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Lamar's Review: Zero Dark Thirty

This is the movie everybody’s talking about and nobody can agree on. Is it a factual, almost documentary on the hunt and final killing of Osama bin Laden? Is it a movie based on reality that shows us the inside of enhanced interrogation and is supposed to make us feel guilty for it? Or is it a dramatic representation of what happened, with a ton of dramatic license? It could be all of them but for sure it is a really tense, really good movie.

There are tons of articles and interviews about this movie. Some of them talk about the unprecedented access that the film makers had to the CIA and how much the CIA was behind this film. Some of them talk about how the CIA is denying that this movie is factual at all. Some say that torture got us the information that led to finding bin Laden and some act like it had nothing to do with it. What is undisputed is the fact that finding bin Laden was like looking for a needle in a haystack. And it took many years and may man hours of tedious work following thousands of threads that lead to nowhere before finding him. There is enough solid information to know that the female CIA agent known in the film as Maya is based on a real person in the agency. She is played by Jessica Chastain and is the absolute center point of the movie. It seems she is the one person that pursued her idea relentlessly over the years and in the end believed 100% that bin Laden was in that compound.

The movie starts off with voices on 911 calls and answering machines from the Twin Towers after the planes hit. It is really sobering and puts you in the right mood and frame of mind for what you will be watching for the next 157 minutes. There is no love story, no political agenda either way, just the dogged search to find Osama bin Laden. Now just like going to see Lincoln you know how this story ends. So the movie has to keep your attention until you get to the end. This movie does. From what I can gather the female CIA agent really does deserve most of the credit for finding the lead that led to finding bin Laden. Jessica Chastain is riveting. You watch her go from being very uncomfortable with the enhanced interrogation to being doggedly intense in getting the information to track down bin Laden. I’m just not sure the dialog and conversations you see in the movie actually happened, but this is a movie and if you are going to get people to sit still for over 2 ½ hours you better not be boring. By the time you get to the actual helicopters landing in the compound the tension is crazy.

The big controversy surrounding the movie is about the torture scenes. I think they accounted all total for about 25 minutes. A lot of people are saying it’s too graphic and too much. It is what it is. You can be for it or against it, that’s up to you. But with the murder of 3000 innocent people and the mission to stop it from happening again, I’m sure it takes more than sitting down and discussing it over a cup of coffee or sending out questionnaires. I’m pretty sure if you could talk to those 3000 people or ask their families their take; I know what the answer would be.

The craziest casting I’ve seen in a while is Chris Platt from Parks and Recreation being a member of Seal Team 6 and sporting 6% body fat.

Rated R for strong violence, language and brutal disturbing images.

I loved it and my wife Carla went with me and she loved it. Just keep in mind; it’s a movie not The History Channel.

My Score: A Full 6 Pack

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