Jessica Chastain heads the cast of the film, which begins with 9/11 and ends with the killing of Osama bin Laden. Chastain's character, Maya, is based on a real-life woman who was there.
"This movie introduces us to a very strong, incredible woman named Maya, who was at the center of the greatest manhunt in history. And because she's working undercover as a CIA agent, she can't get credit. So for me, making this film is acknowledging the sacrifices she's made and thanking her for them," said Chastain.
Actor Jason Clarke said the film shows viewers the people behind the scenes, rather than the headlines and politicians.
"It goes back to the men and women that are out there, punching the clock, doing the day-in, day-out work, and I know that people don't know that story," said Clarke.
Edgar Ramirez said the story affects people all over the world.
"Not every movie has the ability to become influential, and I feel that this is a very influential movie," said Ramirez.
The film is from the same team who brought the Oscar-winning best picture, "The Hurt Locker" -- director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter-producer Mark Boal.
"I can guarantee there's going to be controversy. There was controversy about the movie before I even started writing it. It wades into some subjects that have been controversial for years and years and years," said Boal.
"Zero Dark Thirty" opens in limited release Dec. 19, 2012 and nationwide Jan. 11, 2013.