22 user 68 critic

Countdown to Zero (2010)

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

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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.


Lucy Walker


Lucy Walker
3 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Graham Allison Graham Allison ... Himself
James Baker III James Baker III ... Himself
Bruce Blair Bruce Blair ... Himself
Tony Blair ... Himself
Zbigniew Brzezinski ... Himself
Matthew Bunn Matthew Bunn ... Himself
Richard Burt Richard Burt ... Himself
Jimmy Carter ... Himself
Mike Chinoy Mike Chinoy ... Himself
Joseph Cirincione Joseph Cirincione ... Himself
Richard Cizik Richard Cizik ... Himself
Thomas D'Agostino Thomas D'Agostino ... Himself
F.W. de Klerk F.W. de Klerk ... Himself
Pascal Fias Pascal Fias ... Himself
Alexander Glaser Alexander Glaser ... Himself


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


Demand Zero. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »





Release Date:

30 July 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Numaratoare inversa See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$41,307, 25 July 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$271,323, 4 October 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Seeing Al Gore receive the Nobel Peace Prize for An Inconvenient Truth (2006) prompted producer Lawrence Bender to ask Lucy Walker if she would be interested in making a film about nuclear weapons. See more »


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


Written by Robert Smith, Laurence Tolhurst (as Lol Tolhurst), Simon Gallup, and Matthieu Hartley
Performed by The Cure
See more »

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User Reviews

A compelling, but also very unsettling piece of research.
10 December 2010 | by Ryan_MYeahSee 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 ****

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