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Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty is an example of Kathryn Bigelow's brilliance as a director.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Snap Stills / Rex Features (1997508i)
Seen through the greenish glow of night vision goggles, Navy SEALs prepare to breach a locked door in Osama Bin Laden's compound
Zero Dark Thirty - 2012
No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage Mandatory Credit: Photo by Snap Stills / Rex Features (1997508i) Seen through the greenish glow of night vision goggles, Navy SEALs prepare to breach a locked door in Osama Bin Laden's compound Zero Dark Thirty - 2012

Zero Dark Thirty
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt
****

Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-nominated film was slammed by some American critics for suggesting that information gained through torture played a part in finding Osama bin Laden.

It's difficult to know the truth but there's no mistaking that the only woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director has made a fascinating account of how the determination and dedication of the CIA analyst Maya (Chastain) helped locate the Al Qaeda leader.

The movie opens with a black screen and recordings of frightened voices from the Twin Towers crying for help. We soon see new recruit Maya observing and participating in so-called "enhanced interrogation" techniques.

Chastain delivers a career-best performance as she chases leads, comes up against dead ends and sees colleagues killed in action. It's more All the President's Men than Black Hawk Down, although Bigelow does, in the finale, once again prove her brilliance as a director of action by recreating the raid on bin Laden's lair in Abbottabad.