Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
Kathryn Bigelow's "historical drama" about the hunt for and capture of Osama bin Laden earned five Academy Award nominations, but not without significant controversy. Any film "based on" actual events will make viewers wonder about the boundary between historical facts and cinematic fiction. Others have raised ethical questions about the portrayals of the torture of detainees. And still more controversy surrounds the access of classified information to make the film. But there's no such thing as bad publicity, right? Most critics have loved this film. I thought it had a more fundamental problem with casting Jessica Chastain as the zealous, rookie CIA officer named Maya, who as the heroine does what no one else has been able to do. In fact, when we watched the movie, there were at least three times when the audience laughed when Chastain was playing Super Tough. Nonetheless, the re-enactment of the May 2, 2011 invasion of bin Laden's compound by Navy SEALS is amazing.