as the long-term effects on the victims.
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  45. 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.
  46. Jan 12, 2013
    6
    It was fine. A valid summary of the killing of Bin Laden. Sometimes when people get caught up with reciting a story they lose sight of what the story is. This movie was just a summary nothing more. The acting of Jessica Chastain was solid but otherwise the movie was unimpressive specifically in the build up of all the little rising actions. I'm not saying that it was not valid to show howIt was fine. A valid summary of the killing of Bin Laden. Sometimes when people get caught up with reciting a story they lose sight of what the story is. This movie was just a summary nothing more. The acting of Jessica Chastain was solid but otherwise the movie was unimpressive specifically in the build up of all the little rising actions. I'm not saying that it was not valid to show how long it took to find one man I'm just saying this representation was unnecessary. Expand
  47. Feb 19, 2013
    6
    E’ vero: sono partito prevenuto. Non lo si dovrebbe fare, lo so, ma un film che narra la caccia e l’uccisione di Osama Bin Laden uscito a ridosso delle elezioni negli Stati Uniti (per quanto io abbia tifato Obama) qualche cattivo pensiero lo suscita. La visione non smentisce i sospetti, anche se le qualità cinematografiche della pellicola consentono per un lunghissimo tempo di passarciE’ vero: sono partito prevenuto. Non lo si dovrebbe fare, lo so, ma un film che narra la caccia e l’uccisione di Osama Bin Laden uscito a ridosso delle elezioni negli Stati Uniti (per quanto io abbia tifato Obama) qualche cattivo pensiero lo suscita. La visione non smentisce i sospetti, anche se le qualità cinematografiche della pellicola consentono per un lunghissimo tempo di passarci sopra. Dopo un prologo con le voci dell’undici settembre, l’agente della CIA Maya cui Jessica Chastain offre un’interpretazione monolitica in cui le emozioni faticano a filtrare a parte la bella scena finale viene catapultata sul ‘fronte orientale’ e, grazie a un’intuzione, trova fra l’immensa mole di dati e di piste il bandolo della matassa che conduce al nemico pubblico numero uno. Ovviamente, all’inizio nessuno le dà retta ed solo grazie a una cocciuta testardaggine, ai limiti dell’ossessione, che l’Agenzia si decide a seguire le sue indicazioni: si deve però muovere il direttore in persona James Gandolfini in una parte piccola ma efficace. Lo sviluppo dell’investigazione narrato in circa due ore in cui dominano i caratteri del cinema di spionaggio, tra false piste, errori fatali ci va di mezzo la Jessica di Jennifer Ehle, assai più empatica della protagonista tanta pazienza e un pizzico di inevitabile corruzione. La sceneggiatura di Mark Boal procede attraverso una serie di capitoletti, in apparenza poco legati fra loro ma che consentono uno spostamento progressivo che avvicina sempre più al bersaglio: Bigelow inquadra il tutto in maniera fredda, quasi documentaristica, ma le belle scene di colorata vita quotidiana in Pakistan non evitano la rigida divisione fra buoni e cattivi. In tutto questo si inserisce anche una questione troppo presto abbandonata: presenti quasi solo nel segmento iniziale quindi riferite alla prima metà dello scorso decennio le scene di tortura sono brutali, ma la condanna non proprio chiarissima, lasciando la non gradevolissima impressione che le sevizie, pur non essendo una bella cosa, a volte, servano. In esse si distingue l’agente Dan impersonato da un bravo Jason Clarke, che dà vita a un personaggio interessante diviso com’è tra bisogno di normalità e compiti violenti. Finito il suo lavoro e tornato a casa, però, sparisce quasi dal radar: uno dei pregi del film il fatto che il punto di vista e il motore della storia siano prettamente femminili, ma a volte questo ha come conseguenza l’eclissarsi delle figure maschili. Dopo centoventi minuti di robusto intrigo internazionale –che non spiegano i peana della critica e le nomination multiple, ma sanno comunque avvincere inizia la missione notturna destinata a stanare Bin Laden dalla sua casa-fortino: quasi tre quarti d’ora di visori a infrarossi, porte fatte saltare e colpi di grazia a corpi già cadaveri che sembrano non finire mai. A parte la bella sequenza del volo notturno in elicottero, per il resto i tempi potevano venir tranquillamente dimezzati senza perdita di informazioni e con un notevole guadagno di ritmo narrativo. Qualcuno, forse appassionato di tattiche di commando, considera questa la parte migliore del film, ma per me finisce per danneggiarne il giudizio complessivo: ‘Zero dark thirty’ un buon lavoro, anche coraggioso nell’affrontare una materia ancora viva, ma che non riesce a essere all’altezza delle aspettative. Expand
  48. May 21, 2013
    3
    Easily one of the most boring movie in history, this supposed to be documentary. It's also has flaws, it's hard to believe that CIA would act as they did, not one memorable character. The worst thing is how everyone rate this movie, and Jessica Chastain did better job with Mama, Lawless.
