Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Zero Dark Thirty
The Greatest Manhunt in History
A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May, 2011.
That's a very grudging three stars, because — like Flight — there's more to chew on than I initially realized, but I still think it's kind of a crappy movie. Let me count the ways:
1) The first third in particular wore me down. I exceedingly dislike the way Bigelow transforms 7/7, the 2008 Islamabad Marriott bombing and the bombing of Camp Chapman into standard suspense setpieces (when will that explosive go off?). The latter particularly rubbed the wrong way: the longer Bigelow keeps intercutting between Maya's chat window and the guilelessly optimistic CIA officials awaiting their big break is downright sadistic. (It was just another gchat session UNTIL.) Is there intent here to make the viewer tensely ever-expectant of…
I feel deeply conflicted by this film. While I admire its scope I have great difficulties with the way it presents it, both in content and in cinematic quality.
Let me start by saying that Bigelow should earn nothing but respect for taking on such an ambitious project. I am not a big fan of hers as a director (and she betrays here weaknesses here as well), but I always admire artists who dare to push the boat out a bit further than the rest or take on a challenge with both hands.
Chronicling a decade long man-hunt for the world's public enemy number one is no small task. Mark Boal's script comes across as fastidiously researched, giving us a…
Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow’s controversial drama about the ten-year manhunt for Osama bin Laden, comes with more baggage than most movies. It was released a mere year after the culmination of the investigation that finished with bin Laden being killed in Pakistan. The film has been plagued by vocal detractors criticising its stance on torture whilst the war on terror still remains a contentious subject for politicians and public alike. It is therefore a film that is impossible to evaluate on its own merits as it is intrinsically linked to the politics of our age.
Bigelow and writer-producer, Mark Boal, smartly navigate this perilous minefield delivering a tense thriller and investigative drama that follows one CIA officer’s obsessive quest…
"It's her against the world." - The Wolf
Ah...I feel sick. That was officially the most intense cinematic experience I've ever had. Picture this: a black-box theatre that's more like a small screening room, every seat taken, surround sound. It opens with a black screen, with only the sounds of the weeping, panicking victims of the 9/11 attacks. It's uncomfortable, it's dark, and it's sure as hell upsetting. Welcome to Zero Dark Thirty, kids; the tone is set.
There's been much controversy over the use of torture to make the 'good guys' armour look more than just a bit tarnished, and the furore is justified. In the first 30 minutes, there are numerous instances of brutal, humiliating, unrelenting torture, that…
This movie commits two cardinal sins of film-making.
The first is that it doesn't build up the threat. What's at stake? We are all aware that this is based on allegedly real events, but the goal these characters are so vehemently pursuing doesn't feel important because the threat is never seen. He was allegedly responsible for many acts of terrorism in real life, but where is this *in the movie*? There's a quick allusion to 9/11 in the beginning, but that is just not enough. I felt the same way at the end as I did at the start because nobody was feeling any effects of the threat at any point throughout the entire story. Simply put, it feels like…
Zero Dark Thirty comes as one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year. Jessica Chastain has been nominated for an Oscar and multiple other awards. It's sparked debate with it's scenes of torture. There's a lengthy and very interesting debate about it in Dirk's review thread. All of this had me really curious what I'd make of it.
Well I gotta say I was a bit underwhelmed. I could tell you my political views, but I'd rather just talk about it simply as a film.
As a film, I felt it was good but nowhere near as good as the critical praise would suggest. It's damn near 3 hours long so I was very surprised at the lack…
A bit longer than it needs to be, though.
Executed with gripping tension that effortlessly builds in "Zero Dark Thirty", director Kathryn Bigelow masterfully orchestrates a well-paced and engaging procedural that plays out like an edge-of-your seat thriller. Jessica Chastain gives the performance of her career, and one of the best of 2012, as she is the driving force that carries the entire film.
Nuts and bolts espionage procedural that's... well crafted, if not terribly entertaining. I did appreciate a lot of the choices made (imagine how awful that climactic siege sequence would've been in the hands of a Michael Bay schooled film maker), but the nailing of Osama Bin Laden was never a goal the film ever got me to care about much. Each character is (intentionally) soley defined by their role in the manhunt to the point that the person we end up knowing the most about is the interrogated subject in the film's opening chapter. In fact, if the entire film had been Jason Clarke and Jessica Chastain going duo e mano with Reda Kateb, I would have found it much easier to invest in. But in the end, it's not a film about people, but ideas and ideals and what Best moment: Kateb's interrogation.
An outstanding movie with an exceptional starring role by Jessica Chastain. The movie chronicles the decade long hunt for Osama Bin Laden after September 11th.
It raises very real ethical questions and dilema's.
Kathryn Bigelow and modern American geopolitics are a match made in heaven, as the Hurt Locker proved before and this film does again. Jessica Chastain is the steely core of a globetrotting procedural drama, one built of tension strung together by a smart, swift Boal script. The final twenty minutes are by themselves a masterwork of pacing that represent the best of 2012's best film.
Gritty, intense, powerful, with great art direction and cinematography.
A fictionalisation of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, which includes very disturbing torture scenes. Torture scenes aside this film was surprisingly exciting considering that we all know how it's going to end.
I liked this movie a lot more than I thought I would. My perception before I saw it and the reality were quite different.
The script is well crafted and the director brought a tone of urgency (via a lot of tight, dimly lit shots) throughout. The action sequence at the end is exceptionally staged and shot, putting the audience right in the middle of the scene.
The aspect that surprised me the most is how politically evenhanded the film is, given the ideologies of the people involved. I can almost imagine the writer and director being told what really happened and having it change their perspective. One can hope.
I liked that the filmmakers did not shy away from…
an overlong look at the decade of torturing people it took to accidently find bin laden, and then send in the most inept group of navy seals on the planet to kill him.
this is well shot and acted but it just drags on with no real momentum. its 20 mins of torture, 20 mins of someone sitting at a desk, explosion ... repeat, for 2 hours then the seals turn up with their spanking new helicopters and what should have been a kinetic quality ending turns into a haze of green nightvision and lots of shaky cam.
and why, when the highly trained seal team crash the helicopter 10 feet from the building they are attacking, didn't anyone wake up? I know its a stealth helicopter but that doeasnt mean its going to crash silently. bloody stupid.
not as good as the hurt locker.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- The Social Network
- Certified Copy
- A Separation
The Dissolve recently released their picks for The 50 Best Films of the Decade, Letterboxd'ized here for my benefit (and…
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Lilya 4-Ever
- Dancer in the Dark
- Life Is Beautiful
My five hundred favorite films (1940-2014)