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Men on a mission

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With the release of 'Zero Dark Thirty,' we lock and load with these classic adventures By Richard T. Jameson Special to MSN MoviesFirst they made "The Hurt Locker"; then their blistering modern war film made them Academy Award winners. Even as they collected their Oscars, director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter-producer Mark Boal were already at work on something tentatively tagged "The Hunt for Osama bin Laden." Following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, myriad arms of the U.S. military and intelligence services were overturning every stone, real and metaphorical, to find the al-Qaeda leader. Both hunts — the real-world one and the filmmakers' — were works-in-progress till May 1, 2011, when SEAL Team 6 terminated the perpetrator-in-chief with extreme prejudice. And Bigelow and Boal's heretofore open-ended script took a new turn. "Zero Dark Thirty," as their movie was ultimately titled, focuses on the nearly decade-long pursuit of bin Laden from the perspective of a CIA analyst and her cohort. Yes, "her": for the first time, the vibrant and versatile Jessica Chastain is tip of the spear of a major Hollywood production. We can't wait to see where the mission takes her and arguably the best director she's ever worked with. But since wait we must, let's beguile the interlude considering some classic film quests by men on a mission. And by all means, the occasional woman on a mission, too. Embarkation is at zero dark thirty — you know, half an hour past midnight. (Columbia Pictures)
© Columbia Pictures
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