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4.3 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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(Aug 29, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

From After the death of the President, his successor is on the campaign trail to be re-elected. On a stop in Colorado, he is suddenly snowed in and he and his entourage are forced to take shelter in a small diner. Of course, the group completely take over from the diner's owner and his French-Canadian waitress. Also in the diner is a local redneck and a married couple. Suddenly, the movie moves into a suspense film as the President learns that Iraq has invaded Kuwait and slaughtered hundreds of American soldiers. Setting up temporary communications, the President announces that he will launch a nuclear attack on Iraq immediately if the country does not withdraw. Iraq reacts that they have 23 nuclear missiles trained on the US that they are ready to launch. Tensions mount with the involved civilians offering a different viewpoint to the President from the normal opinions of his advisers.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Sean Astin, John Cirigliano, Clotilde Courau, Jim Curley, Ryan Cutrona
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: August 29, 2000
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792165209
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,316 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Deterrence" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David A. Coughlin on August 15, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
If you love political thrillers like 7 Days in May, Failsafe, The Bedford Incident, ect. then you will throughly enjoy Deterrence.Its basically set in a roadside diner where the dialogue and the suspense are the center of the movie, not special effects.It is very similar in that regard to 12 Angry Men.The movie begins with Kevin Pollack (a good character actor) as the new President of the United States, swinging through Colorado during the capaign primary there when he, his advisers, secret service detail ect. get holed up in a diner when a blizzard strikes..While there, he learns from CNN on the Tv there that the son of Saddam Hussein has overrun U.S. positions in the middle east and is going to again invade Kuwait and Saudi Arabia..Since its Saddam's son you know this is the future, 2008 but every other detail in the movie is strictly current era, i.e. no ray guns..Anyway, the President is stuck in this diner, and has to fight this crisis with only 4 secure cell phones at his disposal, repel massive Iraqi armored divisions while all the U.S. forces are tied down in Korea in a crisis there..This is the beginning of the movie and the brinksmanship between leaders, and countries which threatens global thermo-nuclear war.If you love political thrillers like the ones mentioned above then you will lovbe this film too..It was made by a first time director and graduate of West Point..It got overlooked at the theatre and on video by mainstream people.It has become an underground or cult classic with intelligent people who enjoy suspenseful thrillers that don't have to cost 200 million dollars to make..This movie is almost a throwback to the classic cold war thrillers of the 50's and 60's when good acting, writing, and directing was emphasized rather than big explosions.
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Format: DVD
The Vice President has become President by appointment a la former President Ford. He has been President only four months, and is campaigning for election for the first time in his own right. In Colorado during primary season, a blizzard maroons him and his small entourage in a diner. Then, stuff hits the fan in another part of the world possibly presaging major nuclear calamity. How does he handle it?
That is the plot premise and the story unfolds well-acted and grippingly. It was like a book one can not put down. There are numerous byplays - the Secret Service and the people in the diner, the President and his staff, the Prez and foreign heavies, the press, and so forth. A low-budget affair, shot almost entirely in that diner and with nil whiz-bang special effects, writing and acting carry the day.
Yes, what happens in this tale stretches the imagination, and only for that reason do I give this film four stars vice five. Still, if you like stories which grab and hold you, this compact film is worth your time.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I saw this film many years ago, yet somehow it remained etched in my brain as an excellent film that I wanted to see again (and again). Kevin Pollak's performance in an dramatic lead role is completely convincing. Those people who know Pollack only as a funny stand-up comic and vocal impressionist are in for an extra special treat.

The film's live scenes are staged on a single set -- a typical roadside diner. Over the length of the film, with cinematic cleverness and imaginative camera angles and lighting, the entire story is told. The President of the US on the road campaigning for re-election is caught in a freak snowstorm. High winds and low visibility preclude helicopter travel, so POTUS is stuck in the diner.

As the President learns of his Colorado victory, and while he waits for snow removal to dig him out of the snow and get him to Air Force One, a critical situation half a world away requires his immediate attention and action. The diner in a matter of just a few short minutes becomes a mobile situation room. No spoilers here as to what the crisis is, but it is fair to say the threat is nuclear.

The film's plot is tight, the script gripping, and the acting impressive. Tim Hutton fans will enjoy his quite convincing slippery campaign manager performance. Other performances, too many to note here, were excellent and well cast. If my memory serves, several of the actors in the film were nominated for supporting actor Oscars.

If you are fortunate and purchase the version of the DVD that contains the director's comments, I STRONGLY recommend that you listen to the comments only AFTER you see the movie. This is one movie where you don't want to create your own spoilers. See the film as it was intended and released, and by all means pass the popcorn.
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Format: DVD
"Deterrence" is probably the most underrated movie in history, and therefore doesn't receive the accolades which it truly deserves.
Kevin Pollack is the President. Seeing him play this part, I honestly believed that the role was made for him. His way of expressing determination when speaking to IBS while in the diner when making his speech...and speaking directly to the Iraqi people...was earth-shattering. I truly believe that no one else could have played that role to the degree it was played.
Timothy Hutton was superb in his role as well. His character argued against the President when needed, and recoiled when necessary.
All of the roles were superb, right down to Sean Astin as the smart-mouthed punk. I must, however, give exceptional credit to the man who portrayed the anchor on IBS. When I learned he was a local TV weatherman, I was shocked. He could easily handle a news anchor desk...and should be doing so.
The most extraordinary part of this film was that it was all shot inside the diner, never changing scenes.
I highly recommend this movie to anyone who wants a feature that will literally glue them to their chairs. You won't even want to blink for fear of missing something. My favorite scene is the dialogue when Pollack is speaking to the Iraqi representative:
Iraqi: "Mr. President, understand this: We have the oil. We have the power."
Pollack: "I have the match." (slams phone receiver down, cutting connection)
If THAT isn't tension, someone please tell me what is.
If my writing ever goes to screen...I want this writer, director, and producer on it. They know how to write, direct, and produce a movie that is well worthy of academy award nominations and trophies.
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