23 user 69 critic

Countdown to Zero (2010)

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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 »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Waste Land (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

On the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro is Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest landfill, where men and women sift through garbage for a living. Artist Vik Muniz produces portraits of the workers and learns about their lives.

Directors: Lucy Walker, Karen Harley, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Vik Muniz
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A theatrical documentary on the planet's dwindling oil resources.

Directors: Basil Gelpke, Raymond McCormack, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Wade Adams, Abdul Samad Al-Awadi, Fadhil J. Al-Chalabi
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Film in the Loose Change series.

Director: Dylan Avery
Stars: Osama bin Laden, Johnelle Bryant, George W. Bush
By Dawn's Early Light (TV Movie 1990)
Drama | Thriller | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The crew of a nuclear bomber attack the Soviet Union while the President of the United States tries desperately to regain control of his military after his helicopter crashes during a ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Sholder
Stars: Powers Boothe, Rebecca De Mornay, James Earl Jones
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Renowned scientists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss cross the globe as they speak publicly about the importance of science and reason in the modern world.

Director: Gus Holwerda
Stars: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Woody Allen, Richard Dawkins
Testament (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The life of a suburban American family is scarred after a nuclear attack.

Director: Lynne Littman
Stars: Jane Alexander, William Devane, Rossie Harris
Blindsight I (2006)
Documentary | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Six blind Tibetan teenagers climb the Lhakpa-Ri peak of Mount Everest, led by seven-summit blind mountain-climber Erik Weihenmayer.

Director: Lucy Walker
Stars: Gavin Attwood, Sally Berg, Sonam Bhumtso
Documentary | Crime | News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An examination of the social costs of corporate interests pursuing profits at the expense of the public good.

Director: Michael Moore
Stars: Michael Moore, William Black, Jimmy Carter
9/11 (TV Movie 2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A real life documentary following the events of September 11 from an insider's view, through the lens of James Hanlon and two French filmmakers who were in Manhattan that one day.

Directors: James Hanlon, Gédéon Naudet, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Tony Benatatos, Jamal Braithwaite, Steve Buscemi
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Chronicles the history, ideology and aesthetic of Norwegian black metal - a musical subculture infamous as much for a series of murders and church arsons as it is for its unique musical and... See full summary »

Directors: Aaron Aites, Audrey Ewell
Stars: Fenriz, Varg Vikernes, Øystein Aarseth
Carne (1991)
Short | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After he thinks that his mute daughter is attacked, a butcher stabs and beats a man, which changes his whole life in a very short time.

Director: Gaspar Noé
Stars: Philippe Nahon, Blandine Lenoir, Frankie Pain
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Amish teenagers experience and embrace the modern world as a rite-of-passage before deciding which life they will choose.

Director: Lucy Walker
Stars: Velda Bontrager, Mark Bontrager, Dewayne Chupp


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

Plot Keywords:

wmd | nuke | power politics | risk | danger | See All (13) »


Demand Zero. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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


Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

30 July 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Visszaszámlálás  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$41,307 (USA) (23 July 2010)


$271,323 (USA) (2 October 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


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


Featured in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2010 (2010) See more »


Written by Robert Smith, Lol Tolhurst, Simon Gallup, Matthieu Hartley
Performed by The Cure
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A compelling, but also very unsettling piece of research.
10 December 2010 | by See all my reviews

After a rather boring last few days, I finally got a bit of a shock after watching Lucy Walker's unsettling documentary, Countdown to Zero.

Using the quote "Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, etc." by John F. Kennedy as a structure of storytelling basis, Countdown to Zero explains in an essay-like form of the dangers of nuclear weapons even after decades since the end of the Cold War, and how these could be detonated, intentionally or unintentionally, and blow numbers of the human race off the earth.

Walker explains this in three categories: "Madness" "Accident" and "Miscalculation." Examining the back story of the invention of the A-Bomb by Oppenheimer, to more current events of near catastrophe, she exacts just the right tone that is necessary for the film. While the editing and pacing feels very slow, and a bit choppy at times, as well as slipping a little back into madness every so often, it's nothing if not a brilliant piece of research into this very subject.

It's a very eye opening movie, probably the best example of this, and the best scene of the film, is a hypothetical nuclear explosion taking place in New York City at Times Square after the New Year's Eve countdown, that features a brilliant sound mixture of audio narrations by many of Walker's sources by Michael Minkler and Tony Lamberti, and boy, is it one intense hypothetical.

It's a compelling piece of film making that asks many to help eliminate a major threat, and never becomes sleep inducing.

I give Countdown to Zero *** out of ****

14 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Latest Review! mliuzza
Screening in Gainesville - March 20 wendykingfilm
UK Demand Zero Day Screenings anna-217
Non-critical look at proliferation gayfordeniro
Discuss Countdown to Zero (2010) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page