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Zero Dark Thirty

In theaters January 11, 2013

157 minutes

Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terrorists carried out the most heinous act of violence and murder in our nation’s history on September 11, 2001.

The CIA are applying heavy duress on captured al-Qaeda associates in order to obtain any leads on bin Laden and to prevent further attacks. Maya (Jessica Chastain) is a new CIA operative, reluctant to participate in prisoner torture, but believes it’s their only method for obtaining the information needed.

Maya embarks on a decade-long obsession to bring Osama bin Laden to justice. Her main lead is bin Laden’s personal courier, the one name that always pops up in an interrogation, Abu Ahmed. Through these years, the CIA experienced broken leads, continued violence, and utter failure. Maya’s persistence and faith in her ability, lead to Osama bin Laden’s death, at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALs in May of 2011.

Kathryn Bigelow puts her best foot forward in Zero Dark Thirty. Despite her recent Academy Awards Best Director snub, Zero Dark Thirty is a compelling look at the decade-long manhunt for America’s most wanted.

Jessica Chastain was Oscar nominated for her role in Zero Dark Thirty and deserving of the accolade. There is a heavy-hitting supporting cast, but this is Chastain’s film. Her performance is fitting of Maya, said to be highly intelligent and independent.

In fairness, Zero Dark Thirty feels 20 minutes too long and it’s an extremely slow burn leading to bin Laden’s death. Perhaps this is because of the emotion this man’s actions elicit from all of us, and you look forward to his demise. As in reality, it doesn’t happen soon enough.

Zero Dark Thirty is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Chris Giroux
Chris Giroux is founder and editor-in-charge at Movie Reelist, an entertainment news and review blog serving the most fanatic moviegoers. Chris started his publication in Detroit in 2010 and has since reviewed hundreds of films and interviewed numerous talent across the country. He is an avid film festival attendee and red carpet photographer, having shot the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, Mark Hamill, and more. Chris grew up in New Mexico, where he studied mass media writing while working in post-production and multimedia authoring. It is also where he discovered Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York, resulting in an unhealthy Kurt Russell obsession.


  1. thanks for the great review, I didnt see the movie and have been on the fence about seeing it…your review helped!

  2. I am looking forward to viewing this movie. Thanks for the thorough review on this film Chris. Keep Up the great film reviews, they are much appreciated.

  3. Great review. JC did a very good job. Geez, decade long commitment for revenge. That’s one woman you don’t want to cross.

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