Zero Dark flashy: Bin Laden movie intrigues, doesn't illuminate

Osama bin Laden is dead, which everybody knows, and the principal facts leading up to that are also well-known. The decision to market "Zero Dark Thirty as a thriller therefore takes a certain amount of courage, even given the fascination with this most zero and dark of deaths. (The title is spy-speak for "half past midnight," the time of bin Laden's death.)

The film stars Jessica Chastain, the ubiquitous new star who now dominates the American acting landscape. One could even argue that the film is Jessica Chastain and her character. She plays Maya, a lone wolf CIA agent who sticks to her conviction that bin Laden is not in a cave in Afghanistan, hunched over a kidney dialysis machine, but is likely living in relatively open sight.

In reality, when the terrorist was finally tracked down and taken out, the universal astonishment was that his hiding place was a large, walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and that his residence there was relatively widely known – in the same area, anyway, as the location of a Pakistan military college.

Most of the film involves the search of the allied side, including the tracing down of leads that many Americans considered too obvious and in plain sight to be plausible. To Maya, however...(READ FULL REVIEW)

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