JasonLogue's Rating of Zero Dark Thirty

Jason's Review of Zero Dark Thirty

3 years ago via Flixster
Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty(2013)

The movie begins with FAA recordings of control tower and pilots talking during the attacks on 9/11. It's an effective prologue to a story that started that blue-sky day. A story that evolved into a grueling narrative about our country's response to an attack on the United States. Jessica Chastain is a new but highly vaunted CIA agent tasked with finding Bin Laden. She joins a group of operatives located in Pakistan. It is there we see the Bush-era interrogation and torture tactics used, and we see her struggle with these methods while also employing them at certain times. Surprisingly, this is not an action-thriller, as you might expect. It's a drama with plenty of suspenseful moments. We follow Chastain's character as she grows from a new, idealistic agent into a hardened and tired wolf who has pursued her prey over rocky slopes, through caves and into many traps. Bigelow's direction is focused and the editing is tight. In some ways I felt like Bigelow sees herself as Chastain's character. A woman in a largely male-dominated world. Yet she doesn't want special treatment. And I don't think Bigelow wants or needs special treatment. I don't know that I would trust this material in anyone else's hands. After seeing Hurt Locker, it's clear she knows how to direct drama and crisis. This is a great movie, but not for the reasons I expected it to be. The final scene of the Seal Team raiding Bin Laden's compound is not loud and bombastic. Other times special forces are portrayed as superhuman men, but in this movie they are clearly regular humans who just know how to operate in crisis better than most. It's amazing to me the level of patience of CIA Agents like Chastain's character and the others, as well as the military. We get the impression they rush in and do things sloppily. And while that has happened, this movie demonstrates how patient and dogged they were in their pursuit. And maybe that's why we have so much respect for them. After the loss of colleagues, failures and false leads, they continue pursuing. And they are patient. And it doesn't end with a bang, it ends with silence