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 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…
This a film I find myself watching over and over again, it's a masterclass in filmmaking period!
Kathryn Bigelow directs the fact based story of the ten year hunt for Osama Bin Laden. Maya (Jessica Chastain) is the CIA agent who becomes obsessed with the hunt. With her we see the torture of suspects and the chasing down of blind alleys and dead ends until finally she pinpoints a compound in Pakistan. The final raid is portrayed virtually in realtime.
This is well made and Bigelow manages to make people sitting around desks talking - which they do a lot - look interesting. The film was originally written before bin Laden was found - the focus being the frustration of a ten year hunt and in inefficacy of the torture the US had used. When bin Laden…
"I'm the motherfucker that found this place, sir."
Groaned. Loudly. Stopped the film and groaned for almost four minutes straight. Almost didn't continue. Why would anyone think that's a good line? Why does Chastain say it in such a wince-inducing way? Why? My God, it's fucking awful!
There are more than a handful of other bad lines and stifled dialogue littered through the film, although nothing as egregious. Otherwise, this is an engaging movie despite its length. The pacing, I think, works to its advantage. It plays like a TV series episode (or two) with its drawn out build-ups and camerawork.
Obviously, the pace picks up tremendously when Kathryn Bigelow has the opportunity to show off her action-making skills. And what a fantastic and gripping third act it is. Frankly, I could listen to those stealthy, half-muffled rotor noises for half an hour because they sound wonderfully lush on great headphones.
Zero Dark Thirty is een kille verfilming van de jacht op public enemy number one Osama bin Laden. De film is net zo zakelijk als de procedures die voorafgaan aan de executie van de terroristenleider. De aanwezigheid van frêle CIA-agente Maya (Jessica Chastain) wekt tijdens de martelingen in de openingsscène de verwachting dat in ieder geval één persoon bij de Amerikaanse autoriteiten nog menselijke gevoelens heeft, maar martelen is standard operating procedure en Maya blijkt net zo'n koude kikker als haar collega's. Ze wordt tien jaar lang gedreven door een obsessie. Het personage wordt gedefinieerd aan de hand van haar werkzaamheden. Buiten dat kader heeft ze geen bestaan. Een foto van een gesneuvelde collega op haar bureau doet vermoeden dat…
Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty renders with astonishing attention to detail the near-decade long hunt for Osama bin Laden in the post-9/11 culture of anti-terrorist zeal and near-xenophobic disdain for those of Middle Eastern descent. By depicting the man hours, the devotion, and the self-sacrifice, it manages to be powerfully affecting.
Coming off a pretty impressive year (The Help, The Tree of Life, Coriolanus, Take Shelter, The Debt), the streak continues with Jessica Chastain’s (mostly) quietly powerful performance as Maya, a CIA analyst who follows her clues and leads all the way to a whole-hearted belief that Osama bin Laden is alive and well and living in isolation somewhere in Pakistan. Her boss (Kyle Chandler) doesn’t believe her. Her colleagues…
It works when it works.
Account of the hunt for Osama bin Laden is absorbing, though the particulars are often a bit hard to follow, which prevents the film from being as involving as it could be. Does a great job of showing the many different aspects of such an operation (including the human toll) in as objective a way as possible, thankfully steering clear of jingoism. Writer Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow successfully shaped a decade of events into a story without making it too slick.
Very interesting. I wondered how much was based on fact. Acting was class, each scene seemed crisp and well set out. It maybe dragged a little at stages. I enjoyed it, and would recommend. You have to be up for this kind of film. Slow, Factual, Serious, Largely based in torture and terrorism. If you are, I'd say try this film.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- The Broadway Melody
As we near the kickoff to Oscar season, I figured it would be appropriate for the site to have a…
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Pulp Fiction
- Taxi Driver
- The Shining
- Apocalypse Now
# Title [#Voters/#Votes] =Total
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey [60/124] =184
2. Pulp Fiction [57/124] =181
3. Taxi Driver [35/69]…