Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
Reviewed on 2013 March 30
This is the account of the Seal Team Six mission to get Bin Laden, filtered primarily through a CIA agent who made this her mission in life since graduating high school. We know the ending; this film is about getting there. This review may be shorter than most because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who doesn’t know the story.
After a harrowing few minutes of listening to the recordings of September 11th, we meet Maya (Jessica Chastain), the woman who is determined to find her quarry. She spent so much time looking for him she calls him UBL. The story winds from waterboarding to get intel from prisoners, to phone signals from The Tribals and the markets of Peshawar, to the final mission.
Personally, I think Chastain made this. I didn’t see politics here so much as the story of how the team completed their mission, and its toll upon Maya. Kathryn Bigelow did the same A-game work she did in The Hurt Locker, neither flinching nor sugar-coating the story.
Four chocolate morsels.