Grade • A
DVD • In the thriller “Zero Dark Thirty,” director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal painstakingly detail the steps that CIA agents took to find Osama Bin Laden — and what’s most shocking is seeing how many steps went in wrong directions.
Early scenes center on a black-site operative (Jason Clarke) putting one subject through waterboarding and other forms of torture — which prompted criticism that such depictions were an endorsement of the practice.
These scenes give way to one analyst, Maya (Jessica Chastain), doggedly pursuing leads pointing to the Abbottabad compound where Bin Laden finally was found.
Bigelow and Boal mix tense action with a thoughtful portrayal of determination in the face of daunting odds.