Zero Dark Thirty wastes no time with its most shocking material: In the film's very first scene, a terrorist with a connection to Osama bin Laden is graphically tortured, and we see him chained by his wrists, degraded, and waterboarded. Later, lead CIA analyst Maya (Jessica Chastain) is able to trick the captive into providing the valuable name of a courier for bin Laden ... but was that easier to come by, given the man's weakened state after torture?
Some critics believe that this means director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal are portraying the use of torture as a necessary tool in the fight against terrorism. Edelstein, who coined the term "torture porn" in a 2006 essay, wrote: "By showing these excellent results — and by silencing the cries of the innocents held at Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and other 'black sites' — it makes a case for the efficacy of torture." Or, as Frank Bruni wrote for the New York Times, the film implies, "No waterboarding, no Bin Laden."
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So, has anyone seen the movie in early screenings? Thoughts?