Reviews for this film from our members:

  • Marco Albanese @ Stanze di Cinema [Italian]
    • Excerpt: Zero Dark Thirty, nel raccontare la ricerca lunga quasi dieci anni di Osama Bin Laden, avrebbe potuto risolversi in un altra retorica apologia dell’American Way.
  • [New – 5/30] | Dragan Antulov @ Draxblog VI [Croatian]
  • Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan
    • Excerpt: The most frightening thing about Zero Dark Thirty is that it leaves the questions and answers about the morality and/or effectiveness of the questioning methods up to us. It will not give us easy answers.
  • Sean Axmaker @ Parallax View
    • Excerpt: The direction by Kathryn Bigelow… is fierce and focused and Mark Boal’s screenplay grapples with the messy history of the eight-year-long intelligence operation to find Osama Bin Laden by refusing to make a spy thriller out of it.
  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty is a great American film: complicated, nuanced, searching, piercing, difficult — and yet thrilling and satisfying all the same.
  • David Bax @ Battleship Pretension
    • Excerpt: On the surface, Zero Dark Thirty remains ostensibly apolitical, hewing to the nuts and bolts of the procedural format. Yet one of the film’s real achievements is to communicate almost inarguably that what is political is intensely personal.
  • Luke Bonanno @ DVDizzy.com
    • Excerpt: Director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal prove that The Hurt Locker was no fluke in the superior Zero Dark Thirty, as gripping and masterful as any of last year’s films.
  • Luke Bonanno @ DVDizzy.com
    • Excerpt: Bigelow and Boal have done it again and have even handily bested their fine previous effort with a masterful bit of docudrama worthy of the historical significance it will forever hold.
  • Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
    • Excerpt: A feverishly thrilling, decade-spanning CIA procedural.
  • Joshua Brunsting @ The CriterionCast
  • Enrique Buchichio @ Cartelera.com.uy [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Controversias y moralidad aparte, el gran pecado de la película es su intrascendencia narrativa. Nada nos convence de que la cacería a bin Laden tuvo algún aspecto digno de ser contado en una película.
  • Sarah D Bunting @ Tomato Nation
  • Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: “Zero Dark Thirty” is an important film for our nation’s soul. It gives context to the manhunt, and it lets us experience it for catharsis and closure.
  • Samuel Castro @ Ochoymedio.info [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Aparte de lo obvio, la referencia a Osama Bin Laden, la última película de Kathryn Bigelow toma historia de guerra y la cuenta desde un punto de vista feminista
  • Bill Clark @ FromTheBalcony.com
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: It’s like “All the President’s Men” with torture and explosions, but no mention of presidents…
  • Edwin Davies @ A Mighty Fine Blog
    • Excerpt: A mainstream, accessible film that tries to engage honestly with America’s recent history, particularly the terrible things that were done out of anger, fear and a lust for vengeance in the wake of a previously unimaginable tragedy. It exposes, rather than condones or condemns, such actions by dragging them out of the darkness and into the light of the multiplex so that they might be better understood.
  • Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: Bigelow finds a point of identification in Chastain’s gutsy, uncompromising Maya and places her at the center of the ultimate war movie for our times.
  • Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: It’s not an easy feat to milk suspense out of a story where the audience already knows how it ends, but that’s exactly the cinematic sleight of hand that director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal have pulled off with “Zero Dark Thirty.” This is a reteam of the two, who both won Oscars for “The Hurt Locker” in 2010. “Zero Dark Thirty” is actually a far better movie.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: For now, here is the defining film about whatever the so-called “War on Terror” is.
  • Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk
    • Excerpt: With her latest film Zero Dark Thirty, filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow continues her charge of completely eliminating any doubt that she’s going to be to that type of female director.
  • Dustin Freeley @ Movies About Gladiators.com [French]
  • Kenji Fujishima @ In Review Online
  • Kimberly Gadette @ doddle
    • Excerpt: Bigelow and Boal are rare filmmakers in that they don’t underestimate the intelligence of their audience. In the case of this extraordinary docudrama, we are allowed to make up our own minds.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Uncompromising and intense, packed with naturalistic authenticity.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Too soon? Too soon for a kickass political action movie about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden?
  • Danny King @ The King Bulletin
    • Excerpt: [Never] once does the shadow of ‘The Hurt Locker’ loom over ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ — the new film is always its own thing, fresh and alive, humming along with a hard-as-nails intensity.
