Watch Deterrence

"Every President has a defining moment. Walter Emerson is about to have his."
  • R
  • 2000
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 6.4  (2,803)
  • 50

Deterrence is a political thriller from 1999 which tries to answer the question of what would happen in the aftermath of a nuclear attack on American soil. The movie, set in the year 2008, takes place entirely within a small, snowed-in diner in Colorado. It predominantly follows the President of the United States, Walter Emerson (played by Kevin Pollak), who finds himself stranded in the diner alongside his staff and a few local patrons.

As the snowstorm worsens and the President's motorcade becomes inoperable, he decides to deliver an impromptu national address over television, announcing a preemptive nuclear strike against Iraq in response to their possession of nuclear weapons which threatens the United States. The President's chief of staff, Marshall Thompson (played by Timothy Hutton), is initially supportive of the move but quickly raises objections as the situation unfolds.

The President's announcement is met with a mixed response, as Americans on both sides of the political spectrum begin to express their support or opposition to the use of nuclear weapons. As the situation becomes increasingly tense, the President and his team are forced to deal with the escalating crisis in real-time, as they try to determine the best course of action that will ensure the safety of American citizens.

Throughout the film, the President is portrayed as a complex character, struggling to balance the needs of the nation with his own personal beliefs and emotions. He is convinced that the strike is necessary for America's safety, but he is also haunted by his own apprehension of the consequences of such a decision on the global scale. Meanwhile, Marshall, who initially supports the President, grows increasingly worried about the morality of the decision and tries to persuade him to reconsider.

As the debate over the strike rages on, tensions boil over, and the characters are forced to confront the realities of their positions. Throughout the film, the stakes are high, with the threat of nuclear war looming over the characters' decisions.

The acting in the film is top-notch, with Kevin Pollak, in particular, delivering a nuanced performance as the President. The film's direction and cinematography are also striking, with the claustrophobic setting of the diner magnifying the tension and drama of the situation.

In conclusion, Deterrence is a thought-provoking film that explores the complexities of nuclear weapons and the judgments that leaders are sometimes forced to make. It is a film that forces viewers to think deeply about the consequences of such decisions, both for themselves and for the world at large.

Deterrence is a 2000 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 50.

Where to Watch Deterrence
Deterrence is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Deterrence for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (2,803)
  • Metascore