Box art for Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty

drama, thrillers


For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    93%
  • Audience Score
    80%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
Consumerism
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
Language
4 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
4 out of 5

Intelligent, uncompromising drama is violent and complex.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Zero Dark Thirty is a combination war movie, thriller, and docudrama about the intense, years-long hunt for Osama bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks, from the filmmakers behind The Hurt Locker. Perhaps the movie's most controversial element is its depiction of "waterboarding" and torturing prisoners for information. The movie shows this process as simultaneously effective and repellent. Overall, violence is strong -- not just in the torture sequences, but also in various other gun/shooting sequences, with dead bodies and lots of blood. But because the violence encourages interpretation and isn't just gratuitous, older teens should be able to handle it within the movie's context as an intelligent, complex story that's sure to inspire passionate discussion. Language is strong, with uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as sexual innuendo and some partial, nonsexual nudity. Characters are often seen smoking cigarettes or drinking in a background way.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about Zero Dark Thirty's violence. What's the impact of the torture scenes? How are they different from the climactic invasion sequence? From the opening depiction of 9/11? How does the movie challenge viewers to think about all these different forms of violence?
  • What keeps Maya doing this job -- hunting for little clues that may lead to Osama bin Laden -- for so many years? Is she a role model? Is she worth rooting for?
  • How can Zero Dark Thirty be labeled? How would you describe it to your friends? Is a movie that's difficult to label better than one that's easy to label?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    93%
    reviews counted: 0
    see all Zero Dark Thirty reviews
  • Audience

    80%

Audience Reviews

2 stars

Seems like one of the most anticipated and best movie of 2012 is one of the movies that i didnt enjoy! For me although there was alot going on, action and fantastic acting there just didnt seem to moving and i felt bored throughout the movie. Majorly disappointed may watch again with lower expectations!

- FiLmCrAzY, Monday, May 13, 2013

2 stars

Seems like one of the most anticipated and best movie of 2012 is one of the movies that i didnt enjoy! For me although there was alot going on, action and fantastic acting there just didnt seem to moving and i felt bored throughout the movie. Majorly disappointed may watch again with lower expectations!

- FiLmCrAzY, Monday, May 13, 2013

4 stars

Great movie that in my opinion demonstrates the end does not justify the means. Although the movie does not glamorize torture... I still feel it portrays it as a necessary evil and with that I cannot agree. It illustrates the NEED for the "I" (intelligence) as the center stone for the CIA!

- Tomassgringo, Monday, April 8, 2013