  49. Jan 12, 2013
    3
    I went to see this movie last night. The theater was packed. I watched disjointed torture which dehumanized both the prisoner and the one's doing the torture. They painted the Obama administration as soft, so what else is new? They never delved into what makes these CIA agents tick? We watched 7 years leading up to the killing of bin Laden. They never answered why they killed insteadI went to see this movie last night. The theater was packed. I watched disjointed torture which dehumanized both the prisoner and the one's doing the torture. They painted the Obama administration as soft, so what else is new? They never delved into what makes these CIA agents tick? We watched 7 years leading up to the killing of bin Laden. They never answered why they killed instead of captured him nor was there any suspense. I know about as much as what happened then as I do now. The professional critics are out of their mind as no one said a word leaving the theater. As PT Barnum said...There is a sucker born every minute. The subject matter is what attracted us. You learn nothing new. Just a waste of time with the camera jumping all over the place. Yuk! Expand
  50. Apr 2, 2013
    1
    I think an Osama bin Laden documentray on History Channel would habe been ten times better. This movie had no story, no characters, and no real point. The actor's mumbled the whole movie. Even the part in which bin Laden himself was assassinated was not thrilling at all. I have no idea how the critics enjoyed this movie so much.
  51. 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
  52. 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.
  53. Jan 10, 2013
    6
    I love Hurt Locker. I love history. I love America. I do not love this film. There is so much dialogue and scenes that feel forced, and we get no character development. And the raid isn't even that good. Act of Valor did it better and more entertaining. Some people will say this is an amazing film but if and when you chose to see it, realize its 100% dialogue. Well 95% cuz certainty freaksI love Hurt Locker. I love history. I love America. I do not love this film. There is so much dialogue and scenes that feel forced, and we get no character development. And the raid isn't even that good. Act of Valor did it better and more entertaining. Some people will say this is an amazing film but if and when you chose to see it, realize its 100% dialogue. Well 95% cuz certainty freaks you out. Expand
  54. Jan 8, 2013
    9
    Though this movie could have easily been titled "Homeland: The Movie," it is excellent nonetheless. I also understand that some will be turned off by the prolific use of torture in the film. Those scenes are disturbing and meant to be. But anyone who doesn't think this film is honest in what it is portraying is either overly partisan or just not honest with themselves. Even though weThough this movie could have easily been titled "Homeland: The Movie," it is excellent nonetheless. I also understand that some will be turned off by the prolific use of torture in the film. Those scenes are disturbing and meant to be. But anyone who doesn't think this film is honest in what it is portraying is either overly partisan or just not honest with themselves. Even though we all know the end, the movie develops a tension towards that end which is palpable. Chastain is wonderful in the lead role. It shares the same gritty cinematography as the Hurt Locker, but for me, it was a more interesting story, perhaps because so much of it is behind the scenes. Expand
  55. 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
  56. 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
  57. 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.
  58. Jan 5, 2013
    8
    The decade long search for Bin Laden concluded in 2011, and under, merely, two years a film comes around that attempt to portray these events in an uncompromising fashion. Zero Dark is surely the year's ultimate zeitgeist film and also a purely exceptional viewing experience. Kathryn Bigelow follows up The Hurt Locker with an equally riveting display of directing, while at the same timeThe decade long search for Bin Laden concluded in 2011, and under, merely, two years a film comes around that attempt to portray these events in an uncompromising fashion. Zero Dark is surely the year's ultimate zeitgeist film and also a purely exceptional viewing experience. Kathryn Bigelow follows up The Hurt Locker with an equally riveting display of directing, while at the same time channeling herself through the movie's lead character Maya; a woman making good in a man's world. Jessica Chastain gives an utterly natural performance as the CIA officer, only known as Maya. She draws little attention to herself while at the same time being capable of holding the screen, which is a huge feat. Mark Boal Expand
  59. Dec 28, 2013
    5
    Zero Dark Thirty 5/10. I'm giving this a 5 out of 10 because I'm not really sure what to think about it. With The Hurt Locker (Great movie BTW) there was a clear message that was put out there. With Zero Dark Thirty I think Kathryn Bigelow did a complete cop-out to be perfectly blunt. She threw around all kinds of different issues in the movie, but never quite gave any of them aZero Dark Thirty 5/10. I'm giving this a 5 out of 10 because I'm not really sure what to think about it. With The Hurt Locker (Great movie BTW) there was a clear message that was put out there. With Zero Dark Thirty I think Kathryn Bigelow did a complete cop-out to be perfectly blunt. She threw around all kinds of different issues in the movie, but never quite gave any of them a conclusion. In the end that's why people think this is a pro-American, pro-torture movie. I think what she wanted to do was give an unbiased, politically correct view on an topic that deserves the complete opposite. This is a very exhausting movie, not because of it's length, but because it's presented factually, which in turn makes all the characters involved not very likable IMO. BUT I have to say, that if you haven't seen it, that you must. I think everyone should watch this movie. I don't really have a reason, except for I guess that there is in fact an underlying message, that is perfectly encapsulated in Maya's face in the last seconds of the movie. You know that saying that goes "A picture is worth a thousand words"? I think those last few minutes of looking at Maya and Hakim's (Fares Fares) faces pretty much sum it all up. Expand
  60. 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.
  61. 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
  62. Jan 10, 2013
    3
    A real let down. I'm a sucker for a Black Hawk Down, Hurt Locker, Etc. type of movie. This is none of those and dont be fuled by the complete bogus marketing. A complete bore through the first 2 hours with a few explosions thrown in to keep the audience interested. The complete lack of character development including the CIA operatives, The Terrorists, and the 15 minutes of seal teamA real let down. I'm a sucker for a Black Hawk Down, Hurt Locker, Etc. type of movie. This is none of those and dont be fuled by the complete bogus marketing. A complete bore through the first 2 hours with a few explosions thrown in to keep the audience interested. The complete lack of character development including the CIA operatives, The Terrorists, and the 15 minutes of seal team footage was very surprising. Its basically 2 hours of a CIA operative pullering her hair out in front of a computer follwed by 15 minutes of explosions, and 15 minutes of seal team six. The ending was so hear it comes and there it goes. I have no idea why the critics gave this such high ratings. Expand
  63. 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.
  64. 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
  65. Feb 11, 2013
    4
    Judging by reviews, I was expecting a very different movie to what I actually saw. For the most part, this is a collection of people talking...and talking...and...talking. All this dialogue could easily have been cut down, but the director seemed to think that the audience would be compelled by all this for two hours out of a two and a half hour movie. Also, I'm wondering why this movieJudging by reviews, I was expecting a very different movie to what I actually saw. For the most part, this is a collection of people talking...and talking...and...talking. All this dialogue could easily have been cut down, but the director seemed to think that the audience would be compelled by all this for two hours out of a two and a half hour movie. Also, I'm wondering why this movie was made anyway and it didn't answer any unanswered questions. I sincerely hope everyone involved in this doesn't end up in danger due to the sensitive subject matter. I was led to believe that the final half hour was going to be an amazing action sequence but it was such an anti climax and the most quiet "action" sequence you'll ever see. The fact that we know what's going to happen means there is no element of shock or surprise. The acting is good and it was an interesting angle for a movie, but unfortunately, it doesn't hold up quite as well as the critics would have you believe. Expand
  66. Jan 12, 2013
    0
    Yet another blatant exploitation of our nation's defense and security tactics. Everyone involved in this film should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. Clearly too much information was leaked and everyone should boycott this kind of movie. Anything that provides this kind of insight into our military tactics carries the risk of putting our soldiers into harm's way.
  67. Jan 18, 2013
    0
    I think this movie is the worst movie I have ever seen in my life. When you see a big gap between critic reviews and user reviews, the critics are trying to get you to buy a ticket so they can at least break even on the cost of this B rated movie. I want my money back.
  68. 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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  69. 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
  70. 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
  71. 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
  72. Feb 28, 2013
    6
    The film was alright I suppose, there was just, nothing in particular that I found "amazing" while watching it, in fact there are only 3 or 4 memorable scenes.
  73. 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
  74. Feb 5, 2015
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Enhanced Rhetorical Techniques

    Bigelow's great. I admire her. But I'm still not sure where she stands on the use of torture in the CIA and as movie entertainment. She never calls it torture. She uses the euphemistic acronym EIT: Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. Want more? How about EQM: Enriched Questioning Methods. AES: Augmented Enquiry Simulations. Or just call it what it is. T&A: Torture and Answers. When asked if torture effectively led to the whereabouts of Bin Laden, she is deliberately vague but clearly states that due to a compressed movie plot, 0Dark30 made it seem like it did. In her story, the victims of torture appear to be treated better than I imagined. They never gave misleading answers so the torture would stop. They never coughed up what the interrogator wanted to hear. I got the feeling that the torture was somehow redeeming for them. Like an intense workout. No pain, no gain. And even though it was implied that the captives wouldn't be around to identify their inquisitors, afterwards they were rewarded with tender words and hummus. The glossing over these interrogative ordeals sweetens the message of torture as an indispensable necessity. The movie begins with torture and ends with the capture of OBL. The cause and effect is unmistakable.

    That the liberal media is jumping all over this is no surprise. That the picture has been snubbed at the Oscars is also telling. Bigelow offers us a very well-crafted movie that celebrates GWB's overtly hostile America.

    After watching 0D30 and reassessing Hurt Locker, I'm impressed by the way Bigelow manages to document the crazy courageous misfits needed to engage in wartime activity. She is a sharp and audacious filmmaker, and another GOP apologist. It wouldn't surprise me to find her at some future Republican Convention arguing with an empty chair.
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  75. 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
  76. Ozy
    Mar 2, 2015
    0
    So, moral of the story - Two people arent getting along. One tells the other off. The other slaps the other. Then the slapped person blows up the other ones house. Then the house owner Kills the other. This is a great lesson for our kids. Hate violence kill bomb and cool stuff.
  77. Feb 15, 2013
    5
    Good portrayal of a protagonist. "Zero Dark Thirty" perfectly embodies the classic heroin in a highly controversial theme. But it's only Chastain that drags the movie through. Everyone and everything seems irrelevant.
  78. 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
  79. Jan 12, 2013
    5
    Starts and ends well but the core of the film is mediocrity at its finest in film form. The problem with this film is that, Bigelow and Boal want to say so much and yet, they confine themselves too a two and a half hour window. Boal shows just how much a fish out of water he really is here. The script is a tempermental mess, introducing one character only too abandon them for another asStarts and ends well but the core of the film is mediocrity at its finest in film form. The problem with this film is that, Bigelow and Boal want to say so much and yet, they confine themselves too a two and a half hour window. Boal shows just how much a fish out of water he really is here. The script is a tempermental mess, introducing one character only too abandon them for another as soon as any character development begins to form. The story itself jumps from plot point to plot point with out any real meat between the set peices. The closest comparison would be a Michael Bay film, in terms of the organization of the film. You see their is really no plot development, no actual emotional connection to anything one sees in this film. Instead, what you get is a series of events held together with padding. Like Bay it seems Boal wrote the big set pieces first and then linked them through shoddy narrative structure. The set peices mind you are amazing, but everything in between is just lazy filler. At least Bay tries to infuse his filler with some energy but ZDT, nope. The padding is a barren waste off missed opportunity. Jessica Chaistain is the most evident in this sense of dull acting. She just stands around and looks mildly discomforted by everything. Mark Strong and Jason Clarke are the only ones who really do any acting. In fact there are only two scenes that really have any life too them, the first being the one where Strong's character, George is first introduced. There is fire there is energy, life and then... Bigelows drops it all and goes back to morose mild discomfort until the last chunk of the film. The end of the film is really well done. And that is where you see that beyond the ending, this film is simply just another Body of Lies. It's almost as if Boal wrote this first, in a flurry off maddening genius and Bigelow directed five minutes after he handed it too her and then they wrote the rest of the film. All their energy gone into that last forty minutes, Though as much as I lambaste this film, considering the overly generous praise given to it (especially considering the high quality of The Hurt Locker), it does present an interesting premise. It would have made one hell of a miniseries! Boal even separates the individual acts almost as if they were episodes. And Bigelow directs each act as if it is an episode of an HBO miniseries, yet sadly, its not. Instead we have a bloated film, from a writer who couldn't figure out how to write this story beyond scripting the Abbotobad raid. It's a great story. It's just on the wrong screen. Expand
  80. 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
  81. Aug 14, 2014
    2
    I really feel funny when movies like this is rated so good my all the critics, why the hell they are so desperately promoting the American propaganda..? Where they lost their real sense of Art in case of such movies.
    This is the one of the most boring and worthless movie ever created in World history but still rated so good by all the critics.
  82. Feb 1, 2013
    5
    Strongly overhyped by the critics. Like Hurtlockers the Hunt-for-Bin-Laden lacks the thrill if would expect in ssuch topic and over long periods felt dull and boring. Bigelow is dissapointing and does not deserve an Oscar in my eyes. Why Hollywood critics try to hype her so much,,, no idea... perhaps because she is female....^^
  83. Jan 10, 2013
    5
    it's no hurt locker. the timeline gaps water down the story. the 95 critic rating is BS. i don't see it. there are many better pictures in theaters right now. It is watchable but not powerful or memorable like hurt locker was. prepare for disappointment and you may come out ok.
  84. Apr 20, 2013
    9
    Nice The movie was so nice and good. I love it.
  85. 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
  86. May 19, 2013
    0
    horrible film that shows senseless perverted violence and doesn't even bother to make a point
    as a documentary it fails to answer or even stab at the real question WHY? Why did the US with all the resources of richest country could not locate a single man and/or destroy organization which he stood behind.
    This film's entertainment value is nonexistent
  87. Jan 12, 2013
    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 enoughThe 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 Expand
  88. Dec 21, 2012
    10
    Amazing . This is not a triumphant story in their telling, but it is one uncommonly freighted with the weight of history.Like the fictional Clarice Starling in "The Silence of the Lambs,'' Maya is a consummate professional who brilliantly performs her job in an often hostile work environment.
  89. 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.
  90. 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.
  91. Jan 5, 2013
    9
    Excellent movie that is likely closer to the real truth than the goverment and CIA would like you to believe. More thriller and less Expendables....but a must see nonetheless. An important movie.
  92. 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
  93. Jan 18, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It was okay. Basically a well-dramatised account of the hunt for Bin Laden, but suffers from a too-long running time. The acting is very average, the script sparse, the dialogue terrible, the plot surprisingly thin. For a film that tries to chart the hunt for arguably the biggest boogieman in US history, it's a very empty film. The ONLY reason that the film succeeds is because of it's subject matter. Without that, it's just a recreation documentary without any of the interesting documentary information. The scriptwriter, Mark Boal, struggles to write a coherent narrative, and seems to resort to choppy little vingettes instead. I don't know if that was a conscious decision, or a lack of skill. It's worth seeing on video, and only because of the subject material. As a narrative documentary it's great; as a film it sucks. Expand
  94. Dec 24, 2013
    3
    A pimped-out political commercial. The actors seemed miscast and the 'story' a bit disjointed; more of a documentary than anything, and even then it felt so aloof without direction.
  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. Apr 13, 2013
    6
    A repetitiveness was definitely realized with this film and almost an exploitation of one of the most major hunts in American history. Acting was very well, but aside from the pay out, nothing is really wonderful with this film.
  97. 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.
  98. Jan 13, 2013
    5
    Not impressed, as I was not impressed with Hurt Locker. Bigelow goes through the motions but does not tell a compelling story. What are compelling in both movies are the topics, and that seems to give a boost to the buzz about the movies. I am confused why this movie receiving such high marks from critics. As for Jessica Chastain, nothing wrong with the performance: just not much for herNot impressed, as I was not impressed with Hurt Locker. Bigelow goes through the motions but does not tell a compelling story. What are compelling in both movies are the topics, and that seems to give a boost to the buzz about the movies. I am confused why this movie receiving such high marks from critics. As for Jessica Chastain, nothing wrong with the performance: just not much for her to do.[ I haven't seen all nominees, but female performance I remember enjoying the most this year: Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises.] Expand
  99. 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
  100. 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.
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.