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…
Kathryn Bigelow is back with a seemingly truthful account of American soldiers in the middle east; however, this time it is less about the frontline and more about the politics.
Unlike The Hurt Locker, audiences fully know what to expect before viewing this film. It is a glorification of “the greatest manhunt in history,” the assassination of assassinations. Despite the unwavering patriotism it runs on, this is a damn good film.
It opens with darkness. Recordings of 911 calls from people in the World Trade Center during the attacks are played to set the tone. It is unnerving, not strictly because of the content, but rather films rarely exclude visuals. This experiment amplifies the dread in their voices, it reminds…
I've written reviews for movies that I've thought would be difficult to write about but Zero Dark Thirty left me speechless when I first saw it and continues to do so...
Beware films based on true stories that come in quick succession of said true events. History has yet to judge this point in time on the so-called ‘War on Terror’ and all Kathryn Bigelow’s dangerous propaganda piece does here is provide cement to help solidify the bricks of the ‘official legend’.
Beyond this, ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ is a collection of dry and mostly uninteresting scenes set within offices and CIA black sites, and when we’re not stuck in a stuffy room with a bunch of semi-fictionalised bureaucrats, we’re forced to endure Bigelow’s attempts at real-world espionage that is about as exciting as watching your postman delivering the mail.
Jessica Chastain provides some star wattage while Jason Clarke and Mark Strong steal some scenes, and although the filmmaking on display is technically proficient, its motives remain suspect and therefore the finished product is as dubious and premature as one might expect.
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.s Team 6 in May 2011. - IMDB
Ever since I saw this film at the cinema, I had it in my head that it had some pretty disturbing torture scenes within it. Watching it now, it didn't seem that bad at all. Perhaps it was just what I had heard from other people since? Maybe.
I'm a fan of Jessica Chastain, and she did a great job as the protagonist in this film but since, I've heard that the CIA agent that she was based on was really hard to work with. I didn't get too much of a sense of that. There was a little, but she was more of a hero in this, rather than a rock hard bitch that she apparently is.
While being very informative about the raid and murder of the most wanted man of the twenty first century, it's a bit slow until they actually do the mission, which is of course the end of the movie.
propaganda films pls go
Two hours of Muslim torturing.
Young CIA agent Maya embarks into a 9 year journey to search and kill the world's most dangerous monster.
This is Kathryn Bigelow's best film. When the film was being made, it was about telling the story about how USA failed capturing OBL. Then, in May 2011 some SEALs raided a home where Bin Laden was apparently living there and reportedly killed. The filmmakers changed their mind and decided to tell the story.
The best thing about this film is that is not meant to glorify the USA as Earth's best nation (the body is not thrown to the sea as spreaded by many news, nor Maya gets official condecorations) as well as it isn't shown to be a failure.…
After the third viewing it has become clear that this is a modern masterpiece.
The Dissolve recently released their picks for The 50 Best Films of the Decade, Letterboxd'ized here for my benefit (and…