Zero Dark Thirty
No way around it. Kathryn Bigelow has done it again. Essentially making a historical movie, by Hollywood, standards in real time. First she delved into the then-ongoing Irag War with the Oscar winning The Hurt Locker (97%) and basically nailed it. Now she shifts her focus to the decade long search for Osama bin Laden and the SEAL team raid that took down the dude down only a year and a half ago. Granted, she had been working on a film about the bin Laden manhunt when he was killed so she already had her feet dangling in the CIA counter-terrorism, espionage pool. But even with that, the timing on this film is nothing short of extraordinary.

And the timing isn’t the only place she stuck the landing. By all accounts the rest of the movie is fantastic. Katey already gave it the vaunted five stars in her review. Bigelow has crafted a film, much like her previous award winner, that handles its topic without being heavy-handed or preachy. Instead, it is a character laden work eschewing much of what Hollywood types feel almost compelled to add in all action/war movies (love interests, diabolical antagonists, preachy dialogue, heavy special effects). No, Bigelow is content with the story carrying the work and the acting leading the way. (Ironically, It’s the anti-James Cameron approach.) No frills required.

As a discussion piece, Zero Dark Thirty moves into a number of controversial subjects, one being torture as a means to a government’s end. That’s a debate for another column. What will surely not be debated is this film being one of the year’s finest and possibly another award-winner for Bigelow. The Rotten Watch for Zero Dark Thirty is 94%

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