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Zero Dark Thirty (2013)



Average Rating: 8.6/10
Reviews Counted: 253
Fresh: 236 | Rotten: 17

Gripping, suspenseful, and brilliantly crafted, Zero Dark Thirty dramatizes the hunt for Osama bin Laden with intelligence and an eye for detail.


Average Rating: 9.1/10
Critic Reviews: 49
Fresh: 45 | Rotten: 4

Gripping, suspenseful, and brilliantly crafted, Zero Dark Thirty dramatizes the hunt for Osama bin Laden with intelligence and an eye for detail.



liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 191,900

My Rating

Movie Info

For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden. Zero Dark Thirty reunites the Oscar winning team of director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) for the story of history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man. -- (C) Official Site



Mark Boal

Mar 19, 2013


Columbia Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Zero Dark Thirty

June 17, 2014:
Kathryn Bigelow Planning Bowe Bergdahl Movie
Back to the war for the "Zero Dark Thirty" director.
March 22, 2013:
Digital Multiplex: Zero Dark Thirty and Les MisÚrables
This week in streaming, we've got a couple of Oscar winners (Zero Dark Thirty, Les MisÚrables), a...


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All Critics (253) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (236) | Rotten (17) | DVD (3)

If you like World War II films, you'll enjoy this.

June 13, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What's striking is the absence of triumphalism -- Bigelow doesn't shy away from showing the victims shot down in cold blood in the compound -- and we come away with the overwhelming sense that this has been a grim, dark episode in our history.

February 5, 2013 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is an instant classic.

January 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Chastain makes Maya as vivid as a bloodshot eye. Her porcelain skin, delicate features and feminine attire belie the steel within.

January 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

No doubt Zero Dark Thirty serves a function by airing America's dirty laundry about detainee and torture programs, but in its wake, there's a crying need for a compassionate Coming Home to counter its brutal Deer Hunter.

January 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While "Zero Dark Thirty" may offer political and moral arguing points aplenty, as well as vicarious thrills,as a film it's simply too much of a passable thing.

January 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film, much like it's heroine played by Jessica Chastain (The Help), is steely-resolved with eyes only for the task at hand.

September 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Trespass

Even without getting a Hollywood makeover, the story has inherent drama, suspense, and thrills, which Bigelow lets arise naturally.

July 13, 2013 Full Review Source:

A historical timeline, a pulsating thriller, a moving character study and a true-life violent revenge story, all in one, told in a sweating, oppressive, strangling fashion.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin

Zero Dark Thirty is truly one of the best films of 2012. In my list, it is the best...

June 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

"Zero Dark Thirty" shows guts in taking on loaded subject matter and filmmaking confidence and skill in not telling us how we should feel about it.

May 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

It provides a much needed catharsis for what was done to nearly 3,000 innocent Americans at the behest of a mass-murdering religious zealot.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

...a somber, black-winged benediction for what we might count as a lost decade.

April 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Unsettling and unforgettable...challenges the justifications of war's ugly atrocities, without resorting to jingoistic platitudes.

April 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

a brilliant high tech treatment of the subject and the classified nature of the disclosures

April 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Racket
Film Racket

A film of infectious urgency, questionable accuracy, murky morality and undeniable emotional and intellectual power

April 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Triple J
Triple J

Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty is a grueling masterpiece that captures the hunt for bin Laden with a daunting amount of realism and efficiency.

March 31, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

The direction by Kathryn Bigelow, who won Oscars for Best Film and Best Director in her previous film "The Hurt Locker," is fierce and focused...

March 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

Indulges Cheneyian fantasies complete with the bad-movie scene of the prisoner's defiance: "You're just a garbage man in the corporation," shouts the Arab who needs a lesson in manners from the Ph.D. (in torture?) who is racking him.

March 19, 2013 Full Review Source: MetroActive

Bigelow tells the story very well, very efficiently, but doesn't really say much about it, which is ironic given the response to the film in some quarters.

March 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

Kathryn Bigelow takes the procedural model and brushes away every unnecessary detail, leaving behind a heavy, blunt object of a film that is also hugely watchable, engrossing and, best of all... highly suspenseful.

March 14, 2013 Full Review Source:

Rotten Tomatoes notes that I agree with Tomatometer critics 80 percent of the time, but this is one of those times I have to part ways with them.

March 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Bigelow has directed excellent movies before, but this deserves to be remembered as the film that established her as a master.

