From 'A(mour)' to 'Z(ero Dark Thirty)'
7. "Zero Dark Thirty" (Kathryn Bigelow)
A lot of people separate Kathryn Bigelow's take on a real-life CIA operation from Affleck's in a drastic way to convey a canyon of quality between, but I don't think one is so much better than the other. They do similar things in different ways, and the accomplishment with this one is journalism at its finest, boot-leather in nature. So the salute here is largely to Mark Boal and what he accomplished in the reporting, but it's also procedural filmmaking drawn out to painstaking detail by Bigelow. Ultimately, it's a film concerned, elegantly, with the elusiveness of closure. That's entirely relevant today but it's also a timeless consideration.