restricted access From Zero to Hero: The CIA and Hollywood Today


This article examines the production, content, and public reception of Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012) and Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012). The two Oscar-winning films are set within the context of the Central Intelligence Agency’s efforts over the past two decades to engage more creatively with America’s entertainment industry. While Zero Dark Thirty and Argo are just two of the CIA’s most recent collaborations with Hollywood, it can be argued that, together, they represent the organization’s greatest achievements so far in refashioning the image of US intelligence on the silver screen.