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Countdown to Zero (2010)

PG | | Documentary | 30 July 2010 (USA)
2:32 | Trailer

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A documentary about how the likelihood of nuclear weapons (or fissile materials) usage has increased due to the rise of terrorism and lack of safeguards and verification.



3 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Graham Allison ...
James Baker III ...
Bruce Blair ...
Matthew Bunn ...
Richard Burt ...
Mike Chinoy ...
Joseph Cirincione ...
Richard Cizik ...
Thomas D'Agostino ...
F.W. de Klerk ...
Pascal Fias ...
Alexander Glaser ...


A documentary about how the likelihood of nuclear weapons (or fissile materials) usage has increased due to the rise of terrorism and lack of safeguards and verification.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material, images of destruction and incidental smoking | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

30 July 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Visszaszámlálás  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$41,307, 25 July 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$271,323, 4 October 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Seeing Al Gore receive the Nobel Peace Prize for An Inconvenient Truth (2006) prompted producer Lawrence Bender to ask Lucy Walker if she would be interested in making a film about nuclear weapons. See more »


John F. Kennedy: The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.
See more »


Features Missile (1988) See more »


Written by Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Ed O'Brien,
Phil Selway
Performed by Radiohead
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User Reviews

Like Fox News . . .
4 September 2010 | by See all my reviews

"There's no doubt in my mind that if terrorists had acquired a nuclear weapon, they would not hesitate to use it." Former CIA covert operations officer Valerie Plame Wilson

Countdown to Zero is as apocalyptic as An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore's documentary on global warming: It is fear-mongering enough that it hurts the effort to bring a necessary return to Cold- War thinking.

Countdown to Zero is single minded in its effort to have zero nuclear weapons, of which there are more than 23,000 in the world. When the documentary arrives at calling for a popular movement, by which President Kennedy admitted he was influenced, it loses some credibility. No amount of popular demand will, for instance, change Osama bin Laden's resolve to exact the deaths of millions of Americans should he gain the necessary ingredients. The documentary's point can't be denied: Nuclear proliferation is so possible now that it seems almost impossible to stop it. The sloppy Russian storage of enriched uranium and plutonium is scary. Although over a hundred countries have disavowed nuclear weapons, hundreds like the US and Russia jealously retain them and some sell the theory if not the ingredients.

In a film almost devoid of light moments, the sometimes amusing Boris Yeltsin in 1995 inadvertently showed how serendipity can be a force in our favor. He questioned if the US had launched a missile toward Russia even though his advisors said it had. He prevailed, Russia did not retaliate, and the world discovered that only a scientific rocket had been launched. Whew!

Countdown to Zero makes a manipulative point by showing people in the street calling for zero weapons. Where are those opposed to zero? Most of us agree to a total ban except those security-minded who know deterrence is still a trump card impressive to diplomats and terrorists. While this documentary adds a little to the race to disarm, it lacks the balance a fair documentary should have. But then, Al Gore and Michael Moore haven't been accused of being balanced either, and they both live in nice houses.

Fox News abandoned its balancing act long ago in the face of soaring ratings. Who said life is fair? or balanced?

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