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2,788 Ratings

Zero Dark Thirty

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
United States, 2012
Thriller, Drama


Following the September 11 attacks, the film chronicles the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 and their decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

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Zero Dark Thirty Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

2013 | Winner: Best Achievement in Sound Editing

2013 | 4 nominations including: Best Achievement in Film Editing

Village Voice Film Poll

2012 | Winner: Best Screenplay

2012 | 2 runner-up prizes including: Best Film

2012 | 3rd place: Best Actress

2012 | 2 nominations including: Best Supporting Actor

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2012 | Winner: Best Director

2012 | 2 runner-up prizes including: Best Film

2012 | 3 nominations including: Best Lead Performance

American Film Institute Awards

2013 | Winner: Movie of the Year

Even to stare down at a brutal interrogation scene and wonder whether it’s worth it, whether torture really does work as an information-gathering tool, is still to presume that it would, in fact, be legitimized by its revelations—and to assume that if torture doesn’t work, then surely some other operation does. In other words, to ask, as Zero Dark Thirty has its audience do throughout, whether the end justifies the means, is to presume that the end is a worthwhile one to begin with.
December 31, 2013
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The film is a cinematic page-turner, constructed on a simple architecture: the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden… But there’s something perverse about approaching “Zero Dark Thirty” as exciting action entertainment: it’s based on real events and real people, and, in surprisingly many ways, its subject is at the very core of contemporary American politics: the use of force by the United States government…
December 19, 2013
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Bigelow’s assured, breathless handling of the climactic siege on Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad may be the most potent and seemingly effortless display of the director’s ability to choreograph exact and powerful movement in tight, dangerous spaces; her ability to mount active tension is very simply unparalleled.
March 25, 2013
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What are people saying?

  • chanandre's rating of the film Zero Dark Thirty

    Gandolfini's face when Chastain says "I'm the motherfucker that found this place. Sir."-> priceless. Tell me again how women are the 'weaker sex' and how they're "poor helpless lil' birds" that can't do men's jobs cos they're not "as good". Chastain is every woman ever: courageous, determined, focused, professional and hooked on her goals; never taking a No for an answer and never flinching or doubting herself>BAWSS

  • Ghostman's rating of the film Zero Dark Thirty

    I used to like this film but now all I see is CIA propaganda. It's a total lie & one that isn't nearly as self-reflexive as it thinks it is. It's worth noting this might be the quintessential, politically Neo-liberal film of its era; there's an extra star for historical & cultural interest. If you want to know how large swaths of the country felt at this point of time, rightly or wrongly, this captures that zeitgeist

  • Renton47's rating of the film Zero Dark Thirty

    One major way Boal and Bigelow fail in their dubious experiments in "objective" film-making is the lack of complicity they instil in the audience, here an endless barrage of names and leads which guarantee progress but mean nothing to us. By reducing a decade's work to a series of inevitable successes, often obtained via torture, they unwittingly promote a meaningless task without any nuance of cinema.

  • InsertOzuReferencehere's rating of the film Zero Dark Thirty

    I think the military propaganda elements were mostly unintentional, those that did seem mediated were most likely to keep it nestled within the parameters of a successful box office campaign. For me, this was a half-baked attempt at a feminist film - and though it has some decent moments technically, the laboured commercial feminism is annoying as hell. Telegraphed feminism almost always misses in film.

  • smndvdcl's rating of the film Zero Dark Thirty

    With hindsight, a star has been removed because I feel Bigelow's war movies are overstated, when before, I interpreted her directorial style as an understated rendering of social realism. Errs too close to a Blockbuster when it really should act as an objective account.

  • mjgildea's rating of the film Zero Dark Thirty

    3 1/2 out of 5 stars. More like a dramatized documentary than actual storytelling but I liked it. The Seal Team 6 sequence felt like a little too much like a 1st person shooter for me to take the movie too seriously. Overall, I don't think it lived up to all the hype and it was maybe 20 minutes too long but I can think of worse ways to spend your time.

  • Eostig Louet's rating of the film Zero Dark Thirty

    Some moments stink like pathetic patriotism around a vendetta. But it's still a beautiful piece of cinema, questioning the medium, the limits of truth in pictures and the way everything here is nothing but an illusion. I don't know what else I could think of a film depicting an operation led by a fictional character named Maya (illusion in sanskrit) leading to the assasination of the "third floor guy".

  • Teresa Silva's rating of the film Zero Dark Thirty

    Ahhh, american war movies. I actually thought Bigelow held onto historical accuracy well and managed to question the viewer often about America's policy regarding strikes and torture. I don't get the people that say that this glorified torture? If you ignore the (arguably subtler) AMUUHRICA!!! tones, and the inaccurate portrayal of Arabs, this movie is great. And the ending was perfect.

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