***½/**** Image A- Sound A+ Extras C
starring Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Ehle, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler
screenplay by Mark Boal
directed by Kathryn Bigelow
by Angelo Muredda As of this writing, the latest wannabe tastemaker to thumb his nose at Zero Dark Thirty is novelist and professional blowhard Bret Easton Ellis, who tweeted that critics lauding the film "need to admit that they're admiring a morally indefensible movie." With that, Ellis joins an army of self-deputized film writers who've taken issue on moral grounds with Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal's treatment of the CIA's decade-spanning manhunt for Osama bin Laden. While Ellis's tasteless tweets about Bigelow's appearance a few weeks back make his word suspect, it's harder to dismiss Glenn Greenwald, the liberal firebrand whose initial survey of early praise for the film (then unseen by him) slammed Bigelow and Boal for glorifying torture. Incensed by the suggestion that crowd-sourcing knowledge about Zero Dark Thirty's representation of torture from the likes of David Edelstein constituted poor form, Greenwald soon saw the picture for himself and insisted that the viewing only confirmed his initial impressions: "[T]o depict X as valuable in enabling the killing of bin Laden is - by definition - to glorify X," he observed, where X meant torture; woe to the "huge numbers of American viewers" about to be "led" down the filmmakers' dim alleyways.