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Day Zero (2008)

Elijah Wood , Jon Bernthal , Bryan Gunnar Cole  |  R |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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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: #227,355 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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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.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Day zero approaches March 2, 2008
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Elijah Wood Performance to Date 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
4.0 out of 5 stars What if the Draft were Reinstated? March 3, 2008
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Day Zero to awfulness
Spoiler Alert-I was not sure what to expect when beginning to watch this and from the first 15 minutes or so I would say it was your average movie with an interesting subject of... Read more
Published on April 9, 2010 by J. E.
2.0 out of 5 stars Broke my heart, but definately deserves it's 5-cent price
This movie is really sad and very realistic if the given circumstances were reality. But I honestly did not enjoy this movie. I purchased it because it was so cheap. Read more
Published on October 26, 2009 by K. Gent
4.0 out of 5 stars Great little movie
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. Read more
Published on July 17, 2009 by Pat Nava
5.0 out of 5 stars Day Zero inspires....
I won't write a description of the movie because I think plenty of people have done that. What I will say is that no matter what your feelings are about the war, this movie... Read more
Published on January 15, 2009 by Kathleen A. Dragomir
3.0 out of 5 stars One Time Glad
I put this DVD in my cart from the $4 buget bin @ our local video store. Bryan Gunnar Cole, who has done some editing work in television, directed his first feature. Read more
Published on January 2, 2009 by Lee Armstrong
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern day draft stories
Three long time friends from NYC receive draft notices from the US military asking them to serve in Iraq. All three are due to report to duty in 30 days. Read more
Published on December 11, 2008 by Reader
3.0 out of 5 stars The Fellowship of the Cliche
"Day Zero" is an odd indie movie. It's one of the few indie movies addressing the Iraq War,but that's no quality assurance. Read more
Published on December 11, 2008 by Amaranth
3.0 out of 5 stars How Would Being Drafted Makes Men Feel? (Spoiler)
I have given this movie 3 stars, because, although the movie had my attention. There was too much cussing for me. Read more
Published on November 22, 2008 by Arch
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it
I'm no critic, I just go on what I like. I enjoyed watching this. I'm a fan of independent films because they often have more substance to them than blockbuster, hollywood films. Read more
Published on September 15, 2008 by Tracey Manning
4.0 out of 5 stars Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for...
Day Zero takes an honest look at what would likely happen if the draft were reinstituted today. With insight from three social tiers, the creators do a good job of displaying how... Read more
Published on July 7, 2008 by Jason
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