Written January 13, 2013
The basic theme of this movie is revenge, wrapped in the gift papers of American patriotism and the new ethic of female machoism. It is seriously flawed, in spite of all the superlative hype. I would start with the ending, which as an add-on (due to recent current events) is too long and not climatic or creative. Maya, the protagonist, is well played though her striking beauty makes her somewhat unbelievable as a CIA operative trying to blend in another culture. This movie purports to be realistic and near journalistic in its scope, but several near laughable scenes of Maya referring to herself as a m----- f-----, Maya on the tarmac alone with the helicopters, Maya opening the body bag, seem to lean towards a superhero movie on the order of Wonder Woman. Finally, although there are beautiful scenes of life in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the movie contributes virtually nothing to understanding the fabric of those cultures.
Written January 30, 2015
Strong story line, strong and powerful acting, well developed characters, and of course the topic. This was a very enjoyable movie and my spouse and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't think I can find one wrong thing about this movie. The pace was steady and the action sequence believable. It didn't feel like I was watching Halo but a real life drama.
Written January 28, 2015
It was disappointing to see Kathryn botch the greatest story of the decade. Had very high hopes after seeing Hurt Locker. Now it seems impossible to believe that both Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty were made by the same director. So, either Hurt Locker was in fact directed by James Cameron and she got the credit as part of their divorce settlement or Zero Dark was made by one of her unpaid interns. They make sitcoms that are better than this movie.
Written October 21, 2014
Zero Dark Thirty was great. It captured my attention from the very beginning and was constantly intense until the end. Even though I had read and/or knew about a lot of the events they were mentioning in the years leading up to May 2011, it kept me intrigued throughout the whole movie. I would definitely recommend that you go see it on the big screen as the last 30 minutes, a lot of which are in the first person view, make you feel as if you were there yourself.
Written December 24, 2012
ZERO DARK THIRTY amps up the tension from the first scene and rarely backs-off until the end. Even knowing the "story" and its outcome do not prepare you for the shock and immediacy of this film. Granted that there has been some public walking-back on the film's emphasis on "enhanced interrogation" techniques, torture remains a large part of our initial response to 9/11. The central character, Maya, the lead CIA analyst struggling to find Usama bin Laden, is a porcupine personality, lovingly referred to by associates and her supervisors as a "killer." There are a lot of exceptional performances in this film, but the single most impressive is that of the director, K. Bigelow, who delivers and even more awe-inspiring experience than THE HURT LOCKER. I rate this must-see, but be advised it is very tough, gritty and upsetting.