13 Best Movies Like Zero Dark 30 That You Can Watch Right Now

13 Best Movies Like Zero Dark 30 That You Can Watch Right Now

Zero Dark 30 is an intense gripping thriller that explores the decade-long hunt for Osama Bin Laden after the attacks. The director creates a suspenseful and realistic portrayal of the CIA’s effort to take hold of the terrorist leader. So, it offers sheer thrills, an immersive experience that keeps you on the edge and immerses you in the world.

If you have enjoyed and want more of the Zero Dark 30 then we have compiled a list of the movies like Zero Dark 30 that you can watch right now. These films share similar themes and elements of suspense, action, and political intrigue that made Zero Dark 30 so compelling.

Movies Like Zero Dark 30

Sicario (2015)

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  • Director:Denis Villeneuve
  • Actors: Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Jon Bernthal, Daniel Kaluuya
  • Time:121 minutes
  • IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92%

Selected for Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes, Sicario is an action thriller that follows the life of an FBI agent who the government tasks. The fantastic director Denis Villeneuve creates dread and tension that will make you tense and immersive. Complied with enticing cinematography, powerful characters, and compelling storytelling, this thriller will keep you on the edge.

Kate Macer is leading a team to investigate a series of murderers. During this venture, she and her team find a house filled with dried corpses. Upon more investigation, they suspect a menacing cartel is involved.

So, to infiltrate and capture the cartel, Kate joins the task force led by Matt Graver. She even meets mysterious operative Alejandro who is very ruthless and later finds out the motivation for his persona.

This beautiful-looking movie captures the underlying dark truths of the deserts. It explores the complex things and the ruthless way of dealing with the cartel.

The Hurt Locker (2008)

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  • Director: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Actors: Jeremy Renner (Sgt. William James), Anthony Mackie (Sgt. J.T. Sanborn), Brian Geraghty (Specialist Owen Eldridge), Christian Camargo (Col. John Cambridge)
  • Time:131 minutes
  • IMDB Rating: 7.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97%

Winner of six Academy Awards winner including Best Picture and Best Director, this is one of the tense and stressful movies that you need to watch right now. 

It tells the psychological battles and reactions of the bomb disposal unit. It has one of the realistic portrayals of the bomb disposal team and their psyche. 

The Hurt Locker tells the thrilling story of the Bravo Company which has the best army bomb disposal unit. It is led by Staff Sergeant William James who is known for the unorthodox and unparallel method. He often causes tense situations in the army and sometimes risks his life for the thrill of it. 

Kathryn Bigelow creates one of the most immersive worlds that is full of suspenseful set pieces and series of intense tension that offers you sheer excitement. Make sure you watch this movie on the big screen as available.

The Covenant (2023)

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  • Director: Guy Ritchie
  • Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal,Dar Salim
  • Time:131 minutes
  • IMDB Rating: 7.5/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92%

Critically acclaimed The Covenant is an action thriller war movie that tells the horrifying and thrilling story of an army and an Afghan interpreter. The gripping and immersive war movie plunges into the world of the tense war and harsh reality of it. 

After the ambush, the translator Ahmed risks his life to save John Kinley. John moves back to America but when he learns about Ahmed and his family, he comes back to the war zone and tries to save him.

Risking his life, Kinley makes connections with various people to smuggle Ahmed and his family. But the plan goes haywire so he must risk his life, kill the Taliban, and take them to the US.

Amidst the chaos and war, The Covenant explores the friendships and the connection between two humans. It is a relentless pursuit to save an innocent human being from the war-torn area.

Ted K (2021)

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  • Director: Tony Stone
  • Actors: Sharlto Copley, Drew Powell, Bob Jennings, Christian Calloway
  • Time:122 minutes
  • IMDB Rating: 6.0/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92%

 Inspired by the amazing real story, Ted K explores the life of Ted Kaczynski, a mathematician who is unfortunately turned into a domestic terrorist. The movie explores the psyche and his internal battles and deep dive into the reasons for his neurotic behavior. 

The movie tells the life of the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, who rejected modern technologies and lived in isolation in Montana. Angry by the damage being done to the environment, he mailed bombs to powerful people, leaving twenty-three people injured and three dead. 

