Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty

A rather dispassionate account of the hunt for bin Laden. Certainly, as promised, the film is journalistic in style, but it was to the point that I found myself little transformed or emotionally engaged at the end. More than anything, it's an interesting portrait of the CIA and its personality as an organization.

I have to take issue with those that have suggested that the film justifies torture as a means to finding bin Laden; although it does portray torture (and it's definitely TORTURE) as a means to gleaning a piece of important information, most of the film focuses on alternative means of obtaining information, and the information is better and more humanely acquired. Indeed, the rather long and painful torture scenes suggest that very little information indeed comes from that process, and the characters committing these acts themselves seem psychologically burdened and drained. A small moment in which we see Obama declaring in interview that the U.S. doesn't torture as the CIA agents in the know look on further calls out a hypocrisy with the U.S. government. So while the film doesn't necessarily condemn torture, it neither glorifies it - it feels more like a statement that it occurred than any kind of endorsement either way.