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Sunday, February 10, 2013

[8.25/10] Zero Dark Thirty (2012)



Brief review: Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow succeeds yet again with another bold and daring project for the manhunt of enemy No. 1, Osama bin Laden, based on actual events. Bigelow lets us witness the near decade operation, revealing interesting details and hidden facts, making the experience not only gripping, but informative as well. The films also benefits from Kathryn Bigelow's incredible ability to keep things as realistic, and plausible as possible. There's nothing exaggerated, or Hollywood-ish about this movie, even when the action kicks in. The whole thing is stripped down to the bone, but that only helps to Bigelow for maintaining the intensity level, even when the film is slow and talky. The last 30 minutes are so thrilling, you may find yourself on the edge of your seat, but unfortunately the climax, namely the killing of Osama is nothing special really, hence, it may leave you slightly unsatisfied. Featuring lots of hand-held, camera work, intentionally simplistic cinematography, and washed-out colors, "Zero Dark Thirty" has a slightly documentary-ish feel about it that works to its advantage, plus, there's a certain grittiness to Kathryn Bigelow's shooting style, that adds further realism to the story. The film wouldn't be as great without Jessica Chastain's award-worthy performance as the workaholic CIA officer, Maya, whose angelesque femininity contrasts beautifully with her self-confidence and often intense personality, and the rest of the cast all do a brilliant job as well.

Overall summary: It drags a bit in the first half, and the slaying of bin Laden could have been  way more dramatic, but nonetheless "Zero Dark Thirty" is a smartly-scripted, superbly-made, and truly engrossing piece of cinema, jam-packed with sheer, nearly obsessive intensity.

16 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Would you say it was better than The Hurt Locker? I actually found that movie emotionally detached and thus unsatisfying.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Alex, I can't compare the two, simply because I haven't seen The Hurt Locker. There was something off-putting about it, so I decided to skip it, plus, I was mad that it "defeated" Avatar at 2010's Oscars.

Matthew Vanacore said...

Glad you liked it! As you know, it was among my ten favorites of the year.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Matty, I did, but I don't think it will end up in my top 10 of 2012. :)

HorrO said...

Totally agree. It definitely dragged. They extended some scenes a little too long, but overall a solid movie. No shock at the end haha! Great review!

Current Essays said...

This is one of the best movie of all time. It gives you feeling of real time, like you being there all the time with Maya. The actress is astonishing. A powerhouse performance!! Deserve to win all awards out there. This is a must watch movie if anyone is interested in knowing how US reached to Mr Laden. Patience is the key to success. Great movie!!

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

CE, I wouldn't go that far. The film was very good, indeed, but hardly one of the best of all time.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

HorrO, I know, right? :)
Osama killing scene disappointed me a bit to be honest. There was no drama at all, let alone shock value. :) Thanks, buddy.

Melissa Bradley said...

Great review! I can't wait to see this one as I love Bigelow's work. I thoroughly enjoyed The Hurt Locker, it was well-down with a great story and powerful acting.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Thanks, Mel. I decided to skip the The Hurt Locker... it just didn't seem my cup of tea at all. This one I liked.

Cedric Tilliet said...

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C├ędric

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Cedric, thank you so much for the kind words. Really appreciate it.

I checked out your blog, and I think you're heading in the right direction. Just keep up the good work, and don't try to please people with your reviews. :) Be honest, be sincere, but above all be yourselves. :)

Dosti said...

Sometimes a movie should be watched without too much emphasis on the authenticity of the facts. Zero Dark Thirty is an attempt to showcase (even though it may not be entirely true) the biggest manhunt in history. Director Bigelow does more than justice to a impeccable script by keeping it as close to reality as she can. Maya (Chastain) has been spectacular in the entire movie, be it the initial timid looking fresh recruit or the bold and dynamic agent taking on superiors in making decisions that though to conclude upon. The rest of the star cast have been outstanding too. Some may complain that the movie is slow or could have been shorter, but I believe, the scenes have been so meticulously shot that can one feel the plethora of emotions each character is going through. The movies editing is perfect and the background score adds on to the intensity. Overall, Zero Dark Thirty is masterpiece and a perfect follow up to The Hurt Locker. Well done Bigelow!!!

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Dosti, I guess it's a matter of personal opinion. I agree with you for the most part. The ending lacked that special, memorable moment for me, but overall, I was satisfied.

Nicole said...

I haven't wanted to see this movie until I saw an interview with the lead actress on one of the late night shows. Still, I've been weary of watching the movie because I have mixed feelings about whether the film was necessary to make. A few people told me that The Hurt Locker is really good though, so I've been meaning to add it to my Netflix queue.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Nicole, I've no idea whether The Hurt Locker is good or not, simply because I haven't seen it, but this one I liked a lot. Its sense of realism won me over, and Chastain was superb in her role. Give it a go.:)