In 1996, he was detained by the FBI. Starring Sharlto Copley, it is based on his writings and highlights Kaczynski’s complex personality.

It is a thrilling movie that keeps you on the edge. But it also sheds light on the human being who is too frustrated because of technology and its use that is disrupting his peace.

Argo (2012)

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  • Director: Ben Affleck
  • Actors: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Victor Garber
  • Time:120 minutes
  • IMDB Rating: 8.4/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96%

Argo cements Ben Affleck as one of the finest directors and actors working in the industry right now. He successfully tells one of the complex stories in an immersive and thrilling manner. Since it is a true story, it features various influential historical characters played by great actors. 

The movie tells the story of Tony Mendez, an exfiltration specialist, and his absurd plan to retrieve the people hiding in the Canadian ambassador’s house. 

He proposes that his team pose as a Canadian movie crew scouting for the locations To sell the fake, he even makes an ad and finally heads out to Iran for the mission.

Argo is a tense and exciting journey that explores the lives of six Americans who are posing as a film crew to run away from Iran. But will their plan become successful, will they get out of the war-torn country alive?

Black Hawk Down (2001)

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  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Actors: Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, William Fichtner, Sam Shepard
  • Time:144 minutes
  • IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 77%

Ridley Scott depicts the heroic efforts of US soldiers who were involved in the 1993 Somalia operation. It is a very raw movie reflecting the harsh realities of the war and its consequences. 

The movie tells the story of a 1993 U.S. military operation that went south in Mogadishu, Somalia. Intended as an unexpected attack on a warlord gathering, it took a catastrophic turn when enemy rockets brought down the helicopters, ensnaring American forces. 

It depicts the fierce combat and its cost, hour by hour: eighteen people killed and seventy injured. President Clinton immediately pulled out troops.

The movie successfully creates a war-torn world that honestly shows the chains of events of what really happened moment by moment, hour by hour.

Syriana (2005)

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  • Director: Stephen Gaghan
  • Actors: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, Chris Cooper, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson, Amanda Peet, Christopher Plummer, Alexander Siddig
  • Time:144 minutes
  • IMDB Rating: 6.9/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 73%

In the geopolitical thriller “Syriana,” George Clooney plays seasoned CIA agent Bob Barnes, who is involved in stopping the illegal weapons trade in the Middle East. When he is assigned to remove Prince Nasir Al-Subaai, a progressive minister who supports Chinese oil agreements over American interests, his mission changes. 

A merger to reclaim the lost Persian Gulf oil fields as a result of Nasir’s decisions is being investigated by lawyer Bennett Holiday (Chris Cooper). Through an unexpected relationship with Nasir’s family, energy expert Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon) learns about the prince’s dreams of a Westernized democracy. 

In the meantime, Wasim Khan (Mazhar Munir), a dismissed Pakistani worker, becomes radicalized in reaction to corporate injustice. Their entwined destinies maneuver through the intricate web of geopolitics, greed, and power.

It is a great thriller with a great actor(one of which won an Academy Award) that keeps you hooked till the end of the movie. 

Green Zone(2010)

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  • Director: Paul Greengrass
  • Actors: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, Amy Ryan, Khalid Abdalla, Jason Isaacs
  • Time:115 minutes
  • IMDB Rating: 6.8/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 53%

Inspired by the non-fiction book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, the movie tells the horrific story of an Amry officer named Roy Miller. The plot of the movie is fictional but all the incidents are inspired by the book.

Green Zone explores the life of an army officer who is on a mission to find Weapons of Mass Destruction(WMDs) in Iraq. However, his pursuit was never progressing because of the limited information and lack of evidence. So, he goes to the rouge to find all the information hunt the WMDs, and save the world.

The movie is full of action, thriller, espionage, and a grounded character who is willing to risk his life to save the world. So, it is a thrilling movie that keeps you guessing and immersive in the war-torn area.

It is one of the best Movies Like Zero Dark 30 that encapsulates the the horror and dark realities of war.

