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home : features : features November 24, 2015

1/14/2013 6:00:00 AM
Reel Watchers: Zero Dark Thirty
Michael Esser
Kingman Resident

On Sept. 11, 2001, our country was the victim of a planned terrorist attack that took the lives of thousands and set off repercussions that have been felt around the world. The mastermind behind these horrific events had a name - Osama Bin Laden.

Zero Dark Thirty is the dramatized tale of the CIA's 10-year hunt to bring him to justice.

On the positive side, the performance Jessica Chastain turns in as a relentless CIA Agent named Maya really deserves all the attention she's getting and her Oscar nomination for Best Actress is warranted. In addition, with so many supporting roles in this film, the two standout performances are delivered by Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt. They seem to steal every scene they are in and really give the movie some much-needed push at times.

As a director, Kathryn Bigelow does a good job creating a feel that is more documentary than drama and seems to tell a somewhat decent story that some might need to hear. (Bigelow did win an Academy Award for with her overrated breakout film, "The Hurt Locker.")

On the downside, this film is very slow. Even with the depiction of the Navy SEAL Team Six's takedown of the world's most infamous terrorist feeling right on the money, the rest of the film is filled with unexplained back stories, tons of scenes in need of subtitles, and what can only be described as a sense of sympathy for terrorists when it comes to the interrogation techniques employed by authorities trying to obtain potentially lifesaving information.

Regardless, some scenes are a little hard to watch and the overall run time is way too long.

Then there's the source material for this fictional recount of actual events that has been played out so many times in the last decade that sitting through it all over again made it feel like the people on the screen weren't the only ones being tortured.

For those on the fence about seeing this one on the big screen, the film did just nab one of the 2013 Academy Awards nominations for Best Picture. Unfortunately, this reviewer is going to have to give Zero Dark Thirty an overall score of only 1 out of 5 miners based on my experience.

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