Zero Dark Thirty is an epic thrillride

With awards season in full swing and the Oscars right around the corner, every movie earning nominations and recognition is under the microscope now more than ever. In particular, the recently released Zero Dark Thirty directed by Kathryn Bigelow whom many remember for her wildly successful and similarly themed film The Hurt Locker.

Though it has been well-received, the film does not come without criticism. Many critics have taken to claiming that the film endorses torture to an uncomfortable degree, which is ridiculous, arousing a stir from fellow controversial filmmaker Michael Moore.

Through Twitter on Jan. 9 -Moore came to the defense of Bigelow’s film by saying that, “I’m sorry, but anyone who claims that Zero Dark Thirty endorses torture either hasn’t seen the movie or wasn’t paying attention.”

Controversy aside, Zero Dark Thirty tells the story of Maya, the unknown woman behind the search for Osama bin Laden.  Jessica Chastain plays the role of Maya to perfection in a performance that surely should earn her an Oscar. She’s a dedicated workaholic who is seemingly committed to nothing aside from finding bin Laden. However she also shows emotional depth through her occasional bouts of vulnerability.

Maya reflects the emotional strain and dissatisfaction suffered by American field agents. Bigelow is able to showcase the sacrifice of a normal life at home with friends and family in favour of surrounding themselves in enemy territory to achieve a goal that many deemed impossible after a decade-long search.

Despite the immense running time of 157 minutes, one can’t help but to be drawn to the clever storytelling. Screenwriter Mark Boal crafted the narrative of the film in chronological stages occurring around the world’s worst terrorist inflicted tragedies over the past ten years. Not only does this give us historical record in which to relate ourselves to the story, but it makes the film more enthralling to watch because it frequently transfers location to give homeland perspective on the operation.

Regardless of the hotly debated aspects of the film, it’s still one of the best movies of the year.

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