Director Kathryn Bigelow and reporter-turned-screenwriter Mark Boal’s 2009 Oscar-winner The Hurt Locker followed a bomb disposal unit in Iraq. Now they’ve made this sidekick – a gritty, tense procedural about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. These are action films for people who think action movies are dumb: they put us on the inside of history and grip us with their journalistic detail.

Zero Dark Thirty is lean, mean storytelling: no back stories, no frills – just action and an effortless forward momentum. Boal spent the best part of a decade talking to counterterrorism operatives, and it shows in his faultless dialogue. The endgame – a raid on a suburban house in Pakistan – is a white-knuckle watch. And when a Seal finally puts a bullet into a thin, grey-bearded man, you don’t doubt for a second this is what it was like: dogs barking, freaked-out locals raising a mob outside. This is an instant classic.

Zero Dark Thirty

Genre: Drama, Thriller
Duration: 157 mintues
Released: Jan 24th
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Jason Clarke, Reda Kateb, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle
Language: English
Classification: 18+
Zero Dark Thirty
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