5 December 2012 8:08 AM, PST | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

This week, the New York Film Critics Circle named "Zero Dark Thirty" the best film of 2012, and Kathryn Bigelow, best director. Depicting the true story of the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden, the movie replicates the same shaky, docu-drama style of Bigelow's "Hurt Locker" (for which she won a Best Director Oscar in 2011). Filled by a small army of truly stellar character actors, the film's sprawling narrative takes place on more than two continents and encompasses countless dedicated man hours. Anchoring the entire madcap dash to capture and kill the engineer of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is Maya, a dogged CIA agent played with ferocity and heart by Jessica Chastain. It's her determination and sheer force of will that eventually leads to the raid on the compound that fateful evening in 2011. The question is, given the number of movies that have crashed and burned at the box office featuring post-9/11-centered narratives ("Green Zone" anyone? »

- Drew Taylor

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