“I’m the motherf**ker who found this place.” With that line Jessica Chastain as CIA analyst Maya sums up her single-minded, no holds barred pursuit of Osama Bin Laden and the film’s narrative, the search for where the defiantly elusive Bin Laden is hiding.

Zero Dark Thirty is an extended, big budget procedural that details the painstaking hunt for the most wanted terrorist in American history. If like me you wondered why it took so long to capture Bin Laden, the film based on accounts of actual events relates how incredibly complicated, dangerous, and grueling such a massive undertaking is and the toll it takes on those involved.

The movie opens with audio of 9/11. The familiar visual of the planes hitting the towers is not shown and so the impact as you listen to the voice of one of the victims tell the 911 operator “I’m going to die, aren’t I?” is as immediate and heartbreaking as it was on that day. The story jumps directly from that horrific moment to the Saudi Group, a team of CIA operatives in the process of extracting information from a detainee with the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, which is the euphemism used by U.S. officials for torture. Continue reading »

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