Zero Dark Thirty (2013)

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

Starring Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Joel Edgerton,


Following 9/11, the CIA increase their efforts to find Bin Laden with a small task force including Maya (Chastain), who, over the decade-long search, becomes consumed by it.


Zero Dark Thirty is incredibly powerful. It’s both long – over 2hr30 – and slow paced – the focus is on piecing fragments of information together – but ZDT is gripping. I found myself fidgeting with tension, willing Maya to find the final elements, willing the CIA to listen to her while knowing how the film was going to end. ZDT has got a lot of publicity as people think that it justifies torture but I didn’t get that impression. The torture scenes are brutal and the deaths in the film do not have the “Hollywood” touch. Chastain, at the centre of everything, is excellent and fully deserves all the recognition she is getting and the journey she has, from a timid and meek start to the solid conviction, is fantastic.



This might not be for everyone but I thought it was excellent. Think the approach of The Hurt Locker but more realistic. It’s a slow burner, but don’t let it put you off: it’s seeing a story that has shaped the very recent history of the world brought to life. This is definitely going to be one of my films of the year.

The FriedGold rating – 10/10 – Zero Dark Perfect

If you like this then you might like:

The Hurt Locker – Bigelow’s Best Picture winner about bomb disposal in Iraq