Zero Dark Thirty ***


“Zero Dark Thirty” is a bit of a maddening film to watch. The first third of it’s running time is kind of a confusing mess. I was starting to wonder why there was so much hype about this film. Then it suddenly turns in to a sharp and intense spy thriller with a fairly satisfying finale.

The plot is about the ten year manhunt to find Osama Bin Laden. The film opens at an unknown time but we assume it is fairly soon after 9/11. We are thrown in to a series of scenes where suspects are tortured for information each with varying degrees of success. Where this leads the investigators is never really clear to be honest. Leading the investigation is Maya, played by Jessica Chastain, who in a matter of a year has become one of the most in demand actress’ of her generation.

Maya makes it her personal mission in life to find Osama Bin Laden. Eventually she gets a lead that brings her to a secured compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Honestly if it meant that we could have avoided the murky first hour of this film than I think they should have started the film here. The most interesting parts of this movie for me were the scenes where they spend months monitoring this compound trying desperately to find proof that Bin Laden is living there.

Eventually a call is made and a Seal team is sent in to storm the compound. The rest is history as they say.

“Zero Dark Thirty” was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who has directed some of the best action thrillers I have seen. Here I think she needed to work with a better editor because there is a great shorter film hidden some where in the movies two and a half hour running time.


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