Do US intelligence personnel routinely use torture in order to further national security? That doesn’t particularly matter for Kathryn (The Hurt Locker, Point Break
) Bigelow’s dark, disturbing, exciting drama about the hunt for Osama bin Laden in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The procedural aspects are firmly in place, the characters convincingly drawn, the action scenes crisp and sharp, and Jessica Chastain’s performance as the CIA official in charge of the operation, if necessarily a bit wooden, is at least made of handsome oak. We’re all for freedom and justice and empowered women on the forefront of liberty and death to tyrants and all that, but it’s eerie that two major Hollywood films — this one and Ben Affleck’s Argo
— lionized the secret world of national security at more or less the same time in malls across America. Something to think about after the cheering stops. Costarring Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Duplass, and Fredric Lehne as “The Wolf” (157 min.)
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Somebody had to do it. So she did.