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Zero Dark Thirty 15 rating

Kathryn Bigelow's masterful, meticulous account of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden is a thrilling account of contemporary history.

Action and Adventure 2012 157 mins

Director: Kathryn Bigelow



Jessica Chastain is the CIA agent leading the hunt for 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden, a tortuous and protracted search that would eventually result in the dramatic denouement of the Abbottabad raid of May 2011. Following her nerve-shredding work on The Hurt Locker, acclaimed director Kathryn Bigelow presents the story as a slow-burning thriller, with Chastain leading an ensemble cast that includes Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler, Édgar Ramírez, and James Gandolfini.

Despite the story's cathartic value for American audiences, Bigelow resists the temptation for bombastic sentiment in her coolly procedural approach to the manhunt. Released into theatres a mere eighteen months after real-life events concluded, the film did run into controversy, with some commentators criticising the significance attached to evidence obtained under 'enhanced interrogation' techniques (ie. torture). While there's an interesting argument to be had here, there's no doubting Bigelow's intention to present an America that's become haunted and morally compromised by its long hunt for the elusive terrorist.