What did it take to pull off probably the most important operation in the entire history of the CIA – the killing of Osama Bin Laden? In 2012 the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” was released and this entire story was all about locating and then killing the worst mass terrorist in World History. I had never seen a movie like this before, showing first hand the real working lives of the people who work for the CIA, that showed the extreme danger they live with. How hard they have to work, the risks they take to keep the world safe from terrorism. The working hours these people put in every day are endless and the importance of what they do is beyond measurement. If they make a mistake or miss something important, thousands could die in a terrorist attack or something even worse. This reality creates stress and tension within a working environment far beyond any normal job and it is this accurate depiction that is the best part of this film.
Jessica Chastain stars in this film as a CIA agent only known as Maya and this is considered Chastain’s breakout role as an “A” level movie actor. Very often there is one scene in a movie that lauches an actor into a super-star status (see below) and the argument Maya has with her boss Joseph Bradley, played by Kyle Chandler is one such scene. The acting in this scene, especially with Chastain is so good and real that it would take only one scene like this to win an Academy Award. Chastain was nominated for a best actress Oscar in 2012 for this film, but inexplicably did not win, probably only because it was her first nomination. Chastain was also great in the movie “Mollys Game”, released in 2017 but was not even nominated for an Oscar. Go figure the insanity of Hollywood.
Along with Kyle Chandler is the late James Gandolfini as one of the heads of a CIA team that eventuallly locates and kills Bin Laden in 2011. Zero Dark Thirty is one of the best films of its kind ever produced and an important review of history. I highly recommend this movie, released in 2012.