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Deterrence (1999) - movie overview

Deterrence (1999)

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Plot Description

Release Date
• USA: Mar 10, 2000
DVD Release Date
• R1: Aug 29, 2000

Budget $800,000

MPAA Rating

Running Time
1 hour, 41 minutes

Country USA, France

Studio Battleplan, TF1 Films

More info on

Other Titles
• Deterrence

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Genre: Thriller, Drama, Military, Suspense, Spy, Political, Disturbing

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

Plot: The year is 2008 and President Walter Emerson (Kevin Pollak) is stranded in a Colorado diner in the middle of a blizzard. Suddenly, news arrives that Iraq has invaded Kuwait, and threatens the rest of the Middle East with chemical and biological weapons. With most of the U.S. armed forces stuck in a tense military stand-off in Korea, the President decides he has only one option: he announces on television that he will launch a nuclear attack on Baghdad unless Iraq backs down. While the President’s advisors try to figure out a diplomatic solution, the situation in the diner gets increasingly tense, and the global crisis escalates until global nuclear war is threatened. DETERRENCE is a tense military thriller with several unique twists and turns and an intelligent plot guaranteed to provoke debate. Director and former film critic Rod Lurie makes good use of a low budget thanks to imaginative direction and strong performances from the cast, including Timothy Hutton and Sheryl Lee Ralph as the President’s advisors. While most thrillers are content to provide excitement, DETERRENCE combines tense political thrills with a subtle but strong position on global nuclear weapons.

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 Directed by
Rod Lurie
The Last Castle, The Contender, Resurrecting the Champ
 Written by
Rod Lurie
Capital City, The Last Castle, The Contender
Kevin Pollak
The Usual Suspects, Casino, A Few Good Men
Timothy Hutton
Secret Window, The General's Daughter, Kinsey
Sean Astin
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Kathryn Morris
Minority Report, Paycheck, Mindhunters
Sheryl Lee Ralph
The Flintstones, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, The Distinguished Gentleman
Clotilde Courau
Map of the Human Heart, Deep in the Woods, Summer Things
Badja Djola
The Hurricane, The Last Boy Scout, Mississippi Burning
 Music By

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