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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Honestly? I got this movie because jon bernthal is in it.
It was entertaining and held my interest for the most part... Read more
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 morePublished on April 9, 2010 by J. E.
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 morePublished on October 26, 2009 by K. Gent
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 morePublished on July 17, 2009 by Pat Nava
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 morePublished on January 15, 2009 by Kathleen A. Dragomir