The story of Osama bin Laden's capture captivated the American public, and the movie detailing the decade-long search for the al-Qaida leader behind the September 11 attacks has earned recognition from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "Zero Dark Thirty," the gripping and controversial thriller, was announced as a Best Picture nominee on Thursday.

The film, from "Hurt Locker" director Kathryn Bigelow, has caused some controversy as of late. The movie has come under fire for everything from its depiction of torture to whether it may have disclosed any potentially classified information about the Navy SEAL mission. However, Bigelow and the other filmmakers have been steadfast in defending the movie.

"The research was over there in a pile, and I had to write a screenplay, make a movie," writer Mark Boal told ABC News recently. "The goal was to capture the essence of the underlying reality."

Despite the controversy, "Zero Dark Thirty" has earned rave reviews from critics, and it also earned several other nominations outside of Best Picture. Jessica Chastain, who plays a young CIA agent involved in the search for bin Laden, is considered a frontrunner for the Best Actress award for which she was nominated. The story also earned a nod for Best Original Screenplay.