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Deterrence (1999)

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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 »


Official Sites:

Paramount Classics


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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$144,583, 21 May 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Color (FotoKem)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The President's opponent in the election is named Trump. See more »


The National Security Advisor refers to the South Korean leader as a premier. South Korea doesn't have a premier, it has a prime minister. Even then the prime minister is pretty much a low importance office, with the real power held by the South Korean president. 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 »

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User Reviews

13 February 2007 | by bigdex101See all my reviews

I was pretty shocked when I saw the overall IMDb rating and the negative user comments. Considering the "one set" limitation - you have to have some pretty good character / dialogue to maintain interest - and I thought the film kept up just the right amount of tension until the truly shocking end - see recent events in Iraq.

I thought the whole point was that the US was threatened during the re-election phase of a President out to prove his metal - Pollack was brilliant.

Its set in a Diner so that the President is FORCED to listen to Joe and Joanna Public - likewise they get to see the inhuman pressures put upon the person in that Office.

Who cares if the bloody B2 looked like an F17 or whatever the bloody plane is supposed to be THAT AIN'T GONNA RUIN THE MOVIE - it was made on a shoestring and is a great example of how to make a substantial picture without spending millions of dollars. It gains gravity from the storyline rather than an A list cast. A strong, gripping film that seems to have grown in relevance over the years.

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