24 December 2012 9:10 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal's film claims to be 'based on a true story' but no non-fiction writer could take such liberties

Zero Dark Thirty is a dreary and predictable movie (predictable even beyond that we know Osama bin Laden's fate). Also, it's a bit copy-cat. It's Homeland without the character quirks. ("Ok… picture this… Homeland… but the girl isn't nuts – just super-focused. What about that?" is something like how the screenwriter, Mark Boal, must have pitched it.)

The controversy about the movie involves its unambiguous cause and effect assertion that the torture of al-Qaida principals and hangers on was the key to finding Osama bin Laden – ie: torture works. Pretty much everybody in the intelligence community in a position to say this isn't true has said it isn't. And then there's the girl-alone-against-the-world narrative: Maya, our heroine, thinks about nothing else but Osama bin Laden for almost 10 years »

- Michael Wolff

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