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Movie Breakdown: Zero Dark Thirty

January 10, 2013

Film

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing lead us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Kathryn Bigelow follows up The Hurt Locker with a Jessica Chastain-fronted hunt for the world’s most dangerous man.

The Reality:

I went into Zero Dark Thirty thinking it would be a slow paced, cerebral presentation on the complicated and lengthy search for Osama bin Laden, but that’s not at all what I got.  Instead, I was slammed with so much intensity that I found myself repeatedly holding my breath and griping the armrests of my seat.  I know Kathryn Bigelow has already had plenty of Oscar glory, but I’m certain that Zero Dark Thirty is her best directorial effort.  The movie could have easily been a disjointed mess, but Bigelow keeps the pace quick, and while there’s a lot constantly going on, it’s all easy to follow.  I also appreciated the way she tossed in blips of humor, fear, and other emotions when they weren’t really expected, as it made everything feel even more real and intense.  Naturally, it’s not all about the director, there’s a lot of fine work from the actors in the film.  This especially goes for Jessica Chastain, who turns in an unforgettable performance that must be seen.

It’s not often that something as well crafted as Zero Dark Thirty comes along, so be sure you go experience it.

The Lesson:

It is now impossible to refer to a Kathryn Bigelow film as anything but can’t miss.

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