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Simply put, Zero Dark Thirty is an enjoyable thriller. I thought the writing was tight. I thought the direction was good, if not inspired. This movie hinges on the performance of Jessica Chastain. I have been out of the moviegoing business for a while. I don’t remember seeing her in anything else. (I think that says something about me and not about the number of movies she’s been in.) Anyway, Jessica Chastain is brilliant.

There’s a lot of scuttlebutt out in the community that this movie is nothing more than an expensive piece of propaganda for the White House and Barack Obama. Just like most things that are NOT true in our society, I have no idea where this came from. It simply isn’t true. I have seen the movie once. While watching the movie, I did listen for the president’s name to be mentioned and I didn’t hear it. This movie does not glorify the White House or Obama.  Neither is mentioned. This story is about the CIA finding Bin Laden. 

The other piece of false information that is floating out there is that this movie glorifies torture. Horse hockey. I am a liberal. I know that liberals are supposed to stand up and say that torture had absolutely no role in getting any meaningful information out of detainees. Unfortunately, reality is not black and white. The reality is somewhat murky. In my opinion, this movie neither supports nor contradicts the idea that meaningful intelligence came from torture. This movie is about the CIA finding Bin Laden. It doesn’t take sides in the torture debate.

Zero Dark Thirty is simply a riveting thriller. Don’t think of it as a war movie in which lots of things are going to blow up and the hero will look at the camera and say some Schwarzenegger-esque cliché. That’s not this movie. This movie is about putting together a difficult and complicated puzzle to try to find Osama bin Laden. It’s definitely worth a watch.