The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008)

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  • Director: Uli Edel
  • Actors:Moritz Bleibtreu,Martina Gedeck,Johanna Wokalek
  • Time:115 minutes
  • IMDB Rating:7.3/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating:92%

Adapted from the book of the same name, the movie tells the history of the Red Army Faction and how they operated in Germany from 1960. The director’s approach to telling the thoughtful story that explores the political and social context of how RAF emerged invites you into its world.

The movie explores the story of RAF ground who are disillusioned with the political and social status quo in the country. They start bombing the country, kidnapping the high profile people, and assassin very powerful people for which they claim the revolution.

Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, The Baader Meinhof Complex’s intense and powerful portrayal keeps you engaged in the movie. It asks you various thoughtful questions throughout the movie. It is a great movie if you are looking for movies like Zero Dark 30 that encapsulate raw action and thriller.

The Attack (2012)

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  • Director:Ziad Doueiri
  • Actors: Ali Suliman,Reymond Amsalem
  • Time:115 minutes
  • IMDB Rating:7.1/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating:86%

Director Ziad Doueiri pushes viewers into the world of chaos and gently and swiftly explores the world revolving around a Surgeon named Amin Jaafari. The moral compass, the internal turmoil, the themes of love, political tension between the two countries are explored in the movie.

Set in Tel Aviv, this movie follows the story of Dr.Amin Jaafari who is a successful surgeon and is happily married to his wife Siham. However, his life took a turn when his wife was killed in a suicide bombing. But he was baffled and shocked to hear that she was the prime suspect.

He refuses to believe in that. So, he goes on a personal journey to find the truth of the matter. In his venture, he finds shocking revelations, crumbling socio-political relations, and much more.

It is a movie everyone needs to watch. It has all the elements that keep you engaged, and hooked, and keep you surprised with its plot.

The Counterfeiters (2007)

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  • Director:Stefan Ruzowitzky
  • Actors: Karl Markovics, August Diehl, Devid Striesow
  • Time:98 minutes
  • IMDB Rating:7.5/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating:93%

Based on the most absurd yet true story, the Counterfeiters is one of the best World War II movies that you can watch now. The movie explores the survival, morality, and human mental and physical conditions during World War II.

After moving to Monte Carlo, a man lives it up and strikes it large at the casino. But a French woman notices his tattoo, proving he survived the Nazi concentration camps. In 1936 Berlin, Salomon Sorowitsch, a forger, is captured and taken to a labor camp before being transferred to Mauthausen. He paints to live.

 Relocating to Sachsenhausen, he oversees a group producing counterfeit money for the Nazis. Sorowitsch is conflicted about survival and morality and feels guilty.

Lone Survivor (2013)

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  • Director: Peter Berg
  • Actors: Mark Wahlberg,Taylor Kitsch,Emile Hirsch,Ben Foster,Eric Bana
  • Time:121 minutes
  • IMDB Rating:7.5/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating:75%

Lone Survivor is about soldiers fighting in a war. It is based on an actual story found in a book written by Marcus Luttrell. It explores the themes of sacrifice, patriotism, heroism, and the expense of the war.

The movie centers on an unsuccessful mission in Afghanistan. A team of four Navy SEALs is dispatched to track down a Taliban leader. They choose to let them go after interviewing some locals. This proves to be a grave error. They are discovered by the Taliban. A large fight is going on. Ultimately, only one soldier makes it out alive.

If you are looking for Movies Like Zero Dark 30 then you need to watch this fantastic movie. It is full of action, a thriller, and the life of soldiers.

A Most Wanted Man (2014)

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  • Director:Anton Corbijn
  • Actors: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Homayoun Ershadi, Nina Hoss, Daniel Brühl
  • Time:122 minutes
  • IMDB Rating:6.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating:86%

Adapted from the novel of the same name, A Most Wanted Man tells the story of a political refugee from Chechnya tortured by Russia to get the pieces of information. The director crafts the film full of action, thriller, and powerful narrative with espionage elements.

The Most Wanted Man is a thrilling movie that explores the story of Issa Karpov, a refugee from Chechnya who’s been through hell at the hands of Russian security forces.

He lands in Germany, where he stumbles upon Günther Bachmann, a German intelligence leader. Bachmann’s team suspects Karpov’s ties to Chechen terrorists and starts tailing him.

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