“Money shot” is a term that originally came from the pornographic-movie industry, referring to, ahem, a male actor fulfilling his contractual obligations. The term has since entered the parlance of our times (as The Dude from “The Big Lebowski” would say) to refer to any spectacular movie shot that saw a lot of the budget poured into it: Think of the football-stadium scene in “The Dark Knight Rises,” or the tsunami in “Hereafter.”
The money shot in “Zero Dark Thirty” comes, appropriately enough, at the film’s climax, and it’s literally a shot, as the Navy SEALs storm Osama bin Laden’s vacation home in Pakistan and put a bullet through his head. (Actually, it’s a double-tap.) Slice, dice and analyze this movie however you want, that is the promise the filmmakers dangle before potential punters: a 9/11 revenge flick with the added satisfaction of it being true.
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