Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More First Reviews For 'Terminator Genisys' Suggest Franchise Didn't Need To Say "I'll Be Back" First Reviews For 'Terminator Genisys' Suggest Franchise Didn't Need To Say "I'll Be Back" Kit Harington & Dakota Fanning Replace Robert Pattinson & Mia Wasikowska In 'Brimstone' Kit Harington & Dakota Fanning Replace Robert Pattinson & Mia Wasikowska In 'Brimstone' The Essentials: The 5 Best Colin Farrell Perfomances The Essentials: The 5 Best Colin Farrell Perfomances The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden Weighs In On The Inaccuracies Of 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 11, 2013 at 12:18PM

If there is one movie everyone has had an opinion on this Oscar season, it's "Zero Dark Thirty." With folks like ex-CIA director Leon Panetta and filmmaker Michael Moore among the many, many, many pundits, politicians, observers and more weighing in about the film, its portrayal of torture and more, even the filmmakers have had to get in the fray, with director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal forced to remind folks that this is a movie, not a documentary and that depiction is not endorsement. But here's thing -- so far no one who has praised or defended the film was on the ground, but now, one man who was in the midst of action, has seen the movie.
18
Zero Dark Thirty Jessica Chastain

If there is one movie everyone has had an opinion on this Oscar season, it's "Zero Dark Thirty." With folks like ex-CIA director Leon Panetta and filmmaker Michael Moore among the many, many, many pundits, politicians, observers and more weighing in about the film, its portrayal of torture and more, even the filmmakers have had to get in the fray, with director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal forced to remind folks that this is a movie, not a documentary and that depiction is not endorsement. But here's thing -- so far no one who has praised or defended the film was on the ground, but now, one man who was in the midst of action, has seen the movie.

Esquire managed to track down the Navy SEAL who actually killed Osama Bin Laden in a rather fascinating, must read profile that reveals, among other things, that he's living on a meager pension having quit the Navy before serving twenty years, and lives in constant fear of reprisal. But he's also seen what filmmakers have done with the event that forever changed his life, and he's got some minor bones to pick with what Bigelow and Boal have put up on the big screen.

"They Hollywooded it up some," the man said, who Esquire refers to as simply The Shooter for obvious reasons. He adds: "It was fun to watch. There was just little stuff. The helos turned the wrong way [toward the target], and they talked way, way too much [during the assault itself]. If someone was waiting for you, they could track your movements that way."

"When Osama went down, it was chaos, people screaming. No one called his name," The Shooter says about the pivotal, climatic moment while he also mentions smaller points of contention such as the fact that the dog on the mission was a Belgian Malinoise, not a German shepherd, and that there was no talking on the helicopter on the way to the mission at all. But one thing they did get right? Maya. "They made her a tough woman, which she is," he said.

All told, the complaints sound minor, but frankly what The Shooter has lived through and experienced allows him to nitpick the picture all he wants. But as Bigelow and Boal stressed, "Zero Dark Thirty" is a movie, and with that territory comes the knowledge that some events may be dramatized or heightened for effect. This won't end the swirl of talk about the movie, but of all the opinions out there on the content of the movie, there are few with the kind of first hand knowledge The Shooter has.

This article is related to: Zero Dark Thirty


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates