Metascore
95

Universal acclaim - based on 46 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 873 Ratings

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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: Steven Rea
    Jan 3, 2013
    100
    A monumental achievement that documents a coordinated and complicated response to a monumental tragedy.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Nov 27, 2012
    100
    The film's power steadily and relentlessly builds over its long course, to a point that is terrifically imposing and unshakable.
  4. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jan 9, 2013
    100
    The last thing we see in Zero Dark Thirty is Maya's face and it is also ours, silently crying tears of reflection.
  5. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Dec 14, 2012
    90
    It's only at the very beginning and the very end that Zero Dark Thirty functions (brilliantly) as a ripped-from-the-headlines political thriller. Much of the rest of the time, it's a workplace drama about a woman so good at her job that most of her colleagues think she's crazy.
  6. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jan 10, 2013
    88
    Zero Dark Thirty, like the mission that inspired it, commands respect, admiration, even awe in places for the logistical nightmares that had to be overcome to get it done. But it's a hard movie to love.
  7. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Dec 18, 2012
    50
    As a realistic political thriller about Americans in harm's way it is not half as suspenseful or entertaining as "Argo." We may never know the truth about how we found bin Laden, but I still believe what we do know makes a strong enough story on its own without Wonder Woman.

See all 46 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 55 out of 224
  1. Dec 20, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers. 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. Collapse
  2. Apr 27, 2013
    10
    Zero Dark Thirty is a perfect film a movie that reflects America's patriotism and faith in a woman wanting to capture the most wanted man inZero Dark Thirty is a perfect film a movie that reflects America's patriotism and faith in a woman wanting to capture the most wanted man in the world dotod is a movie full of action drama and a magnificent Final voltage Jessica Chastain this spectacular Expand
  3. 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 lessExcellent 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. Expand
  4. Jan 12, 2013
    8
    This is a well directed, we'll acted DRAMA that will probably (and unfortunately) win the Oscarfor best ppicture because of its subjectThis is a well directed, we'll acted DRAMA that will probably (and unfortunately) win the Oscarfor best ppicture because of its subject matter. It isn't uber-patriotic but still left me feeling as though I had taken in a one-sided, based account of said events. The screenplay is at times gripping and much like it's predecessor, the hurt Locker, the cinematography and performances are excellent. If you go into this expecting an action-thriller, you'll leave satisfied. If you're looking for an accurate historical account, I'd advise looking elsewhere. Expand
  5. 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 4The 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. Expand
  6. Jan 9, 2013
    4
    I wonder what happens.... This movie isn't historically accurate at all. I was almost turned off instantly when the trailer showed Seal Team 6I wonder what happens.... This movie isn't historically accurate at all. I was almost turned off instantly when the trailer showed Seal Team 6 slowly approaching Osama's house. As if Osama and his guards wouldn't have heard the helicopter approach in the first place... Expand
  7. Aug 15, 2014
    0
    this movie is like trying to hold you back from getting osama, every annoying little thing that stopped people from catching him was conveyedthis movie is like trying to hold you back from getting osama, every annoying little thing that stopped people from catching him was conveyed before any action scenes are even showed, the whole movie stunk.
    I pray for the immediate victims of 911, and the innocent victims of the aftermath and the wars caused as a result.

    that being said... ... ... This movie is boring, men are not portrayed as men in this movie they are all mice, I mean the guys in the movie are all like wimpy, and stereo typical, not all men act like that, but in the movie like 99% do. I hate the way it was directed the camera shakes all over the place at bits, and they make osama out to be a vampire or something...
    [no that does not happen in the movie that would be entertaining]
    this movie is garbage it is not a war movie it is a bad documentary made into a movie that bores you.

    in the commercials for this movie they show all the action bits and the scarf wearing secret agents with [aka47 looking guns], doing gangster style hip hop walking to their enemy just stupid looking.

    Man I like war movies so if thats what you are looking for watch the lone surviver or saving private ryan, cause this movie is more about watching a geeky woman and stereo typical dumb hillbilly men with guns. we don't want to be bored out of our minds we just want to see an action movie which is what was promised in many of the movie trailers don't fall for it, Its only like a few minutes of the movies ending thats even worth a mention and even then not worth it.
    Expand

See all 224 User Reviews

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