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ZERO DARK THIRTY Poster: Color It Black

Zero Dark Thirty posterZero Dark Thirty poster: Kathryn Bigelow's mystery movie about the story everyone (sort of) knows

The Zero Dark Thirty poster has just come out. Plot details about the upcoming Kathryn Bigelow-directed feature, however, have been scarce – or downright nonexistent. (Zero Dark Thirty poster: Columbia Pictures.)

Zero Dark Thirty: Echoes of The Hurt Locker

Zero Dark Thirty is Kathryn Bigelow's first movie since becoming the first woman to win a Best Director Oscar – for The Hurt Locker-- two and a half years ago. (She received her statuette from the hands of never-nominated director Barbra Streisand.) Though not exactly a war movie à la The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty treads similar territory, as it follows American military personnel on a Mission in a Muslim country (Pakistan instead of Iraq). The Mission in question is the capture – and possibly the killing – of Most Wanted Man Osama bin Laden, who ended up quite dead indeed.

Now, is the world any safer? Hardly. But more importantly, will Bigelow's thriller be a methodical reconstruction of events (however fictitious) in the style of Fred Zinnemann's The Day of the Jackal or a flag-waver along the lines of Operation Thunderbolt? And will Zero Dark Thirty earn Bigelow a second Oscar nod? Who the hell knows? (Though highly acclaimed upon its release, a few voices criticized The Hurt Locker for making the Iraqis as generic as, say, movie extras. Robert Scheer at Truthdig: "It is imperial hubris turned into an art form in which the Iraqi people appear as numbed bystanders when they are not deranged extras. It is a perverse tribute to the film's accuracy in portraying the insanity of the U.S. invasion—while ignoring its root causes—that the Iraqis are at no point treated as though they are important.")

Zero Dark Thirty release date

Zero Dark Thirty opens on Dec. 19, in time for awards-season consideration. Written by Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker collaborator and fellow Oscar winner Mark Boal, the "hunt for Osama bin Laden" thriller features this year's Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Duplass, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler, Frank Grillo, Édgar Ramírez, Stephen Dillane, and James Gandolfini.

Also worth mentioning is that just this past week, the John Stockwell-directed Seal Team 6: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden, starring Twilight's Cam Gigandet, became the National Geographic Channel most-watched program of 2012.

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