Awwwwww SHIT YEAH.
This is it. This is the big, badass American shit-kicker movie of the year. It gives the proper amount of respect and gravity to the story being told, but it's also tough, fierce and AAAAAAWESOME.
It's one of those movies with a billion mismatched actors with two lines each (Gandolfini! Kyle Chandler! Chris Pratt? Mark Strong! Grillo! Duplass? ADKINS!), but it belongs to Jessica Chastain, who plays a tough-as-shit operative who vows to hunt down Bin Laden from 9/11 to 2011. She's Sarah Connor, she's Tina Turner in Thunderdome, she's twenty Beckinsales-in-Underworld-sequels. She's absolutely incredible in this. Everyone complains about women in badass roles, because either they are shunted to the side in action/tough guy movies, or they're improbably gifted with magic kung-fu or something. THIS is one realistic shit-kicker tough chick.
Special kudos to Jason Clarke, having a great year, who is relentlessly tough and nasty in this as an American operative very much burned out on torture and illegal rendition. He disappears for huge periods of time, as the film goes from 2003, I think, until the end of the raid on Bin Laden's place.
This film does the right thing in putting politics FAR away from the actual action. There's a scene of Obama talking to 60 Minutes in 2008, saying America doesn't torture, and everyone just watching and silently shrugging. In a scene in 2004, a character essentially paraphrases Rumsfeld's "known unknowns" quote, and another operative is like, "What the FUCK are you talking about?"
This takes "Act Of Valor" out behind the shed, knocks it's teeth in, and tosses it in a ditch to bleed out. It's two and a half hour of tense, no bullshit military operations, with no fat, and it's never boring. Can't wait to see it again.