All member reviews for Zero Dark Thirty

Common Sense Media says

Intelligent, uncompromising drama is violent and complex.

Users say

(out of 33 reviews)
age 15+
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Teen, 14 years old Written byTom Cruise Fan August 13, 2015

"Zero Dark Thirty" movie review

"Zero Dark Thirty" is a very good film. It was interesting to see how Osama Bin Laden was found and killed because the man (if he can be called a man and not a demon) absolutely deserved death for his actions of 9/11. Jessica Chastain plays the person most responsible for his death and she was very good in this movie. I think her performance is slightly overrated but still good. My issue with the film is how we don't see her character background. The movie is very good at taking its time. It is a slow movie. I still really enjoyed watching it and was riveted by the last act of the movie. It is a very well-made film. The cinematography and direction are excellent. "Zero Dark Thirty" was an interesting portrait of hunting Bin Laden who deserves to burn in hell. I enjoyed it but thought "Argo" was absolutely the better picture.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 3 year old Written bygerbowski November 20, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty

Well worth the watch, despite some disturbing scenes.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 14 year old Written byvkumar3908 June 29, 2013

Thought provoking movie!

Whatan outstanding movie, one of the best. Because of Bin Ladens recent death, teens will be aching to go see this drama. But the coarse language and violence make this movie hard for you to let your kids see. Gore - No gore whatsoever. Violence - Heavy violence such as heavy shooting with bloody consequences shown on a news report; a suicide bombing in a campsite where a beloved character dies in; and various torture scenes 98% of them being graphic depictions of waterboarding which is however breif. However, the worst is when a man towards the beggining of the movie is stripped down and a dog collar is attached to him, he is led around the room with his backside showing (visible faece on his backside). There is also visible urine and faecial matter all over the floor. I am shocked that common sense media didnt pick this up as itis one of the most disturbing scenes in the movie! Language - Many frequent uses of the F-word and low uses of S**t. Sex - as part of humiliation torture, a man has his pants stripped and his naked behind is shown soaked in faecial matter. Before a raid, a man thnks Maya for her courage and says without her hed be raped in a Pakistani Prison which coukd be referred to as racism as well. Racism - Not a lot of it, but the al - Qaeda are often reffered to as the 'Paks' In conclusion I think anyone under the age of 15 will find the movie frankly disturbing due to torture and the humiliation some prisoners are forced into.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written bymammadrama1963 June 28, 2013

THERAPIST SAYS ITS A GO FOR 13 YEAR OLDS

I believe that zero dark thirty is a once in a life time oprotunity for teenagers to connect with the outside world. You might think taht I am crazy but it's true. Teenagers don't really think about foreign politics or anything that is going on outside of America. I believe that allowing them to see this movie will intrest them in the world outside of the US. However, there is a little bit of violence, but I believe that by the time someone is a teen they will have seen enough violence so that the violence in this movie isn't a big deal. (TRUST ME I'M A THERAPIST)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written bySithLordBeast June 24, 2013

KILL THAT BAD BOI

I didn't go into Zero Dark Thirty with very high expectations, however it was a little better than I expected. I'd give it a 7/10 but I've given it a 4/5 because hey, I'm rounding up. It was a little long and got a little sluggish at times, but there was always a good explosion or new something to keep my attention. Most of the movie focused on tracking o sama bin laden or his helpers, and only the last 30 minutes or so was actually dedicated to going to bin laden's house. These last 30 minutes were also my favorite part of the movie. The movie was pretty violent and it started out with a long torture scene. It might be painful to watch if you have a weak stomach but it wasn't too bad. at the end of the movie people are also shot (including wives of osama's helpers) and it is a little bloody but again, not too bad. The language was what really made the movie R, with frequent uses of f--k (around 40-50) and other frequent language (including sh--). You also see a man's butt. just saying. So it's a pretty good movie, not great, I guess. Yeah. Bye.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bysuperwarren February 23, 2013

An important event

I think that this is a very good movie and that many kids need to see this movie because it is about such an important event in their and their parents lives. It is also incredibly well done.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent Written byShivom Oza February 13, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty (2013) Review by Shivom Oza – Half-baked Real-life Drama

