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Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

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A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L.s Team 6 in May 2011.


Kathryn Bigelow


Mark Boal
442 ( 459)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 87 wins & 171 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Clarke ... Dan
Reda Kateb ... Ammar
Jessica Chastain ... Maya
Kyle Chandler ... Joseph Bradley
Jennifer Ehle ... Jessica
Harold Perrineau ... Jack
Jeremy Strong ... Thomas
J.J. Kandel ... J.J.
Wahab Sheikh Wahab Sheikh ... Detainee on Monitor
Alexander Karim ... Detainee on Monitor
Nabil Elouahabi ... Detainee on Monitor
Aymen Hamdouchi ... Detainee on Monitor
Simon Abkarian ... Detainee on Monitor
Ali Marhyar Ali Marhyar ... Interrogator on Monitor
Parker Sawyers ... Interrogator on Monitor


Maya is a CIA operative whose first experience is in the interrogation of prisoners following the Al Qaeda attacks against the U.S. on the 11th September 2001. She is a reluctant participant in extreme duress applied to the detainees, but believes that the truth may only be obtained through such tactics. For several years, she is single-minded in her pursuit of leads to uncover the whereabouts of Al Qaeda's leader, Osama Bin Laden. Finally, in 2011, it appears that her work will pay off, and a U.S. Navy SEAL team is sent to kill or capture Bin Laden. But only Maya is confident Bin Laden is where she says he is. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


For ten years one woman never stopped searching for the most wanted man in history See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence including brutal disturbing images, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »


English | Arabic

Release Date:

11 January 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kill Bin Laden See more »

Filming Locations:

Chandigarh, Punjab, India See more »


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$417,150, 23 December 2012

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In "No Easy Day," the first-hand account of the attack and killing of Osama bin Laden written by a member of the SEALs team, the movie's lead character of CIA agent, Maya, is known only as "Jen." See more »


At the start of the water-boarding during Dan's second interrogation of Ammar, he puts on gloves to adjust the rope, and then 10 seconds later when he picks up the towel the gloves are missing. When they are on the floor the gloves are back in his pocket. See more »


[first lines]
Dan: I own you, Ammar.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The filmmakers wish to especially acknowledge the sacrifice of those men, women, and families who were most impacted by the events depicted in this film: the victims and the families of the 9/11 attacks; as well as the attacks in the United Kingdom; the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan; in Khobar, Saudi Arabia; and at the Camp Chapman Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan. We also wish to acknowledge and honor the many extraordinary military and intelligence professionals and first responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice. See more »


Featured in Smashing UK Top 10: Top 10 Terrorist Films (2013) See more »


Pavlov's Dogs
Written by Charles Maggio, Keith Huckins, Andrew Gormley, Nick Forte III and Chris Laucella
Performed by Rorschach
Courtesy of Gern Blandsten Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Jessica Chastain in Command ! ! !
12 January 2013 | by drakula2005See all my reviews

Do not get me wrong, the movie is not that good when you get the lovely, energetic, fascinating and brutally honest portrayal of Chastain's CIA agent Maya out of the picture.It would've still be solid, controversial and updated with events, but the X-particle would have been missing.That's what the actress brought to the movie.

The cast is fine-a solid, convincing ensemble, that did their respective jobs very well.I can see why people like Mark Strong and James Gandolfini got some roles in the movie.It's always good to work with a so-called red-hot director at the helm of her so-called favourite turf- war movies.Their cameos, especially Gandolfini's (because Mark Strong was under the spotlights for a little longer) made a refreshing break from the main tone of the movie midway through it, at the moment we needed something different the most.Overall, the cast was an improvement over Bigelow's last effort in the genre.

With "The Locker" i wasn't impressed at all, i was actually on the other end of emotions-i did not understand what all the people saw in it.Overlong and flat, you' be left wondering why so many strange sequences occurred in the movie.And if you are still awake, that is.But Bigelow has improved in those few years.She has a better eye for the cinematic, her cast is stronger, she changes paste effortlessly and now has a sense of jumping in one scene after another almost flawlessly.Those things, in my humble opinion, were not that visible in "The Locker" as mostly critics screamed they were.But the movie ended being the biggest Oscar contender and winner without being the best movie that same year, so what do i know.The only department "The Locker" still overshadows "Zero Dark Thirty" is the tension.No that it wasn't evident here, but more than enough was provided by Bigelow in her last effort.Well, frankly, the nature of the movie was different and couldn't have hurt it.

So, with all that being said, with the beautiful performance by Chastain, who is becoming a real power on the horizon with every single movie she takes, with a haunting performance from Reda Kateb's Ammar in the beginning, where one might feel heartbroken for the guy, what's the problem with the movie, You might ask.

The script!This thing that has been nominated out of sheer patriotism is worth nothing.Some of the lines Boal wrote were sheer ridiculousness at it's finest.No one screams words like "motherfucker" in the CIA director's face at a high-level terrorist-related meeting, even if there is no profane context hidden behind it and even if the CIA boss's role has been handled by the almighty Tony Soprano.Jessica Chastain was actually so good and mesmerizing throughout the course of the movie, that she handled this particular scene with calm and confidence.She was the one screaming it, if it is not yet crystal-clear.And she's been forgiven, she's not to blame at all.Continuing with Boal's outrageous screen writing we find ourselves in the middle of a mission, where the SEALs (who behaved like total children throughout their limited number of scenes, shame on you, Edgerton, i'm looking at you, because one would expect this from Chris Pratt) enter a suspect's house and begin to quietly repeat every single inhabitant's name until, like rabbits, they all come out and they all get shot.A totally unneeded and distracting scene, which took off a lot from the sheer brilliancy and tension off the last sequence of the movie.And even if there were some documented evidence speaking that it was all true, i don't believe that a clever off-the-grid person will be so stupid to get out and check who is calling him by name in the middle of a SEALs mission in his home.I repeat, even if it were true, for the sake of the film itself, leave it out, do not go there!!That's why i think the final act was less suspenseful than Bigelow's last warfare effort.Besides the fact we all now how it ends, of course.And, once again, thank God Jessica Chastain is around to save the day and bring some humanity and emotion to the movie.:But what the heck, let's give a 100/100 to the movie, because we love America".That's the reception right now, as it was with "Argo"...and once again, thank the cinematic Gods for Jessica Chastain's true, emotional, fascinating, electrifying performance!!

At the very end she showed that even in a job well done and even in the years spend doing nothing but this particular job, there is no consolation, there are no smiles, nor happiness.Only a 12-years long hole of emptiness that's being left there.Like a homecoming soldier, who still lives with his brothers in arms, Jessica Chastain's Maya-has a tough way ahead of her.A way filled with new strives and challenges, dreams even.But a long and tough way back to ordinary life, life as it was.This sense of nostalgia is brought in absolutely uncompromising way to the screen by Chastain.

The movie itself would have been a 6/10 without Chastain to say the least, with Boal it falls even steeper, but this new actress (by Hollywood laws that is), makes this whole ride unforgettable in the coming awards-season.

Two thumbs up for a lovely Chastain and hopefully an Oscar this time around!!

My rate:9/10

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