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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Up 7% 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:
The movie surely does not provide for a differentiated look at the nuclear armament problem, but it does resume its dangers impressively. See more (22 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
Susan Ricketts .... archive producer
Jeff Skoll .... executive producer
Sean M. Waters .... consulting producer
Diane Weyermann .... executive producer
Marianna Yarovskaya .... field producer: Moscow
Andy Zare .... archive producer
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
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
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
Dana Waters .... grateful 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:
Features Missile (1988)See more »


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22 out of 56 people found the following review useful.
The movie surely does not provide for a differentiated look at the nuclear armament problem, but it does resume its dangers impressively., 8 May 2010
Author: (leooel2) from United States

Remember "An Inconvenient Truth"? Rembember Al Gore, and how climate change became THE hot topic in 2007? Everyone talked about it, they made millions, climate change was even acknowledged and its fight endorsed in the US. Momentum has really been building up lately, for the topic of nuclear disarmament, since the Prague speech by Obama, the Nuclear Posture Review on April 6th, the New START on April 8th, the Nuclear Security Summit on April 12th/13th (biggest gathering of heads of state since the founding of the UN 1945), the NPT RevCon in May and now, starting in June in Cannes, this global movie which is going to raise awareness on a massive scale.

After Al Gore receiving his Nobel Peace Prize for his engagement against global warming, the producers asked themselves, which other topic needed some massive attention by a broader public, and agreed they had to cover the issue of nuclear disarmament (voilà a video-interview of the producers explaining so: HTTP:// The movie "Countdown to Zero", by the producer Lawrence Bender, which you are gonna know from movies such as „An Inconvenient Truth", or else almost all of Quentin Tarantino's movies, for that matter, and which UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon warmly lauded for his mobilization of a global public for the cause of climate change is supposed to be doing the very same for disarmament. Go get 'em, boys! Arguably, the timing could not be better. Marketing experts around the world are busy as we speak. The movie will start in Chinese theaters even before the US; also Iran, Egypt, Turkey, as well as Western Europe (the usual suspects) will be served soon, starting with the International Film Festival in Cannes.

Ban Ki-moon and Michael Douglas (UN-messenger for nuclear disarmament) also strongly endorse it. The movie itself carefully approaches the viewer to the topic of imminently possible nuclear annihilation, not scaring people of with details right away, but repeating the important facts to enhance the chances viewers will recall them. The movie loses itself in multiple enumerations of horrible anecdotes, but without getting boring in doing so, as every one of them seems noteworthy. Having gone through the issues of false alarms, easy access to launch-codes, hair-trigger alert, the staggering consequences of even few nuclear weapons detonating and causing a "nuclear winter" (explained in this video by Ira Helfand of Physicians for Social Responsibility, who is also featured in the Movie itself: HTTP://, an artificial ice age that would likely destroy almost the whole species due to plants not surviving three years of frost..

As to nuclear terrorism, insecure storage is covered, especially in countries such as Pakistan, as well as smuggling from the former Soviet Union, both of which could enable terrorists to blow up a major city changing all perspectives on security and personal freedoms forever. Pretty much detail is also given to just how swiftly a bomb could be made, once the fissile material has been acquired.

All of these dangers then converge into an enthusiastically, pathetically presented appeal to the world and audience to demand and pursue complete disarmament and reach Global Zero. Despite the fact that the connection between the dangers arising from terrorist proliferation and the imperative to disarm is poorly outlined, the movie does make a strong case for an end to the era of nuclear weapons. This will receive massive worldwide attention thanks to the scale on which the production will be advertised. It is only thanks to this hope of broad attention that I can get myself to write this very review in spite of the whopping depressive message conveyed buy this movie.

In case you aren't yet in favor of a world without nukes: Look, if […] you've never changed your mind about something, pinch yourself. You may be dead. - closing sequence

In summary, the movie surely does not provide for an in-depths, differentiated look at the nuclear armament problem, but it does resume its dangers in a rather impressive way. Not touching on the controversial issues such as Israel, Iran, disarmament failures under article VI NPT, it can rather be described as the least common denominator, focusing on the indisputable dangers we face. But sure, why not?

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