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…
Water boarding is how we baptize terrorists.
I am beginning to make peace with this as a fictional work and not as the major public depiction of the events as they occurred. Recent readings of interviews with Seymour Hersh and the reactions to it reinforce how much the narrative here is, knowingly or not, based on a very partisan narrative from people trying to make themselves look good and evade responsibility for bad behavior. I do not know what happened and recent information only clouds the water further. However, I was able to set that aside some more and enjoy the movie more this time,
Buena, pero creo que no contó la historia completa
Tension y historia bien llevada, te mantiene en el sillon cada vez mas expectante , aunque no llega al nivel de Hurt locker.
Still makes for powerful viewing even the second time around.
I'm familiar with the real-life events but the Camp Chapman attack is the only scene which for some reason I can't stomach to watch (the first time I prolonged my stay in the cinema restroom and the second time I hightailed it out of the living room). I still don't know why that particular scene affects me so much.
After the colossal fuck-up that was The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow has aptly redeemed herself alongside screenwriter Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty a gripping, captivating and oft-times deft exploration of the manhunt for Osama bin Laden. It is disjointed in segments, the climax feels somewhat underwhelming due to a lack of immediate stack and risk, and the film could have had fifteen minutes cut and still possess the same impact, but on the whole, the work does suitably portray the difficulty, frustration and continual dismay evoked by the manhunt. Chastain, as usual, kills it, but the standout is Jason Clarke, who delivers a restrained, passionate and versatile performance. It doesn't warrant a second viewing (at least immediately afterwards), but it's appropriately rewarding all the same.
The film was incredible. I loved the detail and the intricacies of how all of the information came together. I disliked the breaking of the movie up with individual title cards as I thought that it added unnecessary muddle to the whole thing. The assault on Abbottabad was phenomenal and incredibly suspenseful. Chastain was great, but I found myself connecting a lot more with Clarke’s character. Ending was abrupt; fully concluded the story the film was telling, but I would have loved to have seen some resolution to the Maya character. Well worth the year and a half I have been waiting! (9.2/10)
The Dissolve recently released their picks for The 50 Best Films of the Decade, Letterboxd'ized here for my benefit (and…