Zero Dark Thirty
The Hurt Locker's filmmaking team of screenwriter Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow reunite for this harrowing historical drama which charts the U.S. forces' long journey to hunt down al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. Beginning with September 2001 attacks and moving through notorious figure's death at the hands of Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May, 2011, this critically heralded film is as challenging as it is riveting.

Sometimes real world events can be so grand in scope, so emotionally charged it seems impossible to process them in full. In these instances, film can be a powerful tool to help us understand these events or work out our conflicted feelings about them. For more dramas that seek to investigate real world conflicts through personal stories, check out these three celebrated features.

Jarhead (2005) Based on the memoir of U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford, this biographical drama takes viewers deep into Operation Desert Shield as Swofford (played here by Jake Gyllenhaal) and his fellow snipers gear up for what they expect to be the fight of their life in the Persian Gulf. Peter Sarsgaard and Jamie Foxx co-star; Sam Mendes directs.

Hotel Rwanda (2004) This three-time Oscar nominated biopic centers on the incredible story of hotel owner Paul Rusesabagina, a native Rwandan who nobly worked to shield refugees from the genocide that burned through his nation. Don Cheadle portrays the extraordinary man whose sacrifice and efforts ultimately saved more than 1,000 lives, earning an Academy Award nod for his powerful performance. Terry George directs.

A Mighty Heart (2007) Based on the memoir of Mariane Pearl's heartbreaking memoir of the same name, this harrowing docudrama follows her impassioned search for her husband, Wall Street Journalist reporter Daniel Pearl, once he was kidnapped in Pakistan. If you remember the headlines this story grabbed back in 2002, you know this is a tale of tragedy. Yet it's inspiring to see Mariane's perseverance in the darkest hour of her life. Angelina Jolie earned much critical praise including a Golden Globe nod for her devastating portrayal of Mariane. Dan Futterman and Irrfan Khan co-star; Michael Winterbottom directs.

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