Countdown to Zero

Countdown to Zero

Countdown to Zero reveals the truth behind an issue on which human survival itself hangs – the very real possibility of nuclear disaster. From the producers of An Inconvenient Truth, Countdown is a chilling wakeup call about the urgency of the nuclear threat. 3.5 out of 5 based on 16 reviews
Countdown to Zero

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Documentary
Director Lucy Walker
Cast Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair Jimmy Carter
Studio Dog Woof
Release Date June 2011
Running Time 91 mins
 

Countdown to Zero reveals the truth behind an issue on which human survival itself hangs – the very real possibility of nuclear disaster. From the producers of An Inconvenient Truth, Countdown is a chilling wakeup call about the urgency of the nuclear threat.

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Read the Omnivore roundup for Lucy Walker’s THE WASTE LAND

Reviews

The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

Very few films can be classified as unmissable, but this is one.

23/06/2011

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The Scotsman

Siobhan Synnot

[Lucy Walker's] exceptional research examines a history of near misses…

21/06/2011

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The Daily Telegraph

David Gritten

Countdown to Zero leaves you uneasy enough about the threat from nukes, but also amazed that to date, at least, no blunder has ended in annihilation … Walker presents this complex information, including a wealth of statistics, in an easily digestible style, using visual trickery – such as highlighting key words from a speech by John G. Kennedy about a “nuclear sword of Damocles”.

23/06/2011

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Time Magazine

Mary Corliss

[Countdown to Zero] is the familiar massing of clips, charts and talking heads. It does not aspire to high art or headline-making exposé. But it does efficiently and vigorously enumerate the dangers of nuclear proliferation by governments and rogue entities.

02/08/2010

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Time Out

Dave Calhoun

[Walker] brings brio and lucidity to a broad, difficult subject. Her interviews are rock-solid but ‘Countdown to Zero’ has visual nous too, and she turns words into images by deconstructing a JFK speech and using phrases from it as signposts … in the end Walker’s film does justice to JFK’s plea that ‘weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us’.

22/06/2011

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The Times

Kate Muir

Don’t miss Countdown to Zero … See it and be afraid, very afraid.

24/06/2011

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The New Yorker

Bruce Diones

A solid proposal for a nuclear-arms-free planet … This impressively urgent documentary tracks the genesis of the nuclear age; its well-employed footage of the scientist Robert Oppenheimer, along with interviews of world leaders, C.I.A. experts, and other physicists, makes the case that nuclear weapons are a clear and present danger.

01/06/2011

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The New York Times

Jeannette Catsoulis

Paying to see “Countdown to Zero” is like tipping a fortuneteller to predict the manner of your death. This scarily convincing argument that the end, if not quite nigh, is at least foreseeable urges us to wake up and smell the highly enriched uranium. By the end, however, all most of us will want to do is duck and cover.

22/07/2010

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The Observer

Jason Solomons

Skilfully crafted and smoothly assembled by London-born film maker Lucy Walker, the documentary Countdown to Zero raises the all but forgotten question of nuclear war and leaves us petrified, in almost no doubt it will happen. It's a handy guide to the history of the bomb and how to make your own.

26/06/2011

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

It's sobering stuff, but might have been more compelling if it had kept to a central narrative instead of wandering all around the subject.

26/06/2011

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The Sunday Times

Jonathan Dean

Slick and shocking, the film ultimately highlights only our impotence.

26/06/2011

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Total Film

Jonathan Crocker

We’re all going to die. Arguably, we just saved you the job of watching director Lucy Walker’s depressing documentary about the world’s nuclear arsenal.

25/06/2011

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Empire Magazine

David Hughes

Walker’s customary aversion to voiceover narration works against her, giving the whole enterprise a distracted, unfocused feel. With another month or two in the edit suite, this could have been genuinely incendiary … it's still a valuable and scary film that should be seen.

01/06/2011

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The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

Most of us agree that a world without nuclear weapons would be a much safer place and that proliferation is doubly dangerous. Which means that writer-director Lucy Walker's polemic, following her excellent Waste Land and Blindsight, lacks a certain force.

24/06/2011

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The Financial Times

Antonia Quirke

[Countdown to Zero] joins the glut of great recent documentaries … Most memorable image: Gorbachev shaking hands with Reagan outside the Reykjavik Summit in 1986, putting on his hat (second-best, mottled grey) and walking away, like some nice, provincial husband hurrying home from Rotary.

23/06/2011

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

Walker forewarns about nukes in the wrong hands – rogue states, terrorists – but devotes the last part of her film to a galumphing restatement of the bleedin' obvious. "There shouldn't be any at all," says the canvassed vox pop in an incontrovertible call to arms – or rather dis-arms. I think we got that some time ago.

24/06/2011

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