Rude Pundit: Grappling with Zero Dark Thirty: Torture Works and the CIA Is Nothing But Awesome
What's wrong with the film is that it pretends to be devoid of any moral perspective. By focusing, to the exclusion of anything else, on the hunt for bin Laden, the film wants you to see everything as part of that hunt, especially what gets results. But it's not objective. The torturers are humanized, like when we see Dan and his (no doubt ironically) caged monkeys. The prisoners and Pakistanis are depicted as evil others who are ultimately weak.
We are manipulated with audio of people who died in 9/11. We are shown multiple terrorist attacks, which is fine and relevant, if a bit overwrought. What's the purpose of that other than to say that that the means justify the ends? To show us that terrorists do bad things? No shit. In the context of Zero Dark Thirty, the reason to do that is to make us as driven as Maya to find bin Laden, even if that means beating a prisoner handcuffed to a table.
Later today (or tomorrow): How the CIA is awesome and what it all means.
In which she disputes this strongly - she feels that it shows Torture to be brutal and awful; and that it makes it clear that the information gotten form this person is information that they already had.