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Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

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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.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 87 wins & 171 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Dan
... Ammar
... Maya
... Joseph Bradley
... Jessica
... Jack
... Thomas
... J.J.
... Detainee on Monitor
... Detainee on Monitor
... Detainee on Monitor
... 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 »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

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:

Official Facebook | Official site |  »

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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 USA:

$417,150, 23 December 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$95,720,716, 31 March 2013

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$132,820,716
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several important factors in the preparation and execution of the raid, as detailed in the book "No Easy Day," were glossed over or not mentioned in this film. These include, specifically, 1) the debate over whether to bomb the compound or conduct a special forces raid, 2) the construction of a complete training mock-up of the compound in North Carolina and repeated drills using the same SEAL teams and helicopters, as on the eventual raid, and 3) the presence of backup Black Hawks at a forward staging area during the mission, which proved to be vital to recovering the team after the crash of the stealth Black Hawk during the initial insertion. It is assumed these were left out for dramatic purposes. See more »

Goofs

When Dan goes to see the Wolf to get money, The wolf is praying. When he finishes he sits at his desk and lights a cigarette. President Clinton passed Executive order 13058 banning smoking inside federal buildings. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The filmmakers wish to especially acknowledge the sacrifice of those men, women, and families who were most impacted by the events depicted in this film: the victims and the families of the 9/11 attacks; as well as the attacks in the United Kingdom; the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan; in Khobar, Saudi Arabia; and at the Camp Chapman Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan. We also wish to acknowledge and honor the many extraordinary military and intelligence professionals and first responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice. See more »

Connections

Featured in Smashing UK Top 10: Top 10 Terrorist Films (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Murder (2012)
Written by Jimmy Gnecco
Performed by Ours
Courtesy of Miseryhead Music
By arrangement with Revolution Songs
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A winning team for a CIA narrative
24 January 2013 | by See all my reviews

Mrs. Bigelow is obsessed with obsession. Blue Steel, Point Break, the Hurt Locker, now Zero Dark Thirty. The background of the story changes, but the story remains the same. Behind different faces, the same obsessive character. The obsession portrayed in her films actually is quite simplistic and straightforward, but anyhow, in our time her "oeuvres" are considered as deep, realistic, and arty. After an adrenaline fix come the inevitable frustration and emptiness of living, Mrs. Bigelow shows it to us over and over again; her hero has a conniving streak in him/her, but a hero nevertheless. She's so focused on her obsessed character, it's easy for her to claim that the Iraq war film she made was apolitical, and ZDT, a political thriller, has no political agenda.

Mr. Boal is a journalist. When he begins to write stories for the big screen, we praise his "journalistic approach", and we can easily forget that, as most journalists these days in the US, Mr. Boal is an embedded journalist.

Unlike the Hurt Locker, which, by opening with a quote from Chris Hedges, gives a false impression of an antiwar movie, ZDT is at least honest. At the very beginning it gives us a warning:

"Based on first-hand accounts of actual events"

Aka what CIA told us and what CIA wants you to see.

The decade-long war on terror seen through a CIA agent's eyes, the whole film is shaped into a CIA narrative. As Mrs. Bigelow wrote in her LA Times article, defining ZDT's raison d'être:

"we should never discount and never forget the thousands of innocent lives lost on 9/11 and subsequent terrorist attacks. We should never forget the brave work of those professionals in the military and intelligence communities who paid the ultimate price in the effort to combat a grave threat to this nation's safety and security."

How many times do you hear this from a CIA/Pentagon/WH spokesperson?

Yes never discount and never forget the victims of 9/11, we heard their voices; we saw the London bus bombing survivors bloody faced, eager to share their story. But we can well forget hundreds of thousands innocent civilians killed by US forces in the past ten years, not single one of them had a place in this film. We saw angry Pakistanis gathered in front of American embassy, jumping like savages. But we would not see those CIA drone strikes, bombing Pakistani wedding, killing women and children. "They hate us for our freedom!" we saw Mayor Bloomberg repeat Bush's line. Yes never forget the brave work of those professionals in the CIA, they worked their ass out torturing terrorists, what a psychological trauma it would be watching so many naked men every day? But we can certainly forget there was also innocent people got kidnapped, tortured by these brave professionals. Forget torture is a war crime, we got Ben Laden.

"Those of us who work in the arts know that depiction is not endorsement." Mrs. Bigelow defends her film in her LA Times piece. No Mrs. Bigelow, your film is not art. There's no art without truth.


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