Zero Dark Thirty: Movie Review

The greatest achievement of "Zero Dark Thirty" is creating that veil of interest, mystery and thrill to a two and a half hour film that we all know how it ends. The film has two significant parts. The first is the decade long intelligence manhunt for Osama bin Laden and the second the whole Operation Neptune Spear. The second portion is brilliantly made while the first leaves much to be desired with its reliance on heavy technical jargon and uneven pace. Overall though, "Zero Dark Thirty" is still a great watch. It provides a uber-realistic feel to everything - torture and all - that will leave you gasping for more.

In 2003, Maya (Jessica Chastain) is a young CIA officer who has spent her entire brief career focusing solely on Osama bin Laden. Maya has been reassigned to work at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. Maya often accompanies Dan (Jason Clarke), a co-employee, to a black site for his ongoing interrogation of Ammar, a detainee who has ties to Al Qaeda. Dan subjects him to torture and they eventually trick Ammar into divulging that an old acquaintance using the alias Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti is working as a personal courier for bin Laden. Other detainees corroborate this info yet no one knows if Abu Ahmed even exists. What happens next is a man hunt that will take almost a decade, numerous sacrifices, will test Maya's will to find the most wanted man in America and will culminate in one daring mission to finally kill him.

We cannot deny that "Zero Dark Thirty" is brilliantly-made. The peak of interest never dies down as the film moves along, in fact it increases more and more and peaks with the famous mission that finally killed Osama Bin Laden. This is in no part to a film that prides itself with realism and outstanding acting by its lead Jessica Chastain. The first few scenes attest to this as the film bombards the user with various scenes and ways of torture. Shocking to say the least but this jarring moment also paves the feel and vibe of the whole movie. The only disappointing thing for us is the whole manhunt portion was full of jargon that got us a little bit confused. Also, the uneven pacing was unsettling at times and added more confusion to the mix. But even with this, the thing that drives this huge chunk of the film is the illusion of getting to see what really happened before Operation Neptune Spear - the unveiling of top secret material. Finally, as earlier stated, Jessica Chastain supremely defines this film. You feel her pain, her anger, her frustration and her ultimate triumph. She may be a fictional character but it doesn't feel that way. For us, that and the way they shot Operation Neptune Spear makes this film memorable and great.

Rating: 4 reels

Why you should watch it:
- outstanding and memorable acting by Jessica Chastain
- realistic feel of the film is shocking yet fulfilling
- scenes of Operation Neptune Spear culminate to one heck of a movie experience

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the first portion was confusing at times and unevenly paced.

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