"The big 'truth' point here is about the efficiency and efficacy of torture. Using these terrible methods is, for better or worse, how we got the intel to ultimately find Osama. But that is only the surface message, the cover story if you will. The real story, the real truth the filmmakers are trying to subliminally present, is about the beauty of torture.
The bald claim, or the meta construct, or the wink wink about this being a serious and important version of a big issue is really just so we can get to the total sexiness of physical abuse. You need a higher purpose to get out-and-out pervy stuff like this into a big-budget movie. History is the justification.
Kathryn Bigelow is a fetishist and a sadist, which, in a literary sense, certainly has a fine tradition. But without some acknowledgement that this is her lonely journey and not a shared one – not our collective reality, not a set of accepted assumptions but, for better or worse, her own particular, problematic kink – all you have is a nasty piece of pulp and propaganda," – Michael Wolff, The Guardian.