Director Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty isn't just great dramatic filmmaking, it's also great journalism -- which is a really weird concept, but there you have it. The film tells the decade-long tale of how a CIA operative slowly, methodically located Osama bin Laden in the wake of 9/11. In so doing, the movie could've turned into a dry, by-the-books accounting of the humdrum reality and red tape that led up to that fateful raid on bin Laden's Abbottabad compound in May, 2011. But instead, it's one of the best films of the year, a thrilling procedural and study of the labors of obsession.


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