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…
Extremely good movie. As many know, it's about the ten year hunt for Osama Bin Laden, with Jessica Chastain's character being the main driver behind tracking him down. Of course, many people took part in this manhunt and helped the character of Maya (an amalgam of several people, I'm led to believe). Whatever the reality, the movie itself was excellent, with many familiar faces populating the proceedings. We had a full cast of fine actors including Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Harold Perrineau. Jason Clarke, Mark Strong (whom I didn't even recognize...maybe because he wore a toupe? ), Mark Duplass, James Gandolfini, Joel Edgerton, and John Barrowman.
But no doubt, it's Chastain's movie and she's great as usual. Katheryn Bigelow does a fine directing job. This could work as a companion piece to Bigelow's The Hurt Locker.
What an incredible waste of time, watching the paint dry on the walls would have been a more productive use of my time. But I myself am to blame for ignoring the obvious alarms that went off when I noticed that the movie clocks in at 157 minutes. I knew they weren't just going to drag out the compound breach during the whole run time but what was I even expecting to get out of this? Maybe I was expecting a flash of unexpected brilliance during the events that lead up to the breach which would help to appreciate the final confrontation a bit more. Something maybe like Body Of Lies, they even had Mark Strong as part of the…
Reassured and lazy incompetence is the main downfall of this film.
The atrocious cinematography and the equally bad camera direction are primarily a cause of laziness. The cinematographer said, "Getting an image to the monitor was the priority." If that is EVER a priority for ANY film, it will be a bad film. "Getting it over with" isn't the correct mindset for art.
There was a huge overuse of unfocused foreground objects (and shoulders; lots of blurred blue shoulders) to make the film look journalistic. This looked like the camera work of a cameraman on The Office. Bigelow's vision of making the film look like it was shot by a journalist shouldn't permit awful composition and encroached personal shots. The…
I'm trying to think of a pun that relates this film to Soderbergh's Traffic. Chastain is is great, though.
This movie is insanely good. Just a pitch perfect example of filmmaking for grown-ups. Tense, emotional, thrilling. Damn near perfect.
This was written for my "Women in World Cinema Class"
“It’s her against the world”
To talk about Zero Dark Thirty in terms of its women to talk about 2 women: the director, Cathryn Bigelow and Maya, the main character of the film.
The first time we see Maya, we don't know it. She is the first closeup of the film, but she is wearing a mask, hiding her identity. A few minutes later we see her take it off, and we are a little surprised that it is a woman, since the setting is usually associated with men, even more so in movies. Bigelow does not make the moment about the reveal in any way. That moment is shot…
While it suffers from an unfocused plot and a lengthy runtime, Zero Dark Thirty proves to be a worthy telling of a fascinating time in American history thanks to Kathryn Bigelow's superb direction and several strong performances from the film's outstanding cast.
After director Kathryn Bigelow made the successful Oscar-winning war drama “The Hurt Locker”, she made another succesful film in the same genre: “Zero Dark Thirty”. This time the film centers around the hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks. The film was sometimes a bit messy and unclear. At some points I didn’t really understood who was who and why some things were done that way. Some events were obvious others were less predictable. The film took 157 minutes and sometimes it got a bit dull, tedious and I missed the tension “The Hurt Locker” had. The subject however does intrigues me but the extent to which this film is true, I don’t know.…
The Dissolve recently released their picks for The 50 Best Films of the Decade, Letterboxd'ized here for my benefit (and…