The trailer: A full theatrical trailer for Zero Dark Thirty — a lightning rod of a film about the decade-long hunt to find and kill Osama bin Laden — has finally been released. (Watch the clip below.) Zero Dark Thirty, starring Jessica Chastain, is director Kathryn Bigelow's follow-up to The Hurt Locker, which won both Best Director and Best Picture at the 2009 Academy Awards. The director's latest effort, which hits theaters on Dec. 19, has sparked controversy for well over a year, thanks to conservative claims that the Obama administration fed Bigelow classified information in exchange for making a movie that will effectively serve as pro-Obama propaganda. Based on the trailer, does Zero Dark Thirty transcend the partisan sniping to become a compelling film in its own right?
The reaction: I am "so sold on this trailer," says Damon Houx at ScreenCrush: Zero Dark Thirty is clearly an Oscar frontrunner. The "sense of tension" is palpable, agrees Dave Trumbore at Collider, as we see both "the words being spoken in the war room" and "the soldiers in the thick of it." Yeah, this is "gripping from the start," agrees Kia Makarechi at The Huffington Post, and the clip's brief glimpse of the actual raid on bin Laden's compound "will have audiences wanting more." Judge for yourself: