83 user 21 critic

Deterrence (1999)

The President of the United States must deal with an international military crisis while confined to a Colorado diner during a freak snowstorm


Rod Lurie


Rod Lurie
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Pollak ... President Walter Emerson
Timothy Hutton ... Marshall Thompson
Sheryl Lee Ralph ... Gayle Redford
Clotilde Courau ... Katie
Badja Djola ... Harvey
Sean Astin ... Ralph
Mark Thompson ... Gerald Irvin
Michael Mantell ... Taylor Woods
Kathryn Morris ... Lizzie Woods
Ryan Cutrona ... Agent Dexter
Joe McCrackin Joe McCrackin ... Agent Williams
Scoot Powell Scoot Powell ... Noah
J. Scott Shonka ... Captain Coddington
Jim Curley ... Admiral Miller (as James Curly)
Rigg Kennedy Rigg Kennedy ... Howard


After the death of the President, his successor is on the campaign trail to be re-elected. On a stop in Colorado, he is suddenly snowed in and he and his entourage are forced to take shelter in a small diner. Of course, the group completely take over from the diner's owner and his French-Canadian waitress. Also in the diner is a local redneck and a married couple. Suddenly, the movie moves into a suspense film as the President learns that Iraq has invaded Kuwait and slaughtered hundreds of American soldiers. Setting up temporary communications, the President announces that he will launch a nuclear attack on Iraq immediately if the country does not withdraw. Iraq reacts that they have 23 nuclear missiles trained on the US that they are ready to launch. Tensions mount with the involved civilians offering a different viewpoint to the President from the normal opinions of his advisers. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Every President has a defining moment. Walter Emerson is about to have his.


Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Rod Lurie came up with the film's idea after spending a lot of time watching CNN at home while writing a few other scripts. When he saw that there had been serious crises involving both Iraq and North Korea that happened some time from each other and both nearly resulted in war, he thought it was a good basis for a film about how multiple same time international crises could lead to impossible choices for a U.S. President. See more »


There are ships visible at the base of the mushroom cloud that is supposed to be at Bahgdad. See more »


President Walter Emerson: I didn't say anything about abort mission, I said hold position. Don't play your fucking game with me admiral!
See more »


Written by Noah Stone
Performed by Noah Stone
See more »

User Reviews

Excellent, thinking person's movie. Not for the weak-minded.
16 July 2002 | by OKiemudgeonSee all my reviews

I must admit I had to see the film twice to appreciate all the detail that was included. This is one man's vision, Rod Lurie, since he wrote, directed and produced the film and the more that I watch it, the more I appreciate what was done. The problem with this type of film is that most people will not be able to give it the attention it deserves.

I can't complain about the casting or the acting, since the actors stayed true to the vision of the film. The story is riveting and full of surprises and with a fine touch of comic relief. The most interesting thing for me about the film is that it's completely relevant for today (2002), which is when I discovered it.

Don't watch this with your significant other when you want to snuggle. It's disturbing, engrossing and most definitely provocative.

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France | USA



Release Date:

10 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Crise dos Mísseis See more »


Box Office


$800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,318, 12 March 2000

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Color (FotoKem)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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