Zero Dark Thirty opens to theaters nationwide on Friday, January 11, 2013 starring Jessica Chastain as CIA operative Maya and is directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The film has been nominated for four Golden Globes and has been a bit controversial as it was suggested it may reveal classified intelligence from the CIA and other agencies, however this has ultimately been disproven. It has also been charged the CIA may have intentionally deceived makers of the film noting how important torture techniques such as water boarding are to gaining intelligence from prisoners. It is clear however, the U.S. Government would prefer this movie not come out to the masses and reveal the nasty business in the War on Terror.
The film depicts the process from September 11, 2001 through the killing of Usama Bin Laden via the highly skilled Seal Team 6. The film is appropriately heavy and there is a flash of light heartedness from a Seal Team 6 member on his way to kill Usama Bin Laden where he is listening to peak performance coach Tony Robbins on his ear buds.
The film opens to a blank screen with cellular phone calls and radio chatter from the victims of the terrorist attack on America on September 11, 2001 reportedly orchestrated by Usama Bin Laden. There are no opening title sequences to the film and after the audio from 9/11 we go directly to the torturing of Ammar (Reda Kateb) at a black site by two C.I.A. operatives, Maya (Jessica Chastain) and Dan (Jason Clarke). Maya and Dan work to gain intelligence from Ammar as to the whereabouts of Bin Laden or his team with minimal success.
As we know from news reports over the course of several years since 9/11, Bin Laden proves to be an evasive character. While this elite team of C.I.A. agents are doing what they can in finding Bin Laden, a series of bombs detonate in the Middle East and England showing how America is losing the War on Terror. The film does not go into, or even mention August, 2007 when we had Bin Laden in our sites for a kill and the report came back from D.C. not to kill or apprehend him. It may have been for time purposes since the film runs over 2 1/2 hours long, however the film was so detailed in much everything else it seems odd to fly past this serious charge.
Nonetheless, the film is very well done and no one at the pre-screening wanted to leave their seats. The theater was left without a seat in the house and it is widely thought this film will do well not just in theaters, however during the Golden Globes as well. With an estimated budget of only $20 million, the producers and other stakeholders of this film will be raking it in for 2013 and beyond. It is well worth seeing, so long as you have some familiarity with the search for Bin Laden over the years and are OK with heavy violence, if not then you may want to skip this one.