The Final Cut: ‘Zero Dark Thirty'

(NECN: Erick Weber) - While its director got snubbed by the Academy, the "Zero Dark Thirty" itself received five Oscar nominations, including one for the biggest trophy of all - Best Picture.

"Zero Dark Thirty" is finally making its way to theaters this weekend.

In case you've been holed up in a cave, "Zero Dark Thirty" is the tale of the biggest manhunt the world has ever known - the search for Osama Bin Laden - and director Kathryn Bigelow delivers the goods.

A stellar Jessica Chastain plays Maya, a CIA specialist hellbent on bringing Bin Laden to justice alongside a brilliant Jason Clarke as a merciless interrogation expert who specializes in waterboarding, a brutally difficult process to watch.

It culminates with - what else - an edge-of-your-seat raid on Bin Laden's Pakistan compound. Yes, you know how it ends, but Bigelow keeps suspense in play with a film as skillfully executed as the raid itself.

"Zero Dark Thirty" is one of 2012's best films. It's worthy of all the praise, and it snares a Final Cut score of 93 percent.

Our second film, "Gangster Squad", was supposed to be released last September but had to undergo reshoots after the Colo. movie theater shooting, since one of the scenes featured a gunfight inside a movie theater and it understandably had to go.

Set in 1940s L.A., "Gangster Squad" is based on a true story of crime boss Mickey Cohen and the LAPD's mission to bring him down.

Sean Penn, sporting a bizarre prosthetic nose, plays Cohen as a group of L.A.'s finest, lead by Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling, break all the rules to topple Cohen's City of Angels empire.

The performances are what make the film so unexpectedly entertaining. Gosling's performance in particular oozes charisma as the stakes are ratched up and the Gangster Squad goes guerrilla to bring their man to justice. "Gangster Squad" shoots a Final Cut score of 88 percent.

Watch the attached video for my box office projections and more.

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