Zero Dark Thirty
(The search for Osama bin Laden)
This incredible movie begins on 9/11, when the search for Osama bin Laden officially begins, and follows the intense quest up to its conclusion.
Director Kathryn Bigelow knows how to build suspense, creating many tense moments along the way, while raising questions about torture as a means to an end.
The early moments of 2½-hour movie are not easy to watch, as CIA agents play good guys/bad guys with known suspects, trying to get names and locations of bin Laden's couriers. Their techniques involve water-boarding, causing uneasiness among many officials. Heading the operation is the central and yet to be openly identified character of Maya, played with intensity and relentlessly by Jessica Chastain. The search leads to many dead ends as a large team of professionals intently follow up on every lead, no matter how small.
Time slowly marches on, with Maya pushing her colleagues to act and her boss at the CIA (Kyle Chandler) being overcautious. There are bombings in London and Pakistan that outrage the CIA team who are under pressure to catch bin Laden.
Maya is convinced of the location of bin Laden, but concrete proof is not there, frustrating her and making her even more relentless in her goal to capture him.
While we all know how this ends, it is still fascinating to watch the recreation of the actual capture. Bigelow, who also directed the equally intense "The Hurt Locker,” is a genius in building suspense and getting inside the heads of her characters.
Rated R, with violence and profanity and not for the weak of heart.