Zero Dark Thirty [Review 49 for FQ13]


Why I Saw It: The plot intrigued me, and part of my quest each year involves seeing movies which were nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award, so this finds in nicely.

What Was It About?  Osama Bin Laden. The United States wanted to get him, dead or alive. They did get him. This is a story about not only the mission to invade his compound and drag him out of there and then get out of that country, but also the tireless efforts of the analysts involved to figure out where he was hiding.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10


Jason Clarke and Kyle Chandler

Memorable Performances: This was the second time I’ve enjoyed a performance by Jessica Chastain, and it’s no wonder she was nominated for both of the roles. Jason Clarke was good here, but I don’t know that this role is one that I’ll remember him for, given the talent he has shown in other performances and the dual nature of this role (his character being significantly different “in country” and suit-ed up back in the U.S.). As always, Kyle Chandler did a fine job as a government authoritative figure, though I don’t know that there was much to distinguish this character from the one he portrayed in The Day The Earth Stood Still or Argo (though he will always be Coach Taylor to me).

Potential Nominations for Film Quest ’13:  

  • Best Actress – Jessica Chastain
  • Best Supporting Actor – Jason Clarke

Favorite Parts: I think just about everyone liked the scenes where Jessica Chastain wrote on her boss’ window to remind him of how many days the current span of inaction was lasting. The raid on Bin Laden’s compound was incredible, especially given the information I learned through watching the special features, and how accurate it was.

The Regrettable Aspects: The film perhaps dragged on a bit, at 157 minutes, and probably could’ve been presented in a tighter fashion to move things along. That said, maybe it was on purpose, and the pacing was meant to put you in the shoes of Chastain’s character.

Would I watch it again? I don’t need to own it on DVD, but if (and when) it shows up on cable or a streaming format I subscribe to, I’ll tune in again.

To Whom Would I Recommend It?  If you care at all about history, you should watch this film. If you want tons of action, you’re looking in the wrong place, but you should probably watch this film to get a more realistic perspective on how action scenes play out in the real world.

Other Recommendations:

THE HELP – One of the main things you should take away from Zero Dark Thirty is the great performance from Jessica Chastain, and her performance in THE HELP is absolutely worth checking out. (read my full review)

– ARGO – Another excellent historical thriller with many of the same aspects you’ll find in Zero Dark Thirty. That they competed for 2012’s Best Picture award makes it even a bit more interesting. (read my full review)

VALKYRIE – It’s a totally different type of movie, but it’s still historically based, and it’s excellently produced. (read my full review)

If you’ve got recommendations for alternatives to ZERO DARK THIRTY, or for other similar films, let me know!


One response to “Zero Dark Thirty [Review 49 for FQ13]

  1. Everybody here was great, but the real star of the movie was Bigelow who was able to make every scene pop, regardless of if there was any type of action occurring on screen. She’s just that talented of a director. Good review.

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