Zero Dark Thirty is not a film that treats its audience with delicacy. The film is cold and calculated, like the characters, featuring unflinching looks at the torture of detainees and terrorist attacks all building up to the climax, which is one of the most intense sequences in any film I've seen in quite a while. Powerful and emotional, Zero Dark Thirty is the best film of 2012, but it is not my favorite.
A grimly beautiful vision of the future, or lack thereof, presented with artistic brilliance from visionary director Alfonso Cuaron. Though bleak, Children of Men liberates viewers by instilling hope in the characters. As a viewer, watching these characters try to survive is emotionally riveting. A masterpiece.