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Blu-ray Review: ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

The highly controversial 2012 picture “Zero Dark Thirty” comes out on a Blu-ray and DVD combo pack hosting its Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copies.

Helmed by Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow as a follow-up to her acclaimed war thriller “The Hurt Locker,” this intense and thrilling piece of cinema chronicles the decade-long hunt for Al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks until his death at the hands of the Navy SEALs. The story focuses on the life of a female agent who pulls every string she can in the ultimate manhunt for the international terrorist. The film stars Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong, Scott Adkins, and Harold Perrineau.


This Blu-ray transfer boasts picture-perfect clarity. Its faultless presentation reveals very crisp details, naturally organic texture, and rich and complex colors. The shots’ varying lighting conditions are handled pretty well. The images’ different shades of blacks and grays often look impeccably defined and are always completely devoid of digital noise. Yellows and grungy oranges remain prevalent in the desert scenes, while blues and blacks dominate the indoor CIA scenes.


The film houses a powerful five-channel lossless track, along with an alternate stereo track. From the punchy explosions to the subtle atmospherics, the demo-quality mix provides exceptional clarity, utmost fidelity, and natural surround support. It effortlessly brings a full and convincing sound stage for each setting. Dialogue reverberates beautifully, whether the whispers or the yells. LFE roars whenever it needs to.


This Blu-ray edition features four production featurettes with running times ranging from 3 to 9 minutes. These include “No Small Feat: Making ‘Zero Dark Thirty,” “The Compound,” “Geared Up,” and “Targeting Jessica Chastain.” Subtitles are available in English, English SDH, and Spanish.

Final Thoughts

“Zero Dark Thirty” is both a remarkably riveting piece of art and a disturbing retelling of real-life espionage. Grounding itself with an almost frighteningly real authenticity, the viewers can readily feel as if they are inside meeting rooms and torture rooms as the story progresses. Its very methodical and precise directing of scenes that are built around first-hand accounts of actual events impresses for the mere fact that the audience ultimately knows what the story is all about and what will happen in the end.

Less about gunfire and more about subtle movements, the enthralling spy material succeeds in its slow but steady buildup. Its ability to captivate its audience creates such a dramatically intense tone that allows little room for people to catch their breaths. It is the type of film that is calculated to be rough and emotionally draining in order to make its point.

Check Out the Trailer and the Film:
Rianne Hill Soriano
Rianne is a director, writer, educator, and consultant in film and commercial productions. From mainstream essentials to independent flair, she knows the drill in making entertaining and well-meaning productions. She can lead a pack passionate about extreme action and technological edge; she can breathe an endearing and sentimental style for a team with a sweet disposition.

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