Hammerle on ... 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Robert Hammerle
February 13, 2013
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hammerle-temp.jpgDirector Kathryn Bigelow’s excellent saga about the quest to kill Osama bin Laden tells a larger story. Can we honor the dead of 9/11 by copying the moral depravity of their killers?

Rating: Can be seen on any screen. The movie may be 2½ hours long, but it took close to 10 years to pay back a debt.

“Zero Dark Thirty” deserves all of its praise and criticisms. It is an accomplished, critical study largely seen through the eyes of Maya, played by the marvelous Jessica Chastain, a CIA operative destined to spend nearly a decade in Pakistan/Afghanistan. In the process, we watch as the world’s most powerful country repeatedly bungled its attempts to find its greatest enemy.

To begin with, Ms. Chastain dominates the screen in a role that will challenge Jennifer Lawrence in this year’s Oscar fight. She is flat out remarkable as a dedicated American operative who is hell bent on finding and killing Osama bin Laden. She literally lives and breathes to attain her sole goal, and it readily appears she has no other interests in life.

As I have previously noted in other articles, no other actress today other than Ms. Lawrence rivals Ms. Chastain’s enormous capabilities. Given the fact that she has two films playing, “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Mama,” that dominated box office receipts recently, it is clear that her intellect, passion and beauty place her alone in Hollywood’s cinematic orbit.

However, the sad reality of “Zero Dark Thirty” is found in the opening half hour. Following 9/11, what we observe is the tragic reality of our country throwing away our moral compass. In the panic and anger that followed the destruction of the twin towers, the Bush administration willfully invited the use of torture into the 21st century, and in doing so you almost feel like the wretched bin Laden succeeded in the end.

To their credit, both Ms. Chastain and one of her co-stars, Jason Clarke, don’t run from the repeated use of torture, or as it was called by Vice President Cheney and his cohorts at the time, “enhanced interrogation techniques.”•

To read the complete review of “Zero Dark Thirty,” visit

Robert Hammerle practices criminal law in Indianapolis. When he is not in the courtroom or working diligently in his Pennsylvania Street office, Bob can likely be found at one of his favorite movie theaters watching and preparing to review the latest films.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.