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Day Zero

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Editorial Reviews

DAY ZERO stars Elijah Wood, Jon Bernthal, Chris Klein, and Ginnifer Goodwin. DAY ZERO is a timely political and personal story of three young men as the military draft is reinstated. Three best friends, George (Chris Klein) a successful lawyer, Dixon (Jon Bernthal) a tough-as-nails cab driver, and Feller (Elijah Wood) a writer with a host of insecurities, are drafted and given 30 days to report for duty. In that time they're forced to confront everything they believe about courage, duty, love, friendship and honor.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Elijah Wood, Jon Bernthal, Chris Klein, Ginnifer Goodwin
  • Directors: Bryan Gunnar Cole
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Millennium
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000XJ5UEE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,359 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

The movie doesn't really shed that light.
All three of the main characters were great in their individual reactions to the news of getting drafted and most likely to go to war.
Pat Nava
His hair really was buzzed off and he still stayed 100% in character.
The Lost Bronte

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 2, 2008
Format: DVD
What if the draft were reinstated, and the young men of the United States suddenly forced to join the army, fight, and perhaps die -- without any free choice?

Thankfully, that hasn't happened just yet, and hopefully it won't anytime soon. But "Day Zero" takes a hard, sometimes frightening look at three young men who face that very ordeal. Instead of pompous politics or big war stories, it's an intimate, visceral experience that seems more interested in the "ordinary guys" than in the war itself.

In the near future, terrorists have struck again, this time attacking the West Coast -- and in response, the United States has reactivated the draft. All males between eighteen and thirty-five have to sign up for army duty in one month. This includes three friends: street smart cabbie Dixon (Jon Bernthal), wealthy young lawyer George (Chris Klein), and fragile writer Aaron (Elijah Wood).

In the month that follows, all three are struggling -- George wants to stay with his newly cancer-free wife (Ginnifer Goodwin) rather than fight in a war he despises, and tries to arrange an excuse to stay behind. Dixon's new girlfriend leaves him wondering what he'll lose if he leaves. And Aaron is just terrified. He makes a "ten things to do in the next month" list, but his fragile psyche starts to crumble under his fear of army life and death.

As Day Zero approaches, all three men must find the pressure building to new heights, and must decide where their choices -- and futures -- lie.

"Day Zero" is not a cheerful movie -- despite a lack of boot camps, battlefields and pompous political preaching, this movie is pretty dark fare.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Edward C. Patterson on November 6, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's 30 days before DAY ZERO, when three friends are to be drafted into the army during the raging war in Iraq. They react to the news and somehow come to terms with reality. On this simple (even thin) premise, Bryan Cole crafts a well balanced 90 minutes, which manages to cloud a specific or biased point-of-view. Sure, there's anti-war clambering and patriotic posturing. There's plenty of flag waving and flag burning, but this film is not about the draft or serving one's country. As a reviewer who has already been drafted to face a war (in Viet-nam) and had to grapple with decisions that would ultimately shape the remainder of my life, I know this film is about "the inner self"--the draft being the catalyst and the reactions mere symptoms to the rumbling of the human spirit or the lack there of.

The three stars carry the film a long way and beyond. Chris Klein as George Rifkin represents the majority view, that the draft is a life interrupter. One never gets the impression that George is a coward. He just wants to continue his law practice, enjoy his family and wife; and ultimately, his anti-draft stance festers from resentment to anger. Jon Bernthal as James Dixon represents the patriotic view, that "it had to happen sooner or later," and everyone should stand up and fight terrorism. He is a violent and disturbed man, short fused and drives a taxi for a living, quite a contrast from George. He imprints his views on his friends without hesitation, but when he meets a girl, his views are somewhat tempered. Elijah Wood, in his best performance on screen to date (yes, even better than Mr. Baggins), plays Aaron Feller, a naïve, fragile man, who has just published his first novel and is working on the second. He is thrown into a panic by the draft notice.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 3, 2008
Format: DVD
The Draft as a means for supplying the armed forces with manpower ended with the Vietnam War. DAY ZERO is a thought provoking film that raises the question of how today's youth would respond were the Draft reinstated as a result of the ever-growing Iraq War. Writer Robert Malkani and director Bryan Gunnar Cole respond to the question by creating three characters, long time friends, but each with a different response to the forced servitude in a wartime situation. As with any film dealing with controversial subject matter there are ideas presented that will disturb just about everyone no matter their stance on compulsive servitude, and it is that aspect that makes this film work so well in jolting our thinking.

The time is New York, now, and the media has just announced the reinstatement of the Draft to cope with the drained national volunteer army. Three friends receive their draft notices simultaneously: successful lawyer George Rifkin (Chris Klein) whose marriage to a cancer survivor wife Molly (Ginnifer Goodwin) is part of the solid state of life he resists changing; fantasy writer Aaron Feller (Elijah Wood) who is in progress on a novel he must finish while his life is otherwise rather on shaky ground, controlled by his loopy therapist (Ally Sheedy); cab driver James Dixon (Jon Bernthal) who has a past history of being a loner and attempting to control violent behavior. The gamut runs from refusal to even consider the draft (Rifkin) to being nonplussed by the disruption to his psyche (Feller) to gung-ho ready to fight Dixon. The three young men have thirty days to Day Zero and in those thirty days each undergoes profound changes and introspection and self-discovery that very keenly illustrates the effect that such a governmental edict can have on today's youth.
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