Local critics applaud controversial 'Zero Dark Thirty'

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"Zero Dark Thirty," the intensely-debated thriller about the CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden is being hailed by local critics as it finally opens wide across the country this weekend after a limited release in New York and Los Angeles in December.

Chris Hewitt of the Pioneer Press calls director Kathryn Bigelow's film "one of the best thrillers since her own 'The Hurt Locker.'"

The film, written by Bigelow's "Hurt Locker" scribe Mark Boal, stars Jessica Chastain as a member of the elite team of spies and military operatives who devoted themselves to finding bin Laden.

Hewitt also lauds the filmmaker's decision not to make an argument one way or the other for such hot-button subjects as the film's torture scenes, instead leaving it up audiences "to decide what we think about the awful things depicted on-screen."

Colin Covert gives "Zero Dark Thirty" four stars in his Star Tribune review, calling it "a chilling dramatization" and "a timely and important reminder of the agonizing human price of zealotry."

Covert also called the depiction of the raid on bin Laden's Abbottabad compound "a masterstroke of sustained, unnerving tension" and praised the film for refraining from "rah-rah, let's kill some terrorists jingoism" and being willing "to face some ugly facts."

See the trailer for "Zero Dark Thirty" below.

Bring Me The News news curator Tim Lammers is also a nationally-syndicated movie journalist whose work appears on more than 50 TV affiliate websites in the U.S. Tim has interviewed more than 1,000 major actors and filmmakers throughout his career, and locally, he reviews films on "KARE 11 Today" and WCCO Radio. Tim's work is also featured on his website, StrictlyCinema.com.

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