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Zero Dark Thirty | 2012 | R | - 4.7.9

The events leading up to the killing of Osama bin Laden after the 9/11/2001 Al-Qaeda terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Also with Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Taylor Kinney, Callan Mulvey, Siaosi Fonua, Phil Somerville, Nash Edgerton, Mike Colter. Jason Clarke, Reda Kateb, Jessica Chastain, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Harold Perrineau, Jeremy Strong and J.J. Kandel. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. [2:37]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man with his hands tied to the ceiling has his pants pulled down to expose his bare buttocks and genitals to a woman in the room (we see his bare buttocks and we see that it appears that he has feces on his buttocks). A man straps a dog collar around a bound man's neck and we see the man's pubic area in dark shadow (he is not wearing pants).
 Women are shown dancing in a club. Women wear low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage and bare shoulders in a couple of scenes.
 A woman asks another woman if she and a man have "hooked up yet" and says, "A little fooling around wouldn't hurt you." A man says that he is leaving his job as an interrogator and says that he has "seen too many guys naked."


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - We hear radio chatter and calls for help between airplanes and ground control as well as people on their phones talking to loved ones as the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 are taking place; we hear one woman talking to a 911 operator saying, "I'm going to die aren't I?" and complaining that she could smell the jet fuel fumes before the line goes dead and we understand that the woman probably died.
 Several people are gunned down by men in a lobby area and we see bodies and pools of blood on the floor and stairs. Two men approach a military compound, they are admitted and drive toward several representatives who greet them and their car explodes killing everyone there; we hear that it was a suicide bombing and that one of the victims was a mother of three. A bomb explodes outside a restaurant and many people inside the restaurant are thrown to the floor; we see fires burning and rubble (one dead body is seen with blood on the clothing and injured individuals have blood on their wounds) and we later hear that a truck was carrying 200 lbs of explosives and it parked in front of a Marriott hotel in Pakistan.
 A man is held on the floor by two men and straddled by another man who places a towel over the man's face and pours water on the towel; the man being waterboarded thrashes and struggles before being uncovered and he spits out water and gasps. A man is again waterboarded. A man with his hands tied to the ceiling has his pants pulled down to expose his bare buttocks and genitals (we see his bare buttocks and we see that it appears that he has feces on his buttocks); the man who pulled down his pants asks him if he soiled himself. A man straps a dog collar around a bound man's neck and we see the man's pubic area in dark shadow. A bound man is placed inside a box and the lid is closed. We see videos of men being tortured and interrogated in different locations and by different people. A man is punched in the face twice during an interrogation.
 Several armed military men walk through a compound searching, they plant explosives when doors do not open and blow them off the hinges, and gunfire is exchanged with people inside: a woman comes out with her hands up and says, "You killed him" (we see a dead man inside with blood on his chest), the team continues inside and shoots a man as a woman screams and she is then shot (we see blood on both of them and additional shots are fired into their bodies), children are seen huddled in a room and crying, a man talks about a man being "smoked" and another man says that an injured woman will "bleed out" and several people on the street walk toward the compound to investigate and an armed man threatens them; a man inside the compound is shot three times and then once more (we see bloody bullet wounds on his clothing as he falls dead), a man is shot on a flight of stairs and falls dead, two women in a room are tackled when they try to run and a man is shot several times (we see blood on his head and chest), and we see many dead bodies with bloody bullet wounds (one body is placed in a body bag and a bloody puddle is left behind on the floor).
 We see a man with a bloody face after having been beaten while another man yells at him and three other men shove him (the men are wearing masks); the man does not answer questions and is then tied by the hands to the ceiling. A man is shown tied by the hands to the ceiling with extremely loud music blaring in an interrogation room. A man is shown with blood on his face and shirt after being beaten. Several men are shown with their hands tied behind their backs, on their knees and with bags over their heads. We see several men handcuffed and held in cages. A man is shown locked in a cell with barbed wire around it and we see him being force-fed.
 We see a bus explode in huge flames on a busy street in London and hear about casualties and deaths. We hear about a car bomb in New York City and see news coverage of bomb squads looking over the vehicle. A helicopter loses power over a compound and crashes onto a cement wall (no one is injured).
 A gate opens and a woman drives out of a secured area; we see a car with a gunman parked outside and they open fire on her, she ducks and backs through the gate and a guard shoots back at the gunmen (she is unharmed). Two men riding on motorcycles block the path of a van and one of the riders draws a gun, and a passenger from the van gets out and tries to convince them to move and eventually they do without incident. A bound man has something attached to his leg and we see him walk through a public garden looking nervous; another man walks toward him and he is surrounded by men holding guns. Protestors outside a U.S. Embassy yell and surround a woman's car as she enters.
 Explosives are planted in a downed helicopter (a man walking on the top of the helicopter loses his footing, but is OK) and they are detonated (we see a large ball of fire roll into the sky and smoke).
 A woman yells at a man and he tells her she is out of her mind; she continues to yell and threatens him (professionally). A woman yells at a man. A man yells at several people in a meeting room. A woman yells at a man over the phone. Two helicopters fly low to the ground at night toward a compound when one of the men onboard asks, "Who has been in a helo crash before?" and most of the men raise their hands. A man talks about 3,000 innocent people being murdered on 9/11. We hear about a man boarding an airplane with a bomb in his shoe. People talk about gathering intelligence on the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and tracking him. A woman talks to several men about a mission they will be undertaking and says, "I wanted to drop a bomb." A man says that another man is dead and that "I buried him with my own hands." A man says that he had to choose whether to fight or run and that "We wanted to kill Americans." A man says of a woman that another man "says she's a killer." A woman asks a man if a prisoner is ever getting out and the man says "never." A man is referred to as a "disappeared one." A man says, "They killed my monkeys." A man jokingly asks if they should examine a man's fecal matter.
 A man gobbles down food and guzzles a drink after not being given food. A man lets a monkey lick his ice cream cone and the monkey steals it the next time it is offered.


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LANGUAGE 9 - About 49 F-words and its derivatives, 10 scatological terms, 4 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (garbage man, paper boy, bro, twisted, the girl), 1 religious profanity, 2 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - Two women drink wine at a restaurant, a woman drinks after hearing that a friend was killed in a suicide bombing, a man and a woman drink wine, a man drinks a beer, and a woman drinks alone in a bar and other people are seen drinking around her. A woman drinks alcohol and smokes a cigarette at a restaurant, people drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes in a club, a man smokes in several scenes, a woman smokes cigarettes in several scenes, two women smoke, and a man smokes a cigarette.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - 9/11/2001, terrorism, Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, torture, defeat, WMD, Iraq, Pakistan, greed, ideology, intelligence gathering, probability, morality.

MESSAGE - The pursuit of terrorists can lead to obsession. Enhanced interrogation techniques are brutal and indistinguishable from torture.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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