IMDb > Countdown to Zero (2010)
Countdown to Zero
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Countdown to Zero (2010) More at IMDbPro »

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Countdown to Zero -- Countdown to Zero traces the history of the atomic bomb from its origins to the present state of global affairs: nine nations possessing nuclear weapons capabilities with others racing to join them, leaving the world held in a delicate balance that could be shattered by an act of terrorism, failed diplomacy, or a simple accident.  The film makes a compelling case for worldwide nuclear disarmament, an issue more topical than ever.
Countdown to Zero -- A documentary about the escalating nuclear arms race.


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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Lucy Walker (written by)
View company contact information for Countdown to Zero on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 July 2010 (USA) See more »
Demand Zero. See more »
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. | Add synopsis »
3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Slight fearmongering, but a must-watch for anyone interested in modern history See more (23 total) »


Graham Allison ... Himself
James Baker III ... Himself
Bruce Blair ... Himself

Tony Blair ... Himself

Zbigniew Brzezinski ... Himself
Matthew Bunn ... Himself
Richard Burt ... Himself

Jimmy Carter ... Himself
Mike Chinoy ... Himself
Joseph Cirincione ... Himself
Richard Cizik ... Himself
Thomas D'Agostino ... Himself
F.W. de Klerk ... Himself
Pascal Fias ... Himself
Alexander Glaser ... Himself

Mikhail Gorbachev ... Himself
Ira Helfand ... Himself
Pervez Hoodbhoy ... Himself
R. Scott Kemp ... Himself

John F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage)
Andrew Koch ... Himself
Jeffrey Lewis ... Himself

Robert McNamara ... Himself
Zia Mian ... Himself
Roger Molander ... Himself
Rolf Mowatt-Larssen ... Himself
Pervez Musharraf ... Himself

Gary Oldman ... Narrator
J. Robert Oppenheimer ... Himself (archive footage)

Valerie Plame Wilson ... Herself
Ahmed Rashid ... Himself

Ronald Reagan ... Himself (archive footage)
Scott Sagan ... Himself
Lawrence Scott Sheets ... Himself
Frank von Hippel ... Himself

Directed by
Lucy Walker 
Writing credits
Lucy Walker (written by)

