A movie based on well-known, recent event is always an interesting watch. Perhaps the most interesting part of such movies is distinguishing the facts from the drama added in to make a point in a movie. Katherine Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty is a story of American triumph as it follows a young woman dedicated to finding Osama bin Laden.
Zero Dark Thirty follows the U.S. Central Intelligence Agent, Maya (Jessica Chastain), and the American government on their 11-year hunt for Osama bin Laden. The movie is definitely not for those with a weak stomach or the light at heart as torture and death make frequent appearances. Even the high-school recruited Maya has a hard time stomaching it during one of her first days in Pakistan while watching agent Dan (Jason Clarke) literally pry answers out of a man.
As the movie unravels, Maya comes to understand that the hunt for terrorists is violent. Not only is she a victim of a public bombing, but Maya loses friends to suicide bombers. However, Maya continues to sit tight in the Middle East as long as she can until a personal attack forces her to return to Washington. There, she continues to work tirelessly from afar, with some help from Dan. Eventually her years of research pay off when the C.I.A. gets the go ahead to capture bin Laden, where Navy SEALS raid the presumed compound where Osama is living with numerous women and children. The body is brought back to a base in Afghanistan where Maya is waiting and IDs the body.
Though politically and factually controversial Zero Dark Thirty is an incredibly exhilarating movie. It follows a young agent that matures as she dedicates her careers to finding a deadly terrorist. There is never a dull moment as brilliant acting and realistic scenes are littered throughout the movie.
The Verdict: Zero Dark Thirty is a story of revenge and eventually American triumph. The movie is especially emotional for those that vividly remember 9/11. It is a must see for any American, if not just for Jessica Chastain’s brilliant acting.
Opened: January 11, 2013
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler, Edgar Ramirez, James Gandolfini, Chris Pratt
Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Actress (Jessica Chastain), Original Screenplay, Sound Editing, Film Editing