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Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 163,535 users   Metascore: 95/100
Reviews: 590 user | 528 critic | 46 from Metacritic.com

A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011.

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Title: Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 57 wins & 72 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dan
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Ammar
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...
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Jessica
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Jack
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Thomas
...
J.J.
Wahab Sheikh ...
Detainee on Monitor
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Detainee on Monitor
...
Detainee on Monitor
Aymen Hamdouchi ...
Detainee on Monitor
...
Detainee on Monitor
Ali Marhyar ...
Interrogator on Monitor
...
Interrogator on Monitor
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Storyline

Maya is a CIA operative whose first experience is in the interrogation of prisoners following the Al Qaeda attacks against the U.S. on the 11th September 2001. She is a reluctant participant in extreme duress applied to the detainees, but believes that the truth may only be obtained through such tactics. For several years, she is single-minded in her pursuit of leads to uncover the whereabouts of Al Qaeda's leader, Osama Bin Laden. Finally, in 2011, it appears that her work will pay off, and a U.S. Navy SEAL team is sent to kill or capture Bin Laden. But only Maya is confident Bin Laden is where she says he is. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The greatest manhunt in history. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence including brutal disturbing images, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

11 January 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kill Bin Laden  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$417,150 (USA) (21 December 2012)

Gross:

$95,720,716 (USA) (29 March 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's title has four meanings according to a publicity flier for the picture. It states: "ZERO DARK THIRTY is a military term for thirty minutes after midnight - as well as code for "under the cover of darkness." It is also the time that the Navy Seals helicopters took to the skies on their mission to eliminate the world's most wanted man. Finally, it serves as a metaphor for the decade long, relentless pursuit of Osama bin Laden". See more »

Goofs

At the start of the water-boarding during Dan's second interrogation of Ammar, he puts on gloves to adjust the rope, and then 10 seconds later when he picks up the towel the gloves are missing. When they are on the floor the gloves are back in his pocket. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dan: I own you, Ammar.
See more »

Crazy Credits

All of the credits, except for the studio logo, appear at the end of the film, including the title. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Jennifer Lawrence/The Lumineers (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Azan
(uncredited)
Written by Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Perfect Depiction of the UBL Saga
15 May 2013 | by See all my reviews

I'm not claiming that this movie is 100% factual or even close to it but I think the filmmaker did a brilliant job of chronicling the UBL saga. IMO the theme of the movie in a nutshell is this: We got this guy (maybe?) but at what cost and were we justified? These are not easy questions to answer and they are left open ended for the most part.

The three main criticisms I've come across in the reviews is that 1) The movie is propaganda 2) It glorifies torture and 3) It is factually inaccurate. The third is probably a legitimate criticism but the movie really makes no pretenses about being a documentary and there is a prominent disclaimer at the beginning that it is based primarily on eye-witness accounts (and it is common knowledge that those can be unreliable). Regarding the death of UBL - well the movie even leaves that open ended which is pretty consistent with the actual reported events. We only get brief blurred glimpses of the side of his face and the only definitive identification comes from the 'expert' protagonist who is clearly somewhat derailed and obsessed with the manhunt (and who also stated UBL was at that location with 100% certainty).

That leads in to the first criticism. I fail to understand how this movie can be perceived as propaganda. How does portraying a 10 year ordeal culminating in an unglamorous methodical execution style raid (in which a helicopter crashes and SEALS kill possibly innocent bystanders with machine like precision) where the target's identity is not a even a certainty even remotely constitute a biased pro American agenda? Not to mention that the whole raid is brought about by a hunch and a fluke stroke of luck and not any actual key pieces of information obtained through interrogation (other than a name). If anything luck was the deciding factor in taking down UBL - not American awesomeness.

Now the torture - How does showing torture equate to glorifying torture? Does Braveheart glorify torture too? Again - this had the opposite effect on me. The viewer is forced to confront the unpleasant reality that we tortured many detainees (probably pointlessly) in our desperation to capture UBL and bring him to justice. What was the primary motivation? Revenge? Safety? Do the ends justify the means? Essentially that's the exact question the filmmaker is posing to the viewer by exposing the torture to public scrutiny.

Perhaps this movie just rubs people the wrong way because they find it too sympathetic to government officials. It's easy to criticize to the Government and trust me I am far from an optimist when it comes to American politicians so I do it often. Obviously our leaders were faced with some difficult decisions after 9/11. Did we handle things the best way? Certainly not, but for better or worse this thing played out the way it did and we have to deal with it and move forward.


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