9/11/2001 is a forgettable date. There’s no particular emotion that you can attach to this event. The first real feeling of being ‘unsafe’ crept into our consciousness when the most powerful country in the world was attacked by a bunch of terrorists and almost brought down to its knees. Barely a few days after 9/11, a gruesome face was revealed to the world. That face was supposed to be responsible for the terrorist strikes, which brought down the World Trade Centre twin towers and took over 3000 lives. Soon, the face became synonymous with everything evil in the world. He became the ‘mascot’, so to speak, for terrorism. It was none other than the Al Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden. The US called for his head and began a mission to hunt the man down and eliminate him. In this film, the team, which is hunting down the most dreaded terrorist in the world, is spearheaded (although not initially) by Maya (Jessica Chastain). Other CIA persons include Dan (Jason Clarke), Joseph Bradley (Kyle Chandler) and Jessica (Jennifer Ehle). The film concentrates on the major events that lead to the killing of Osama in May 2011. In the interim, we are shown how the CIA goes about doing their job, which includes interrogation, building a good network in a foreign country, keeping an eye out for every possible clue and identifying connections between statements given by criminals/terrorists. It is a tough job, and the film shows it as it is. However, what the audiences are made to miss out on is proper explanation about every clue that the CIA gets in its run-up to finding Bin Laden. Names are thrown in, major terrorist strikes such as the 2005 London bombing and the Marriott Hotel blast among others are featured, more names are thrown in, assassination attempts are made on the CIA officers and more names are thrown in. This entire Osama manhunt is an absolutely brilliant subject to capture on celluloid. However, trying to fit in 8 years into an hour-and-half (regarding the first half of the film) is an impossible job. If one wishes to educate the viewer, more information should be dispensed through the work of art (film, book anything!). Here, it’s just one random event followed by another and suddenly, voila! We found Bin Laden’s carrier! YOU could have, but how do WE know? The main purpose for anyone to watch this particular film would be, besides being entertained, to actually know about how the US went about looking for the Al Qaeda leader. Sadly, it is not clear enough. The second-half, in comparison, is way more superior, owing to the fact that this section only covers a year or so in the lead-up to the final attack. It’s much more understandabe, swift-paced and follows a linear path (as all real-life based films should, ideally!). The actual mission ‘Operation Geronimo’ is definitely going to keep you on the edge of your seats. The final 30 minutes of the film are gripping and filled with emotionally-charged moments. As far as the performances go, everybody in the cast has done a fine job. Chastain has delivered a brilliant performance. However, it is not the best of the year. The locations could have been a huge problem. All the ‘Pakistan’ areas shown in the film were actually shot in Chandigarh, India. The locations have been perfectly altered to be made to look like they are cities in Pakistan. There are a few blips, such as shops bearing Hindu names and cars of Indian-make, but you can’t pan them down for everything. Their efforts to convert a small section of Chandigarh into Pakistan are commendable. The screenplay, as already pointed out, bears several flaws. This film could have actually been a documentary series. The subject, as already mentioned, is first-rate and the story deserves to be told in a truthful, elaborate manner. 'Zero Dark Thirty' can be watched for entertainment. However, to know what actually happened, start looking for books and articles. Kathryn Bigelow, the director, has made a half-baked real-life drama. It is highly unsurprising that she hasn't bagged a n Oscar nomination for Best Direction. Just a thought - Don't believe the solution to terrorism lies in capital punishments, air raids, counter bombings, revenge and retribution. Let’s give peace a chance, till they don’t start doing the same. Shivom Oza
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written byJohnem95 February 9, 2013

A dark story in real life, a dark story on the big screen.

Zero Dark Thirty is a drama/thriller based off true events involving the manhunt for Osama Bin Laden. With its heavy praise and intriguing real-life storyline, your teens may have interest in seeing this movie. With this being a movie about a manhunt for a deadly terrorist, you can expect plenty of violence and tense moments (especially the films' climax). Violence includes violent interrogation scenes involving torture, sudden bombs exploding out of nowhere (made me jump), and plenty of gunfire. Language is also strong involving the f-word used several times along with the other "usual" potty-mouthed phrases. The main character, Maya, a female CIA agent who is the one leading the manhunt is a strong female character who isn't leading to get fame, but leading to help the country. She is relentless in her pursuit to take down Osama Bin Laden, and she can come across as a strong, brave female character girls can look up to. Beer, smoking, wine, etc are both referenced and seen, but aren't shoved in your face. Zero Dark Thirty is a very exciting drama that is slow at parts, tense at other parts, and shocking at times, as well, but in the end, it is a very well-made take on one of our nations' biggest victories. Teens 17 and up should get a fair share of educational value from this movie. Teens and kids 17 and under will find the movie too intense.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byRedmist127 February 6, 2013

Going to give other Oscar nominees a run for their money.

Well acted, well paced, and altogether brilliant! The torture scenes are very intense and WILL upset some people. There is a decent amount of language and some male rear nudity.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 13 year old Written byMartina7 January 25, 2013

Docudrama? Not.

Docudrama it is not, and sadly the distortions of reality will be remembered as if they were the truth.
Kid, 11 years old January 21, 2013

Very well acted gripping war film

This movie looks intense, emotional, film My friends have seen zero dark thirty They told me it was violent like The hurt locker also. But it has a Very positive role model 1Teamwork and confidence 2 and also think before you do. This movie looks very good Movie. under 12 or 11 not okay can not handle This well acted emotional film and Kids over 12 or 11 can handle zero Thirty dark tip if you see your kids being very Mature and been very good let them see this with an adult or a few Friends
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 16 years old Written byBestPicture1996 January 19, 2013

Extremely dark and frighteningly real

Content wise, let me warn: a couple brought A 6 YEAR OLD GIRL TO THIS MOVIE. I have no idea what went through their heads; this movie is strictly for movie loving older teens and adults, the language and violence are very coarse. The torture isn't as bad you think, but it's still difficult to watch. The movie is a fascinating study on Maya, played brilliantly by Chastain, whose entire BEING is devoted to finding bin Laden. The movie's a real thrill, but I doubt I could watch it again, especially the harrowing raid scene.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent Written byHMC69 January 18, 2013

Long, dark and gritty

Rivetting profile of the heroine, the CIA agent who located Bin Laden. The depiction of torture scenes is striking, but not overly graphic, well deserving of the critical praise it's received. The movie is long, but it keeps your attention. I did not like the end of the movie after the successful raid. While I appreciated the dispassionate portrayal of torture, the absence of positive emotional reaction after the raid seems manipulated, as if trying to force the viewer to question the morality of the operation itself. The movie ends much as it started, dark and gritty, without the emotional relief or closure I suspect many viewers may have wished for.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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