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…
If this movie was strong enough to have former Guantanamo Bay detainees condemn it for being seemingly supportive of "advanced interrogation techniques", then you know that it definitely buzz.
I still feel equally ignorant on the topic, but I feel educated enough to not make any future assumptions. Also makes me wonder if drones strikes are really any better.
Great movie with wonderful performances
Every time this masterpiece gets better and better. Its ambiguity about this country post 9/11 isn't a cop out, for the film shows incredible nuance and insight about all that has gone well and all that has gone horribly wrong. Thinking about the sickening and moronic smear campaign that was mounted against this movie claiming it was "pro-torture" is just making me angry, so I'll just say Bigelow has made the definitive 9/11 film. Actually, the definitive 21st century America film.
Kathryn Bigelow is a master of creating tension and Mark Boal is a genius when it comes to writing scripts about government and military operatives. The cast is full of amazing performances with not a bad one among them but Jessica Chastain is the heart and soul of the movie. Great cinematography with a good score which isn't showy and does what its required to do. The script is easy to follow and the thrills are plenty even though its rarely about shooting. The pacing is great and the movie engaging that it doesn't feel like its 2 1/2 hour. Great movie that had me riveted the whole time.
This film is sublime. Its construction to the final climax is riveting. I've read criticism stating that the only worthwhile part about this film is the sequence where Bin Laden's compound is raided. I completely disagree. I actually prefer the 8yr buildup to the raid (which I agree is fantastic) because this is truly a character study. Maya's character just exists within a situation with heightened stakes.
It works because of the strong and thoughtful direction by Bigelow and Chastain's brilliant, stoic, and fully-realized performance. I never get sick of this film, whenever it ends I have the urge to rewatch it.
Chastain is God.
I've seen this film quite a few times since its release, and I'm genuinely surprised with how well it has held up. Completely setting aside political issues (which I don't think are very prevalent in the film, but I could see an argument for the inverse), Zero Dark Thirty is a terrific procedural with remarkable performances from Jessica Chastain and Jason Clarke. Bigelow's direction is nothing short of great, and she is what really makes this film one of the best military movies in the past decade or so. Really glad it held up.
Simply great acting and storytelling.
Egynek elment, viszont a végén, maga a Bin Laden-es hajsza nézői szempontból elég élvezhetetlenre sikeredett. Egyszer bőven elég volt megnézni.
Riveting account of the long lead up to Osama Bin Laden's execution through the eyes of a young female CIA agent (convincingly played by Chastain) who is actually a composite of several real life characters, that stubbornly drove the investigation against the odds. Bigelow's low-key almost documentarian film making style gives credibility to scenes of raw drama, such as the torture scenes. The climactic operation in Bin Laden's compound is so masterfully executed and tense, it makes you feel like you were there.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Lilya 4-Ever
- Life Is Beautiful
- Dancer in the Dark
- Christiane F.
My five hundred favorite films (1940-2014)
- 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…