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Klavan On The Culture

Zero Dark Thirty: Smart and Gripping

December 29th, 2012 - 9:09 am

But hey, this isn’t the New York Times, which gives good reviews to films it agrees with politically and bad reviews to films it disagrees with. This is me, who tries to treat them fairly no matter which side they’re on. And Zero Dark Thirty is gripping for its entire running time, exciting during the final mission, well-constructed and well-directed throughout. The performances are uniformly excellent with standout work from Jason Clarke and the always superb Jennifer Ehle (and yes, that is the curly-haired darling who starred in the best-ever adaptation of Pride and Prejudice).

So all in all: one of the better movies of the year. A powerful depiction of an important event.

One more political note. Some politicians are griping because the film tells the truth about the fact that important information was gained through “enhanced interrogation techniques.” These politicians are not only liars themselves but wish to be the source of lies in others. There’s clearly a lot of ficitonalization in this story, but that’s not part of it. The idea that enhanced interrogation didn’t work is more fictional than anything in the film — or in any film. That doesn’t make such techniques morally right, of course, but let’s at least have the debate honestly. Oh wait, sorry, I was talking about politicians. Forget I mentioned that honesty stuff. What was I thinking?

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