Written January 17, 2013
It's very difficult to understand why this movie is getting rave reviews. It is not fact-based by any means, as there were hundreds of CIA officers and analysts looking at information for 10 years to find Bin Laden. There was too much information for one person to come up with a "hunch" that would be acted on.
The acting is wooden, sterile, emotionless. Okay, maybe that's the way spies are, but it doesn't make the movie any more better. Look, they couldn't even pronouce two place names correctly (Kabul and Peshawar are mangled), so how much of the movie is true?
Two hours of exposition to get to 20 minutes of raid, and the raid was so realistic that you couldn't see anything in the dark. Not even any close-ups of the famous Seal Team Six dog, Cairo, or his acting twin, just a glimpse of him on a leash.
Don't bother with this movie, or if you go, reduce your expectations. It's not Oscar-worthy.
Written January 26, 2013
I enjoyed the film, though, as usual in theaters, I had difficulty understanding the dialog. The special effects and sets were magnificent and realistic, and the story moved along quickly.
The initial interrogation scenes "impressed" me, as how these issues are treated nowadays has changed 180 degrees since I was a boy. Growing up post WWII it was common cultural truth that Americans didn't do bad things to anybody; even the bad guys were treated kindly. Now, reality has displaced that fond illusion. We're in the pit fighting for survival using any resource at hand, just like everybody else.
I found myself strangely dispassionate about such cruel treatment; perhaps this is an indication of emotional overload in a culture where it seems just about any movie is about aberration and violence of some kind, magnified by colossal special effects. Have I lost my compassion? Maybe I'm just tired of the stuff. Maybe the novelty has worn off.
Written January 14, 2013
The history or military channel has a much more informational (and ironically more interesting and spell-binding) documentary of Zero Dark Thirty. I loved Hurt Locker and was so looking forward to this movie, especially given the reviews. Unfortunately it was a long slow march that could have been easily shortened by an hour and a half. Way too long for the same repetitive scenes of torture, then agent conversations, then waiting, then waiting, then waiting, then finally the raid which was done with great hollywood flair but confusing to watch. So many things in this movie were inaccurate and implausible that it started to become unbelievable, even if there was truth to half of it. It was incredibly boring. The main actress had only one facial expression throughout the movie, with barely an emotion. I would never recommend this movie.
Written December 27, 2012
I was very excited about Zero Dark Thirty. However, I found this movie to be tedious and uninvolving. I was very disappointed with the lack of character development and didn't feel anything for Jessica Chastain's limp character. The movie left me feeling flat and void of that espionage, fast paced chain of command and brain flow. I didn't learn anything I didn't already know nor did I become more interested, as details were slim or poorly portrayed throughout the movie. I must say, however, the BLACK OPS raid was very thrilling and exciting. Oddly enough, I felt more compassion and interest in the Black Ops team that made the raid that fateful night, even though we saw so little of them. I would rather have been watching "Homeland."
Written August 02, 2014
What can be said about this movie...It is very well done. I was surprised how difficult some of the scenes were to watch as I felt a great sadness in seeing what was done to end a ten year hunt. The movie is not an action packed movie like Act of Valor but rather an attempt to show Americans what happens in the world of intelligence and anti-terrorism. Like I said this movie will strike a nerve even if you are not naive to tactics of intelligence gathering but I felt that everything was portrayed in a way that could be understood.
Overall a good movie with outstanding actors that was visually striking.