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Review: Breaking Through The Clutter Of Zero Dark Thirty

Let”s get this out of the way. This will not be a blog post that discusses what did and did not actually happen during the nearly ten year pursuit of Osama Bin Laden. If you”re looking for this type of discussion, I”d recommend going elsewhere.

Movies are movies. They are not books. They are not live feeds. They are created for entertainment purposes. With that in mind, we meet Zero Dark Thirty the “based on true events” story of the United States pursuit of Osama Bin Laden after September 11th. The first thing that struck me about the movie is that it would strike every single person differently. Based on your personal beliefs you will form your own (likely pointed) opinion of Zero Dark Thirty. We”re here to tell you that you”re all right. 

Zero Dark Thirty is an epic journey told through the eyes of director Kathryn Bigelow who has a talent for turning war style movies into more than just helicopter flyovers and silly love scenes (cough…Michael Bay…cough). It”s the little things that Bigelow accomplishes in this movie that stand out. The way the guns sound when they fire. The ability for each scene to breathe. Each element adds to the film.

Similar to The Hurt Locker, which took home Best Picture and Best Director at the 2010 Academy Awards, Zero Dark Thirty makes your heart race. It takes true talent to add suspense to a movie that has an outcome that many viewers watched live on CNN just a few years earlier. Still, they pull it off.

Jessica Chastain gives a brilliant performance. A character that is quiet and deep from the outset develops into a true stand out in the movies three hours. Her use of silence during the movies first half should not go unnoticed. It takes talent to be a great actor while speaking. It takes even more talent to be a great actor while being silent. Chastain has what it takes in this role. The only other role of interest was played by Jason Clarke. A surprisingly cool character, he is the center of controversy in the movie while remaining likable and

a friend to Chastain. One more point on Chastain. In 2011 she gave a very underrated performance in The Help and is back just one year later in another excellent role. Her star is certainly on the rise.

In discussing the movie with a few friends, the idea that this movie isn”t completely true came up. Truth be told, no one really knows how much of this movie was fact and how much was made up

simply for cinematic purposes. As a historical documentary I think we can assume that the movie was a bit far-fetched. As a great movie, it stands up just fine. Will I care if I find out that key elements in the movie were a fabrication? Maybe. Will it change the fact that during the time I sat in the theater it was a tension packed ride? Absolutely not.

Zero Dark Thirty is nominated for several Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Lead Actress for Jessica Chastain who won the award at the Golden Globes a few weeks ago. This movie will fall short of taking home the top Oscar but given a few other lackluster categories, it should hear its name called more than once come February 24th.

What did you think of Zero Dark Thirty? Leave us a comment below and let us know!

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2 Legacy Comments

  • Comment by kristine posted January 22, 2013 at 13:04

    it’s been interesting reading different people’s opinions on this. I was sitting in the same theater as you, and I hated it.

  • Comment by Harris posted January 22, 2013 at 13:34

    It really has.