Critic Reviews

95

Metascore

Based on 46 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Bigelow delivers an acute realization of the mission's execution that's eerily in sync with the way it played in the popular imagination. Visually, the events unfold as a mashup of shadowy movements with flashes of green night vision. It's simultaneously predictable and tense.
100
The film's power steadily and relentlessly builds over its long course, to a point that is terrifically imposing and unshakable.
100
The word docudrama doesn't hint at Boal's achievement. This is movie journalism that snaps and stings, that purifies a decade's clamor and clutter into narrative clarity, with a salutary kick.
100
Telling a nearly three-hour story with an ending everyone knows, Bigelow and Boal have managed to craft one of the most intense and intellectually challenging films of the year.
100
Once in a long while, a fresh-from-the-headlines movie - like "All the President's Men" or "United 93" - fuses journalism, procedural high drama, and the oxygenated atmosphere of a thriller into a new version of history written with lightning. Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow's meticulous and electrifying re-creation of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, is that kind of movie.
100
As a moral statement, Zero Dark Thirty is borderline fascistic. As a piece of cinema, it's phenomenally gripping - an unholy masterwork.
90
Boxoffice Magazine
A masterwork from a master filmmaker.
90
Far more ambitious than "The Hurt Locker," yet nowhere near so tripwire-tense, this procedure-driven, decade-spanning docudrama nevertheless rivets for most of its running time.
90
Zero Dark Thirty makes you feel every step of Maya's journey, but it's her impressive achievement and that of the film itself that we're left contemplating, not her humanity - a stunningly well-realized whole with few soft spots to latch onto.
83
An electric, sprawling and ambitious effort that's easy to become absorbed by, and a picture that should impress those keen on the director's intelligent, composed and determined brand of filmmaking.

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