  • Oktay Ege Kozak @ Oregon Herald
    • Excerpt: Regardless of the controversy, as a stand-alone film, Zero Dark Thirty is one of the best procedural thrillers I’ve seen in a while.
  • Benjamin Kramer @ The Voracious Filmgoer
  • Joe Lozito @ Big Picture Big Sound
    • Excerpt: Kathryn Bigelow’s painstaking account of the events that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden favors dramatization over character and suspense.
  • Carson Lund @ Are the Hills Going to March Off?
    • Excerpt: Zero Dark Thirty is a richer, more mature film than its predecessor, confronting more closely and unflinchingly than any post-9/11 American film to date the question of what exactly it means to be a part of this country during a time of such devastating crossroads.
  • Piers Marchant @ Sweet Smell of Success
    • Excerpt: Kathryn Bigelow’s hunt for O.B.L film gets a lot of just how much it downplays its material.
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
  • Matthew McKernan @ FilmWhinge
    • Excerpt: It is difficult to review a film like Zero Dark Thirty without referring to the controversy and evaluating where one stands on it. The pro-torture/ propaganda debate has stuck so tightly to Kathryn Bigelow’s film that it is difficult even to watch the film without constantly questioning it.
  • Jason McKiernan @ Next Projection
    • Excerpt: Zero Dark Thirty – which fuses Bigelow’s action thriller history with her recent shift toward narrative journalism and a newfound complexity in character exploration – is cinema art at its most sublime.
  • Ryan McNeil @ The Matinee
    • Excerpt: Don’t waste any time in deciding whether this film is for or against anything we did in the last decade. Instead, worry about the fact that we did it at all.
  • Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]
  • Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: A superb piece of filmmaking, expertly-crafted and efficiently told, with a dynamite final act that solidifies Bigelow’s standing as one of the finest action directors in the game.
  • Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies
    • Excerpt: Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty” is, as Charlie Rose points out, “movie journalism” in pinnacle form.
  • Tiago Ramos @ Split Screen [Portuguese]
  • Jonathan Richards @ www.jonrichardsplace.com
    • Excerpt: Bigelow and Boal have studiously tried to avoid taking a public stand on the central issue, but a narrative that starts with torture and culminates in success carries its own inescapable logic.
  • Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema
    • Excerpt: The details of the raid are amazing, but the preceding two hours are admittedly dull.
  • Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema
    • Excerpt: The final raid is thrilling, but the preceding two hours, not so much.
  • Diego Salgado @ Miradas de Cine (miradas.net) [Spanish]
  • Diego Salgado @ Miradas de Cine (miradas.net) [Spanish]
  • Tom Santilli @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: When you cross a rising actor with a very popular, rising director, teaming to tell a story about our country’s greatest triumph of the past decade, it is bound to get people excited. But the reality is that Zero Dark Thirty is a bit too familiar: It’s an amazing and thrilling sequence or two trapped in the bloated carcass of your every-day procedural.
  • Norm Schrager @ Paste Magazine
    • Excerpt: … a remarkably thorough, unexpectedly cinematic, two-and-half-hour chronicle of American persistence.
  • Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com
    • Excerpt: “Zero Dark Thirty” succeeds as military procedural and as a character study. It comes complete with a military operation represented with all of its incumbent imperfection.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guy’s Opinion
    • Excerpt: Bigelow…brings the same facility in melding nail-biting tension and intense personal drama that she exhibited in the Oscar-winning ‘The Hurt Locker.’
  • Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
  • Kent Turner @ Film-Forward.com
    • Excerpt: The film has recently been slammed, perhaps as backlash to its early critical raves, but on close examination, it’s not a work to readily dismiss.
  • Jean-François Vandeuren @ Panorama-cinema.com [French]
  • Phil Villarreal @ Becauseitoldyouso.com
    • Excerpt: If there’s a masterful cinematic trick in Zero Dark Thirty, it’s the drama’s ability to masquerade as truth.
  • Andrew Wyatt @ Look/Listen (St. Louis Magazine)
    • Excerpt: While Zero Dark Thirty engages in shameless glorification (though not glamorization) of CIA spycraft, as well as a bit of Michael Bay-style military book-licking, the film is markedly grim, chilly, and ambiguous—hardly a rah-rah tale of American triumph.