About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    Zero Dark Thirty and “Torture”

    By Kyle | December 13, 2012

    I’ve just seen “Zero Dark Thirty” for a second time. Propaganda-wise, this is a big win for the Bush way of looking at the war on terror. And though there is no explicit Obama criticism, the movie makes it clear that Obama has been naive at best in this very serious ongoing war with Islamist fanatics and that his ideas have presented the CIA with a major obstacle in intelligence gathering.

    It won’t do to look at this film through a liberal lens colored by the view that harsh interrogation is needless and useless. The case is clear that harsh interrogation produces results. If you don’t see that, you simply aren’t paying attention.

    As I see it, the only major problem with the film is that it’s too detailed and accurate. It will present our enemies with a valuable document to study to try to defeat our intelligence-gathering efforts. Also, the pro-harsh interrogation stance will eventually create, I think, resistance among Hollywood liberals which will be sufficient to keep it from winning the Oscar for Best Picture, though I think it will be nominated for many Oscars including Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actress, Cinematography, Score, Editing, Sound and maybe Production Design.

    Topics: Movies | 7 Comments »

    7 Responses to “Zero Dark Thirty and “Torture””

    1. Obama bin Biden Says:
      December 14th, 2012 at 12:30 am

      Obama has been naive about everything. What would you expect from a community organizer (who went to Harvard) that rode the affirmative action bus his entire life?

    2. Don Reed Says:
      December 14th, 2012 at 3:21 am

      What more proof do we need that if:

      1) If the Bush administration did it, we’re the scum of the earth;

      2) If the same thing occurs between 2008-16: “Fine OK, nobody cares, TWEET OMG are they REALLY going to do another remake of Sex And The City COOOOOOL!!!”

      I see no possibility, at all, that anything in this film will backfire in the direction of the White House. None.

      And this is coming from someone who knows that almost anything is possible (and currently is staring at the Vegas line, absolutely amazed that an undefeated football team is now a 10-point underdog in the BCS game at a neutral site).

      Kyle, if I forget to say it, have a splendid Christmas. It’s given me a great deal of pleasure this year to read your columns, which must be a pain to have to constantly create regardless of whether or not the inspiration is there lighting the way to the words.

    3. Tommy Says:
      December 14th, 2012 at 4:16 am

      Kyle, I agree with Mr. Reed; your site and articles stir me every time they show up. I check this site every day and will continue to do so.

      As for Zero Dark Thirty, I could actually see ignoring quality of film in favor of political posturing. They’re narrow-minded, hypocritical and somehow show great skill at storytelling without a shred of analyzing the world through a lens of reason and facts. (And the only part of that last sentence I’m willing to bend on is whether they are actually good at storytelling.) They’re in deep and are sinking more every day. Merry Christmas, everyone!

      Obama’s administration will work toward eroding what we fundamentally are regardless of what this movie says. Let them keep going and let’s pray it blows up in their faces.

      “Pardon me for being dogmatic but any society that gives up liberty for equality will wind up with neither liberty nor equality.” – Milton Friedman

    4. Union Jack Says:
      December 14th, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      at least mr smith is honest

      gwot(tm) propaganda all the way

      no one does prop better than hollyweed

      pathetic but perfect that liberals luv this pic–libs always the biggest cheerleaders for empire

    5. swlip Says:
      December 17th, 2012 at 8:52 am

      I do not trust Bigelow, due to the fact that her career has depended so heavily on her ex-husband, James Cameron, who is one of Hollywood’s biggest moonbats. But your review has now gotten my hopes up. Not unduly, I hope!

    6. PD Quig Says:
      December 17th, 2012 at 11:06 am

      Nothing–NOTHING–will ever succeed in convincing liberals that 1) waterboarding is not torture or 2) that it works. When you tell them that only three terrorists were ever waterboarded or that Obama has retained all Bush GWOT policies their heads explode.

    7. kishke Says:
      April 23rd, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      I finally got around to seeing this. Just terrific.