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…
Juxtaposes indefensible war crimes (torture, drone strikes, civilian killings) with the casually callous perpetrators. Each character displays a profound disconnect (lacking a key to their own humanity) save Fares' Hakim, an observer/participant whose POV highlights this in the final act. Chastain's Maya is the only self-aware offender, and feels the lack keenly. Not as morally ambiguous/bankrupt as you've been told.
Haven't seen since theaters in January 2013 where I was completely blown away by it. My reaction remains similar in that it is a tightly wound tale of post-9-11 and our obsession with fighting terrorism. I don't know who got jipped more for an Oscar: Jessica Chastain, Kathryn Bigelow, Greig Fraser or Alexandre Desplat, who are the driving forces that give this such a tense shell (at least Chastain was nominated). It's definitely too controversial for Best Picture, though that doesn't stop it from feeling prevalent and aggressively authentic in stating that America isn't always the good guys. Also, where do you go when your job of a decade plus is over? The small ending isn't undermined by not answering this question. It is an honest question to the audience. The film still feels like a masterpiece that will contribute to defining War on Terrorism cinema.
An excellent, yet highly entertainment focused, retelling of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. The idea that 10 years can even be shrink-wrapped into a cohesive 2 hour 30 minute run time is an accomplishment all unto itself. Sure, some of the material is more than likely fictitious and elaborated, but aren't all true stories that come out of Hollywood?
I have to commend Bigelow with some amazing directorial decisions right from the start. The opening of the 911 calls from September 11th with a black screen, followed by an extensive torture scene(s) was extremely powerful. At first, I feel that you want to cheer for the CIA operative, but quickly it becomes uncomfortable, and you want them to leave…
A lot better than I thought it would be. For some reason I thought it would be another Hurt Locker, and at 2.5 hours, that is a long film to sit through. Instead it is a film that builds suspense. Yes it is very "pro-American", but you kind of expect that in this kind of film...
I remember watching this on the theater and I haven't watched since, I forgot how much I loved it.
Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty is probably a half an hour too long and hadn't it been too slow-paced during the first half, it would have been a nearly perfect motion picture. The film was built on a very tense atmosphere and particularly the final hour presented masterfully crafted sequences, which were really suspenseful and exciting. Jessica Chastain delivered a brilliant performance and she along with her character provided the film with a human element that made it more believable.
Of course, by dealing with important and controversial historical events that happen to be very recent, this film was destined to inspire immediate controversy, and though many have labelled it as too "American" and pro-torture, in my opinion, similar to…
So much better than I had thought it would be when it was initially announced.
Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty is a war based thriller that is a based on true events is perfection.
Everything from it scale to haunting score to it beautiful cinematography, Fantastic editing and phenomenal performance by Jessica Chastain and perfect Screenplay from Mark Boal to even it 2 hr 38 minute run time. .
Zero Dark Thirty is one of those movies we won't forget ever.
Bigelow and team are as reliably tight as usual but damn Chastain owns this film. Carrie Mathison should def pull any surveillance/interrogation footage the company has of Maya and school up.
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