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Tackling a subject as heavy as the hunt for Osama Bin Laden is no small task, especially given the endless speculation about whether torture played a role in finding him and the large amount of classified information involved. However, Academy Award winning director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) came through, exceeding the high expectations set for her.

Billed as “the story of history’s greatest manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man,” Zero Dark Thirty spends almost no time with developing characters,  focusing rather on the several key players who spent a decade hunting Bin Laden. Jessica Chastain, who plays the fictional lead, “Maya,” gives the same gritty performance that made Jeremy Renner a star in Bigelow’s Hurt Locker, making each scene authentic with her poise and lack of positive emotion. Although the film’s ending is already well-known, there is never a lack of suspense. Though the early torture scenes are a bit brutal for the weak at heart, Zero Dark Thirty is an instant classic anyone will enjoy.

Film Grade: A

Pascutoi is a member of the class of 2015.

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