Opening in theatres this week from Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow and Columbia Pictures is the tale of ZERO DARK THIRTY.

This film tells the story of Maya (Jessica Chastain), a CIA operative who becomes involved in finding Al-Qaeda members after 9/11. Quickly she sees that torturing of captives uncovers a link to the most wanted man in the world – Osama bin Laden.

Along with Dan (Jason Clarke), Jack (Harold Perrineau), Jessica (Jennifer Ehle), J.J. (J.J. Kandel), other operatives, they work together to do whatever is necessary to make the world safe again.

But Maya takes it further, much further, in her ten-year pursuit of every lead and talking to every person she believe connected with bin Laden. There are those in Washington that think she has lost her perspective – that is until one lead brings the U.S. Seals to the biggest capture ever.

FINAL WORD: Chastain has always been a force to be noticed and if viewers haven’t by now I don’t know what will be their attention. Her roles are so diverse and well done this might be her year for an Oscar. As Maya she is intense, no-nonsense and becomes even harder as the investigation go on. Her performance is spot on.

Clarks as Dan adds his hard character as well. The scenes that are less that pretty are with Clarks intensity wrapped in an even harder shell. Standing up for Maya gets applause from me since it seemed no one else around wanted any part of what was truly going on.

The cast works well together but, honestly, this is Chastain’s game all the way. The film has already garnered four Golden Globe nominations and paves the road for the Academy Awards to follow suite.

Other cast include: Kyle Chandler as Joseph Bradley, Wahab Sheikh, Alexander Karim, Nabil Elouahabi, Aymen Hamdouchi, Simon Abkarian, Ali Marhyar and Parker Sawyers.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give ZERO DARK THIRTY four tubs of popcorn out of five. I truly enjoyed the complexities of the film and Chastain’s determination to push through any obstacles. The cinematography is fantastic and no matter what your feeling in regards to the treatment of prisoners – this is definitely in your face!

I so wish this film had come out much, much sooner. The investigation and character development is amazing but I would expect that. The last 20 minutes with the capture of bin Laden needs to be much shorter. I understand it’s to build suspense but, like the Titanic, we know how it ends and extending it doesn’t change the story.

This is another collaboration between Bigelow and Mark Boal who are responsible for the 2010 film THE HURT LOCKER that brought Academy Awards for Director, Best Picture, and Original Screenplay. There won’t be any surprise, or shouldn’t be, to see Ms. Bigelow’s or Mark Boal’s name among those nominated for another Oscar!

In the end – it is the greatest manhunt in history.



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.

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