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 is 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…
Up until around the hour mark I couldn't see myself giving this anything other than a 3 star rating. I just wasn't that sold. And even now, I'm not sure if I've rated it a bit too favourably.
So, let's start by the faults; the script is occasionally cheesy and oblique. Some scenes belong in a different far more commercial, no brainer movie ("I'll go and speak with The Wolf" cue really obvious intro of said character performing Ṣalāt) some are just ill advised (Edgar Ramirez briefly checking out Jessica Chastain's rack) whilst others occur with so little explanation as to make you wish you had an accompanying timeline pamphlet or booklet of events. Not wishing to be immodest, but…
Es la caza de Bin Laden exponiendo los extremos a los que puede llegar una persona totalmente entregada a esa causa, y contado todo con un enfoque casi de reportaje muy largo. Jessica Chastain está sensacional, especialmente en ese último plano que pone en contexto todo lo que hemos visto.
This is difficult, disturbing film. The debates around its "historical accuracy" and its position on torture are irrelevant nonsense.
Started watching this to kill time for another film to start but got interested. Thought it would have more about the strike force sent in but it was all backstory of the CIA op.
Jessica Chastain you sexy woman you.
Other than lil Chassey,(Think that'll catch on?) I respected what Kathryn Bigelow was taking on here, but I wasn't invested in the characters and found myself tracking off for almost the entire film.
I felt like the actors were actors trying to portray every day people but the every day people were trying to be every day people? :S
Tried to be Hurt Locker. Failed.
Such a boring movie. Its like going on work experience to an office and told to sit on a chair and observe for the whole day. The Call of Duty ending tacked on at the end wasn't even worth it. Such a shame because The Hurt Locker was exceptional.
The Good: Great performances from Jessica Chastain and company. Intense. A little bit on the talky side, but the dialogue is well-written and well-delivered. The second half with the Navy SEALs, which was shot documentary-style with night vision, is pretty cool. It's a joy to watch Chastain's character evolve into a hard-ass. "I'm the motherfucker that found this place, sir."
The Bad: Seems like it's missing some crucial parts, like why did they decide to go through with the raid out of the blue? I could see some viewers getting distracted by whether it's accurate or not, since most of it (especially the raid) is quite suspect. Basically Hollywoodized Oscar bait.
The Bottom Line: Is Zero Dark Thirty one of the best films of 2012? Not really. What it is is simply a solid and entertaining action-thriller.