2012’s ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ (available on DVD)

Zero Dark Thirty

Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) is caught in a Catch 22 making this film about the CIA’s hunt for Osama bin Laden. On the one hand, she can mention the big break–ID of the personal courier–that led to the hideout in Abbottabad. However, she can’t get into the level of detail on the subject or people involved, rightfully so, due to… the sensitive and classified information that would cost us real lives and missions tonight. Bigelow is left in the unenviable position of having to tell this 10-year story from the perspective of a lone Agency analyst (Maya)–and this is where the movie really suffers (and drags). Maya’s 100% certainty in a business of uncertainty (intel) is misplaced; no one knew for sure who or what was in that compound beforehand–thus POTUS’ decisive call. I can’t see any CIA operative being pleased with how their profession is depicted; as giving up & dismissive, or their collective success, which is always the result of many, being feted upon just one. And the Tier 1 forces pushing back on a potential OBL mission is implausible, along with their horseshoe game just prior to wheels up (UFB). Civilians will welcome this movie with open arms and embrace the misrepresentation of our covert warriors down-range because they don’t know any better and that’s Hollywood. Ideally, a movie on current intelligence and military operations should never be made. However, this watered-down movie will most assuredly be received by spec ops as a laughable yawner.

Grade: C-

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