Based on real life events though largely shaded with some wistful imagination, Zero Dark Thirty recounts the events after September 11th and the man hunt for America's most wanted terrorist, Osama Bin Laden.

As an agent of the CIA, a woman named Maya has spent her time in the agency looking into Intel about the infamous terrorist leader, however she finally starts to make an impact when her inquisitive mind is shipped to Pakistan.

After discovering the existence of a private courier who personally delivers messages to and from Bin Laden, Maya finds herself at the front of America's biggest man hunt and the only one with any real solid information.

Maya has to push both the CIA and her supervisors for what she believes is the golden opportunity to finally track down and bring him in, the only question remaining is can the CIA move fast enough before that opportunity disappears.

Jessica Chastain is the life and soul of the film with central character Maya, a woman who is so fixed on doing what no one else can that her whole life outside the investigation comes to a stand still. played with hidden emotion, steely resolve and soaring commitment Chastain really gives that human element to events which could have happened and makes them both dramatic and realistic.

Another CIA agent based in Pakistan is Dan played by Jason Clarke, it's his grim methods of torture and the role he plays alongside Maya that helps her in her investigation. The likable yet grim when on the job agent Dan is played perfectly with just enough character development to solidify his role in the story.  

Kyle Chandler takes the role of Joseph Bradley, the station chief who often gets pulled into battling what he believes is Maya's foolhardy hunch time and time again.

Chandler really shines when on screen and opposite Chastain, the two bring out the strong parallels of their characters.

While they aren't present for great lengths a nod has to be given to both Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt who play the operatives assigned to Maya, two names that while not huge are worthy of a mention from their time on screen.

For an independent budget it's also good to see more class acting involved including Mark Strong and James Gandolfini (Along with a strange cameo like appearance from John Barrowman) as the higher ups of the CIA.

A strong, dark and detailed thriller from Kathryn Bigelow and it's not the first time she's brought out a more static and analytical view of proceedings carried out by American forces over seas.

Like The Hurt Locker before it ZDT takes the established facts and historic details, shakes them up, adds a stronger shade of humanity and even sets out to educate the little things that aren't common knowledge.

Of course as with every film about real to life historical occurrences, everything has to be taken with a pinch of salt whether it may have just added to the dramatic style or made the narrative more succinct , undoubtedly while based on fact portions would still be primarily created for the film or at least modified.

That said there are no obvious moment for the most part that have you question what's fact and what's been imagined, instead you find yourself pulled to the character of Maya and her own escapades in intelligence.

Like The Hurt Locker, this too has seen a slew of awards and you can understand why going by translation of the source material, the performances and the realistic portrayal Bigelow brings us.

I highly recommend ZDT for the patient, politically interested and curious cinema goers out there, my only gripe being and it is a small one, is the films running time which in my opinion could have been easily shaved to make a more nicely paced presentation overall.