Produced by
Lawrence Bender .... producer
Bruce Blair .... executive producer
Nikki Boella .... field producer: Dubai
Matt Brown .... executive producer
Andrew C. Evans .... field producer: London
Abbie Hurewitz .... field producer: New York City
Brennan Rees .... associate producer
Lisa Remington .... co-producer
Jeff Skoll .... executive producer
Diane Weyermann .... executive producer
Marianna Yarovskaya .... field producer: Moscow
Jianbo Zhou .... field producer: Beijing
Original Music by
Peter Golub 
Cinematography by
Robert Chappell 
Gary Clarke 
Bryan Donnell 
Nick Higgins 
Film Editing by
Brad Fuller 
Brian Johnson 
Production Management
Mark Lipson .... post-production supervisor
Lisa Remington .... post-production supervisor
Art Department
Jon Gold .... property master
Sound Department
Michael Boyle .... sound recordist
Harry Cohen .... supervising sound editor
Toby Cohen .... sound effects editor
Jim Gallup .... sound recordist
Michael Hertlein .... dialogue editor
Tony Lamberti .... sound re-recording mixer
Alexander Marshall .... sound recordist
Evan McIntosh .... sound recordist
Michael Minkler .... sound re-recording mixer
Dror Mohar .... supervising sound editor
Hashem Selph .... sound recordist
Branden Spencer .... first assistant sound editor
Wylie Stateman .... supervising sound editor
Greg Townsend .... sound mixing recordist
Lucy Walker .... sound recordist
James Wright .... dolby sound consultant
David Young .... post sound engineer
Visual Effects by
Justin Acree .... visual effects designer
Sonny Angell .... animator
Gary Breslin .... digital artist
Gary Breslin .... visual effects designer
Brent Chesanek .... animator
Will Clark .... photo retoucher
Nicholas Fischer .... photo retoucher
Robin Greenwood .... animator
Steve Hardie .... additional graphics
Forrest Heidel .... visual effects supervisor
Denis Kozyrev .... matte painter
Lena Lee .... animator
Mike Milyavsky .... animator
Maria Catherine Sandoval .... visual effects producer
Hashem Selph .... additional graphics
Sean Patrick Sullivan .... animator
Ryota Suyama .... animator
Estefania Szprengiel .... animator
Mike Vicari .... lead animator
Emily Rose Wagner .... additional graphics
Wee Wan .... photo retoucher
Jinho Yu .... animator
Camera and Electrical Department
Jim Denault .... additional cinematographer
Sam Fuller .... additional cinematographer
Tom Kaufman .... additional cinematographer (as Thomas Kaufman)
Aaron Phillips .... additional cinematographer
Jonathan Schell .... additional cinematographer
Logan Schneider .... assistant camera
Editorial Department
Oneika Austin .... assistant editor
Gilbert Carreras .... color timer
Lindsay Heller .... second assistant editor
Avo John Kambourian .... post-production assistant
Daniel Morfesis .... assistant editor
Kathryn West .... assistant editor
Sandi Williams .... post-production coordinator
Music Department
Henriette Amiel .... music legal services
Matt Biffa .... music supervisor
Minjee Chung .... music preparation
Peter Golub .... orchestrator
Dave Holden .... music preparation
Scott Johnson .... music editor
Paul Katz .... music consultant
Philip Klein .... orchestrator
Thanh Tran .... music preparation
Other crew
Randall Balsmeyer .... title designer
Steve Berman .... completion bond
Iram Parveen Bilal .... translator: Urdu
Victor Buhler .... consultant producer
Lisa Callif .... legal counsel
Kate Coe .... additional archival research
Joy Conley .... additional archival research
Shirin Dehghan .... post production assistant
Michael Donaldson .... legal counsel
Dani DuHadway .... assistant: Mr. Bender
Louise Eckersley .... production coordinator
Tchavdar Georgiev .... additional archival research
Tchavdar Georgiev .... translator: Russian
Erica Hart .... production assistant
Lindsay Heller .... additional archival research
Adam Irving .... key production assistant
Wandie Kabule .... post production assistant
John Kaiser .... intern
Mark Lipson .... post production consultant
Tahir Malik .... additional archival research
Carey McKenzie .... additional archival research (as Carey Schonegevel)
Ambria Miscia .... post production assistant
Jessica Nelson .... researcher
Jessica Nelson .... transcriptionist
Molly O'Brien .... consultant producer
Emily Fiora Parks .... intern
Marilyn Penn .... post production accountant
Susan Ricketts .... archive producer
Katherine Ripley .... additional archival research
Katie Roper .... production assistant
Marge Rowland .... production accountant
Hashem Selph .... production coordinator
Hashem Selph .... translator: Persian
Lawrence Scott Sheets .... translator: Georgian
Daniel Tan .... lead technician: Deluxe Digital Cinema
Reaves Avery Washburn .... intern
Winnie Wong .... insurance
Marianna Yarovskaya .... translator: Russian
Andy Zare .... archive producer
Kofi Annan .... very special thanks
Diana Masieri Byfield .... very special thanks
Judy Calabrese .... special thanks
Lesley Chilcott .... special thanks
Hank Corwin .... thanks
Kelly Curtis .... special thanks
Will Fisher .... special thanks
Eric Greenspan .... very special thanks
Charles Johnston .... thanks
Henry Kissinger .... very special thanks
Jan Lodal .... very special thanks
Yelena Makarczyk .... special thanks
Moby .... special thanks
Sandy Nasseri .... special thanks
Pavel Palazchenko .... very special thanks
Margaret Pastor .... very special thanks
Robert Pastor .... very special thanks
Yelena Rachitsky .... very special thanks
Mary Ramos .... very special thanks
Morgan Russo .... special thanks
David E. Sanger .... special thanks
Phillip Schopper .... very special thanks
Ashley Sifer .... special thanks
Mark Sugg .... very special thanks
Frits Veerman .... very special thanks
Wez .... special thanks
Winnie Wong .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG for thematic material, images of destruction and incidental smoking
89 min | USA:91 min
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) | Japan:G | Singapore:NC-16 | USA:PG (certificate #45889)

Did You Know?

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


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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Slight fearmongering, but a must-watch for anyone interested in modern history, 6 July 2011
Author: tomgillespie2002 from United Kingdom

"Every man woman and child, lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment, by accident, or miscalculation, or by madness." John F. Kennedy

This quote taken from a speech by the former US president, forms the basis for the thesis of this bleak, and sometimes alarming documentary on nuclear weaponry. Outlining a history, from the splitting of the atom, to the creation of the a-bomb by Robert Oppenheimer, the film shows the growth of nuclear armament through many countries, many of whom still have today. The film displays the devastation that such a catastrophe could have on world cities (we have seen the images of Hiroshima before). We are told of near-misses due to "mishaps" and calculations that have gone awry, even by the US military throughout the weapons history.

To the general public today, there seems to be no concept of a nuclear threat. A number of people are interviewed on the streets, asking if they feel threatened by an attack of this nature; the majority simply do not feel this threat. Since the cold wars of the 1950's, '60's and 1980's, the concept of nuclear threat has dissipated in the public view. It is no longer a focus of media attention. And yet, whilst the material (Uranium, plutonium) necessary to complete a nuclear weapon is difficult to attain, it is certainly acknowledged that middle-eastern terrorists have absolutely attempted to purchase such raw materials.

Lucy Walker's film uses some fantastic archival footage to paint a picture of the threat to our world that still exists. She managed to employ some highly notable talking heads to maintain integrity in her argument (Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair, Robert McNamara). She manages to highlight how easy it is to smuggle such devastating materials into countries. This is a powerful documentary, however, the threat of such an attack is so limited, that the film seems just too late to create such intrinsic paranoia (I mean, does a scared person, or country - i.e. the backwaters of the USA - really need more to worry about?) The threat just isn't as urgent as, say, in the 1980's when such films posing the question, what if...? where broadcast on television, such as the frightening Threads (1983), made and broadcast by the BBC. It is still a good documentary, with some interesting 'facts', and should certainly be watched by anyone interested in modern history.

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