Posted on 1/13/13 10:23 PM
This gets my admiration for telling its story from a realistic and completely unbiased point of view. Americans brutally torture people and the movie doesn't even seem to have an opinion on whether the tortures are justified. Ethics isn't what this is about. It's about finding Bin Laden. No matter what. This is solidly personified by our leading lady, Maya, who's search for Bin Laden eventually consumes her life completely. She's a wonderful character. Except the movie isn't about her. It's about the search for Bin Laden. This quickly becomes an issue. One one hand, it seems to be the "right" way of telling this story. On the other, there's nobody to relate to. The film is so cold that piecing together the clues in this somewhat convoluted manhunt isn't particularly rewarding. Especially since the clues often lead to further clues which often lead to dead ends.
The climactic raid on Bin Laden's secret lair isn't especially suspenseful either. That's because you've only just been introduced to the solders carrying out the mission and therefor have no emotional stakes in their survival. 'Zero Dark Thirty' is strictly procedural to a fault.