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Zero Dark Thirty is a highly watchable movie, but probably not an Oscar-winner

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Zero Dark Thirty is longer than it needed to be.  To my mind it seemed competently put together rather than outstanding.  It tells of the ten-year hunt by the CIA to locate Osama Bin Laden, and of the subsequent raid on his compound in Pakistan.  Maya, the CIA agent, single-mindedly pursues the case and eventually tracks him down.  There are too many torture scenes, which are not only unpleasant, but pretty dull.  One would have sufficed to make the point that torture was used successfully to gain vital information.  The assembling of clues to track down Bin Laden’s courier and the use of electronic intelligence are both quite absorbing.  The high point of the movie, however, is the last thirty minutes of it depicting the actual raid by special forces in two Dark Apache (stealth) helicopters.  Even though we know the outcome, it is edge-of-the-seat stuff, with jerky camera work and infra-red to add to its realism.  I thought the movie well worth seeing, but I doubt it will win many Oscars (maybe best actress), given that it is up against Lincoln.

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