Film review – Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

zero dark thirtyFilm: Zero Dark Thirty
Released: 2012
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt

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.

What I thought of it:
With the war on terror still continuing now, this is still a tough subject to tackle, especially so soon after the death of bin Laden less than two years ago.

It’s a hard hitting and edgy film, shot almost documentary style with very naturalistic performances from the cast. Unfortunately, it’s also rather boring. It’s like watching a war movie that doesn’t have any battles (oh, hang on, we kind of did that with Lincoln, which despite being set during the American Civil War, showed absolutely no battle action at all!).

There’s not really much I can say about it. We all saw the news coverage of bin Laden’s capture and death, and this gives us some insight into what went on during the protracted search for Public Enemy #1 on the terrorist hit list, but at 157 minutes, it feels like the film plays for just as long. They could have knocked an hour off the time and made a far more exciting film that would still have all the story intact.

Rating: Like a Star @ heaven
Nominated for 5 Oscars:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Actress (Jessica Chastain)
  • Best Original Screenplay
  • Best Editing
  • Best Sound Editing

Chastain may be in with a shout at Best Actress, but if she does win it, it will sadly be undeserved. Despite riding on the coat tails of previous big winner The Hurt Locker (by the same director), this is not, in my opinion, Best Picture material.


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