7.4/10
216,705
642 user 558 critic

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Trailer
2:33 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
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.s Team 6 in May 2011.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
766 ( 221)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 84 wins & 167 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty
Argo (2012)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.

Director: Ben Affleck
Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman
Lone Survivor (2013)
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.

Director: Peter Berg
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

123 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.

Director: Paul Greengrass
Stars: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman
Moneyball (2011)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.

Director: Bennett Miller
Stars: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill
Lawless (2012)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a trio of bootlegging brothers are threatened by a new special deputy and other authorities angling for a cut of their profits.

Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce
Lincoln (2012)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Navy S.E.A.L. sniper Chris Kyle's pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6.

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Stars: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy
Flight I (2012)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle
127 Hours (2010)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An adventurous mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara
Edit

Cast

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

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:

For ten years one woman never stopped searching for the most wanted man 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:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 January 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kill Bin Laden  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie depicts a high-level CIA official (known in the film as "The Wolf" and played by Fredric Lehne) as a devout Muslim. This corresponds with a March 24, 2012, Washington Post article titled "At CIA, a Convert to Islam Leads the Terrorism Hunt," which (pseudonymously) profiles "Roger," the chief of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, and identifies him as an adult convert to Islam. See more »

Goofs

When the CIA agents are blocked by two Motorbike gun men another vehicle pulls up behind them to prevent them from reversing away and escaping. In the next long shot we see the two motorbikes but there is no vehicle behind the Agent's vehicle. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The opening Annapurna Pictures logo briefly appears as if seen through night vision goggles. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #7.28 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Night Song
Written by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Performed by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Michael Brook
Courtesy of Real World Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Technically Impressive but Surprisingly Hollow

"Zero Dark Thirty" is a grim, clinical depiction of the CIA search for Osama bin Laden. Its strongest feature is its dramatization of the Navy Seal Team 6 operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed bin Laden. That sequence is so professionally shot it could be actual documentary footage.

"Zero" has no real plot. Episodic scenes occur in a choppy manner, one after the other. Scenes consist of depictions of beating and water boarding of detainees in order to gather information, agents stalking a suspect in Pakistan's crowded, chaotic bazaars, terrorist bombings, assassinations and assassination attempts. There are also scenes in offices where characters stare intently at computer screens or interrogation videos, and characters yell at each other and use obscenities, as their frustrating hunt for Osama bin Laden wears them down.

"Zero" makes no attempt to draw the viewer in with any human sentiment. Characters are given no backstory and no character arch. CIA agent Maya, played by Jessica Chastain, is the closest the film has to a main character. She reveals no affect. Her face is blank. She isn't so much robotic as inert. We know nothing about her, except that she was recruited to the CIA while in high school – we are never told what would draw the CIA to a high school student. I didn't care about this character at all. All I kept thinking was, "Jessica Chastain is being praised for *this* performance? Why?" The dullness of her performance, and the underwritten character, made it almost impossible for me to lose myself in the story, such as it was.

Jason Clarke is very strong and charismatic as Dan, a CIA interrogator. Dan humiliates, beats, and water boards suspects, and then feeds them delicious meals of hummus and olives when they deliver. His depiction of his work as just another job – he could be playing a bus driver with the same amount and degree of expressiveness – is provocative. I wish I had gone to see a film built around his character and his performance.

Overall, I was disappointed in the film. Feature films are an art form. I want them to do to me what drama can do. I want to be made to identify with a character and I want, through that identification, to learn more about life, or I want to be entertained. "Zero" did neither for me. I wasn't entertained, and my understanding and worldview were not expanded. I think the same material could have been better treated in a documentary with selective re-enactments.

"Zero Dark Thirty" sidesteps key questions. Maya sacrificed years of her life to the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Dan risks his humanity by making his living beating and humiliating other men. Men, women and children throughout the Muslim world, and, as the film makes clear, in America's and Europe's cities, are eager to blow themselves up, as long as they can take some infidels with them. Why? The film doesn't even acknowledge that there are people out there asking the question, never mind attempting to suggest an answer.

The film opens with audio from the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, suggesting that the war between Islam and the non-Muslim world dates from that attack. Not so. Islam increased its territory through jihad from its invention in the seventh century until September 11, 1683, at the Battle of Vienna. After that defeat, Islam stopped its spread. The significance of the date of September 11 goes back over four centuries.

America's founding fathers had to deal with jihad; see Thomas Jefferson and the Barbary Pirates. Some argue terrorism, including the 9-11 attack, is caused by Western imperialism. The solution to these thinkers is for the Western world to be nicer to non-Western nations, to practice multiculturalism and to share the wealth. Others argue that jihad is inextricable from Islam, and that one necessary step is for the West to recognize and cherish its own unique virtues – to cherish that for which its spies, soldiers, and citizens fight, sacrifice, kill and die.

"Zero Dark Thirty" never so much as brushes up against these questions. At its key moment, the film is hollow. We all know how the hunt ends – we all know Osama bin Laden is dead. "Zero" might have addressed why Maya gave the time of her life to that hunt, why Dan risked his humanity, why Seal Team 6 trained for years and risked their lives. "Zero" never does consider why these, who might have been the film's heroes, did what they did, and I walked out of the theater oddly unmoved by all the high tension and graphic violence I'd just sat through.


425 of 693 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Dont understand the hate for this! gordonwilson1
This movie did not glorify waterboarding and torture Deathbysnewsnew
learn the facts! owenryanhhs
So why did Argo win over this? jimmyr5595
Recruited out of high school pb-2
Come on people, it's a f'ing movie... rommedahl-0603
Discuss Zero Dark Thirty (2012) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?