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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.

Director:

Kathryn Bigelow

Writer:

Mark Boal
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Popularity
988 ( 61)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 87 wins & 171 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Clarke ... Dan
Reda Kateb ... Ammar
Jessica Chastain ... Maya
Kyle Chandler ... Joseph Bradley
Jennifer Ehle ... Jessica
Harold Perrineau ... Jack
Jeremy Strong ... Thomas
J.J. Kandel ... J.J.
Wahab Sheikh Wahab Sheikh ... Detainee on Monitor
Alexander Karim ... Detainee on Monitor
Nabil Elouahabi ... Detainee on Monitor
Aymen Hamdouchi ... Detainee on Monitor
Simon Abkarian ... Detainee on Monitor
Ali Marhyar Ali Marhyar ... Interrogator on Monitor
Parker Sawyers ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Arabic

Release Date:

11 January 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kill Bin Laden See more »

Filming Locations:

Chandigarh, Punjab, India See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jessica Chastain took all the photos from the suspects everyday after work and watched them on her wall, because she thought that was something Maya would do. See more »

Goofs

Maya said there had to be another man in the compound because there were three women (women would only live with their father or husband so there had to be a father or husband there for the third woman). But that doesn't acknowledge the fact that one of the men could have had two wives. 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 Saturday Night Live: Jennifer Lawrence/The Lumineers (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Need You Now
Written by Hillary Scott, Josh Kear, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley
Performed by Lady Antebellum
Courtesy of Capitol Records Nashville
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Perfect Depiction of the UBL Saga
15 May 2013 | by pwiesikeSee 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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