March 13, 2013 Full Review Source:

You can't deny that what Zero Dark Thirty sets out to do, it does excellently.

February 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

An exhilarating and compelling historical document worthy of praise.

February 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for Zero Dark Thirty

What defines this film is its controversial depiction of torture,but what it unearths is much more harrowing and heroic than terrifying. The story revolves around CIA agent Maya, who aims to finish a decades long manhunt for Osama bin Laden while stationed in Pakistan, starting in 2003. Critics are inarguably split on whether they believe the torture depicted in this film is shown as essential in the capture of wanted terrorists, or an accurate portrayal of torture tactics in all their inhumane glory. The characters in the film certainly feel that torturing detainees helps in the process, but it's left vague whether the filmmaker supports this tactic. The story is entertaining on its own merit, helped by the ferocious performance of Chastain, and the unraveling of the mystery right before our eyes. The intricacy of bin Laden's extraction at the hands of the Navy SEAL team was especially interesting to watch, and was supposedly very truthful in its depiction. There's an emotional component for anyone imbibed in post-9/11 dialogue, but there's also entertainment in the planning and investigation behind the scenes.
July 14, 2014

Super Reviewer

Not my favorite subject matter, but watched it anyway because of the reviews. I thought that it was strong in terms of acting but I just couldn't buy the fact that they went after bin Laden on a hunch by one single CIA agent. But of course, they had to do it this way because if not then it would've been a documentary I suppose. I think the story to be told is intriguing and relevant but the filmmakers just didn't satisfy me with this adaptation.
February 2, 2014

Super Reviewer

Zero Dark Thirty is the true life story centred around the obsessive CIA analyst who was most responsible for locating Osama Bin Laden. Katheryn Bigelow's Oscar winner is very much like a combination of her previous film The Hurt Locker and The Wire. The bulk of the film is made up of cold-war style spy-duggery as telephones are tapped and suspects trailed to the door of America's most wanted. In fact she does not shy away from the dubious tactics employed by the US in extracting information from its persons of interest, although one would have to say that although the film does not condone these actions, it falls short of condemning them as well. This information gathering section of the film can feel a little dry and over long because of the lack of human drama, but it's all leading up to a nail biting, documentary-style piece de resistance as we participate in the raid on Bin Laden's compound in gripping detail, which Bigelow presents as little more than an execution than a fire fight. I was dubious of the central character's emotional outburst at the close, as if a woman were only capable of emotionally expressing herself through tears, but it's a fascinating piece of recent history that is refreshing in its lack of gung-ho, US of A brand flag waving.
November 12, 2013
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Never let fact stand in the way of a good story, I said the same when United 93, I don't necessarily believe any of it but I thought that was a good movie all the same. I like Kathryn Bigelow, she's a very talented director but I'm not sure I want her making a film based on fact. Simply put, I don't really trust her. She's an action director, very much in the war movie making business these days, for films based on recent events I want a documentarian, no several documentarians to make their films first before we get the dodgy 'based on real events' actioner. She's not great with actors either, I do not believe she got the best of everyone, I know Jessica Chastain won awards but I thought she wasn't great at all. I think the subject matter won the awards, it the first film of hers that I haven't liked. The scene where she swears at James Gandolfini is pure Break Point. I like Break Point but it belongs in the cheesy 80's, not in a political film about current world events. Event if this wasn't a film based on 'Actual events', the beginning is overlong and many of the key points are rushed, leaving the whole production unbalanced and unconvincing. I remember watching a film critic on TV saying how wonderful it was but wishes that we could have seen Bin Laden's face at the end of the film. The fact that he would say that while applaud the film tells you all you need to know about how lazy society has become. Question everything.
September 10, 2013

Super Reviewer

    1. Joseph Bradley: What the fuck we have done about it?
    – Submitted by Prattay S (8 months ago)
    1. Dan: What the fuck do you think is going on, Ammar?
    – Submitted by Prattay S (8 months ago)
    1. Maya: I'm the motherfucker that found this place, sir.
    – Submitted by Prattay S (8 months ago)
    1. Maya: But bin Laden is there. And you're gonna kill him for me.
    – Submitted by Prattay S (8 months ago)
    1. Maya: I believe I was spared so that I could finish the job.
    – Submitted by Prattay S (8 months ago)
    1. Maya: Hello, I work with him. I'm not that girl that fucks.
    – Submitted by Prattay S (8 months ago)
View all quotes (46)

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