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Zero Dark Thirty

Posted on the 08 January 2013 by Kaiser31083
Zero Dark Thirty Following the cataclysmic attacks on September 11, 2001, a covert CIA team operating out of undisclosed locations across the globe uses torture tactics in an attempt to attain the location of Osama bin Laden and other top al-Qaeda members. A young female agent (Jessica Chastain), described as "a killer" by her CIA station chief (Kyle Chandler, excellent), bears witness to the brutal tactics employed by her agency and also an often harsh brand of chauvinism from her contemporaries. Through sheer tenacity, over a duration of nearly ten years, and during lulls where his extinguishment was not prioritized, she played a vital role in the ultimate demise of bin Laden. Following her unpredictable and unprecedented success with "The Hurt Locker", Kathryn Bigelow returns with screenwriter Mark Boal and presents another painstaking, methodical, and suspenseful effort. Though I sometimes found her too mousy for the role, Chastain nonetheless delivers admirably and serves as perhaps an autobiographical conduit for her director. The supporting cast is mostly well picked including James Gandolfini as CIA director Leon Panetti and Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, and Frank Grillo as a few of the members of the SEAL team. However, I did not care for the performance of Jason Clarke, who plays a brutal interrogator early in the film, and whose trajectory later on doesn't make a whole lot of sense, a choice which seems to have been done for effect. Though they both work extraordinarily on their own terms, the investigation and the climactic early morning raid (which plays out in what feels like real time) don't really complement each other, or serve as a satisfying conclusion to Chastain's story, which may or may not be a statement on the perpetual War on Terror.

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