Zero Dark Thirty
2012
****½
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler, Édgar Ramírez, James Gandolfini, Chris Pratt, Callan Mulvey, Fares Fares, Reda Kateb

After 9/11, the U.S. government leaves no stone unturned to find Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the attacks. In 2003, an inexperienced analyst joins the CIA field office in Pakistan, and she spends the next eight years hunting the world’s most wanted terrorist. Kathryn Bigelow’s drama is a gripping and fascinating depiction of this massive manhunt. The film’s nonjudgmental and matter-of-fact portrayal of the legwork (including torture) involved in capturing an ultimately symbolic target may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but as a piece of dramatic filmmaking, it is pretty much faultless. Scripted by Mark Boal, who also penned Bigelow’s previous work The Hurt Locker. Academy Award winner for Best Sound Editing.