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The world finds itself on the brink of nuclear disaster, with the balance point a small diner in Colorado, in the suspenseful political thriller Deterrence. In the year 2008, U.S. President Walter Emerson (Kevin Pollak), who recently took office after the death of the former chief executive, is campaigning for re-election. After winning the Colorado state primary, Emerson finds himself stranded in a roadside diner after a freak snowstorm. Traveling with Emerson are his chief of staff, Marshall Thompson (Timothy Hutton), national security advisor Gayle Redford (Sheryl Lee Ralph) and a network… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 46%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"I got caught up in the global chess game, in the bluffing and the dares, the dangerous strategy of using nuclear blackmail against a fanatic who might call the bluff."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The talk grows tired while the tension, alas, barely grows at all. And the ending is a cheat, pure and simple."
‑ Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"A president wrestles with another Iraq war."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"To it's credit, the film doesn't pull many punches . . .It really gets the message across that when you threaten someone with nukes, you'd better be ready to pull the trigger."
‑ Brian Mckay,
"Only in Hollywood is ineptitude and crassness rewarded so richly."
‑ Tom Block,
"The plot twists fall about as weightily as the fake snow."
‑ Steve Daly, Entertainment Weekly
"It may be a little too dour, a little too self-inflated."
‑ Ernest Hardy,
"Lurie quickly glazes over one important bit of backstory in the early going, a point that is crucial to understand some motivation."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"With a strong cast and smart script, Lurie conjures up an engaging scenario with little more than chicken wire and string."
‑ Rob Vaux, Flipside Movie Emporium
"Hardly the refried Cold War piece it longs to be."
‑ Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
"Deterrence does serve up some wonderfully chewy pulp during its generally engaging 101 minutes, along with a certain vagueness of point-of-view."
‑ Robert Horton,
"A very effective updating of the underrated Cold War thriller Fail-Safe."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"Taut and intense. Pollak is outstanding."
‑ Widgett Walls,
"he exciting thing about Deterrence is that *we* are the big scary bad guy who is acting irrationally - and yet the conclusion explains everything."
‑ Karina Montgomery, Cinerina
"A nostalgic throwback to the all-male talkathons of the 1950s and '60s."
‑ Joe Baltake, Sacramento Bee
More reviews for Deterrence on Rotten Tomatoes