Director(s): Bryan Gunnar Cole
Available Quality: Hi Def
Available Quality: DVD, Hi Def, iPod
IMDB Rating: 5.9 out of 10 (2066 votes)
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 theyre forced to confront everything they believe about courage, duty, love, friendship and honor.
kerithym (18 June 2013)
The movie takes place in the near future, where a draft has beenre-instated and three friends in New York find themselves faced withtheir own fears and beliefs as they deal with their call to serve.George a successful lawyer, Dixon a tough-as-nails cab driver, andFeller a writer with a host of insecurities, face their inner demons inthe thirty days they are given to report to duty. I was lucky enough tosee this movie at Tribeca, not once, but three times. I loved it moreeach time and got to enjoy all the little nuances I missed fromprevious viewings. New York was the perfect setting for this movie andthe city is like another character in the film. This is a verycharacter driven story and there is not one weak performance in thelot. Everyone is wonderful, with the stand-out performances beingGinnifer Goodwin as George's wife, Sofia Vassilieva in a small buteffective part, and Elijah Wood who manages to be both hilarious andheartbreaking in one of his best roles to date. A touching athought-provoking film, this one is not-to-miss.
(17 June 2013)
I have given this movie 3 stars, because, although the movie had my attention. There was too much cussing for me. I don't think that a person has to cuss to get their point across. That said, this movie was a thinker. How would men feel today, if they were drafted to go fight in a war? Better yet, how did men feel back in the day, when they were drafted to go fight a war? Poor thing, a lot of these men were scared and I wouldn't blame them. Your life is on the line. Not only that, you can die a lonely death. Meaning, you could get killed and leave behind your wife, wife/children, family and friends. A lot of men wants to fight for their country, but for a lot of men, "The Army" is not their cup of tea.I know that the three best friends in this movie, wasn't the only ones that have received drafted letters, but Day Zero focused on their bond. The three friends are:James Dixon, played by Jon Bernthal: The Taxi Driver. He came from a broken home. His wife treated his mother like dirt. Out of all three of the guys, he was the protector. He had his friends back. He even beat up guys for his friends. He was the one that wanted to go to the army. Was he scared? Yes, he was. Even more so, when it came close to going. George Rifkin, played by Chris Klein. He was the lawyer. Came from a rich family. Married to a woman that had cancer. He didn't want to go to the army. He wanted to figure our ways to get out of it. He had his daddy call the senator to get him out. The man was even thinking about cutting his hand off or fingers off to save him from going to the army. He attempted to do it, but didn't. LOL, then there's Aaron Feller, played by Elijah Wood. He's the writer. I have to say that Elijah is a good actor. He really played this role. He was the nerd of the group. He was scared of going to the army. He made a list of 10 things he wanted to do, before he went to the army. The anxiety has gotten to him. He kind of lost it. He was going to go to the army, but I believe the phone call to his sister, made him decide against it and caused him to kill himself. He jumped off a building. He found out that his father had a heart attack, but was doing fine and his sister basically ended the call. She didn't want to really talk to him. What happen, to where he was estranged from his family, I don't know. The movie doesn't really shed that light. But, one thing though, he had been seeing a shrink Prior to him, killing himself, I don't believe that he wrote down his number ten thing that he wanted to do, prior to going to the army. I believe, he wanted to do something, but replaced it with killing himself. It wasn't as if he had family backing him up. Family is needed. He had me laughing in this movie. He had been going to a shrink for seven years, but didn't know how long he has been going to this female shrink. She had to let him know, how long he has been going to see her. His shrink was funny, because she wouldn't really be paying attention to him. She would be doing a puzzle, while he was just talking. I have to say, if I had to see a shrink and pay money, he or she better pay attention to me.Poor baby, made me a laugh, when he felt that he was both skinny and fat. He also made me laugh, because he picked up a woman at a bar and took her back to his place. What was funny about it was that he used her as a shrink to talk. So, one friend kills himself and the other two showed up at 7:00 a.m. to the drafting place. The question is, who really went to the army? The movie ended without making that clear. So, besides the cussing. The movie was okay.
(13 June 2013)
I saw "Day Zero" twice during its run at the Tribeca Film Festival and would have welcomed a third viewing. From seeing the trailer at the film's website (http://www.dayzerothemovie.com/) I knew the story dealt with future reinstatement of the military draft in the United States and how three friends spent the thirty days between receiving draft notices and reporting for duty. I was immediately drawn into the film and the lives of these men; I cared about them and what they were going through. The film is character driven and director Bryan Gunnar Cole succeeds brilliantly in getting inspired performances from the talented cast.Chris Klein very convincingly plays George, an upwardly mobile New Yorker, who at a young age, has recently made partner in a prestigious law firm. He does not want to jeopardize his career, does not support the war still playing out in the Mideast and diligently searches for ways to dodge the draft. He considers everything from seeking the help of his influential father to self-mutilation - an edge-of-your-seat scene. Nor does he want to leave his wife (Ginnifer Goodwin) who has just been declared cancer-free after a five-year battle.Jon Bernthal is excellent as Dixon, a street-smart cab driver who willingly defends his friends with his fists, but is the solid, caring anchor in the life of a young girl in his building who prefers spending time with him to dealing with her drug addled mother. Sofia Vassilieva is marvelous as the young Mara and I fully expect to see more great work from her in the future. Dixon is eager to serve, which causes friction with his friends' opposing beliefs, but falling in love (Elizabeth Moss) suddenly complicates his life.The very talented Elijah Wood (and best-known cast member) once again displays the amazing versatility we've seen in all his post-"Lord of the Rings" films. His character, Aaron, is the most interesting and complex. He's a young writer with a successful book who is working against a deadline on his second book. He's clueless, out of shape, bewildered, estranged from his family and in his seventh year of sessions with an apathetic, inept psychiatrist (well done by Ally Sheedy.) He's also certain his draft notice is a death sentence. As Aaron attempts to toughen up and complete his 10-item "to do" list before going off to war, Wood provides some wonderful moments of comedy, which appear in all the right places."Day Zero" is ensemble acting at its best and cinematographer Matthew Clark's extensive use of a hand-held camera is perfect for creating a you-are-there empathy with the characters. This is a terrific film that pulls you in and makes you wonder, "What would I do?" It is not a political film; it's a perfectly cast people film and you will love these people. I hope it gets the wide release it deserves.
JMRichardson (13 June 2013)
I was fortunate enough to be a the 4-29-07 NYC premiere screening ofDay Zero, starring Elijah Wood, Jon Bernthal and Chris Klein. The storyis about the turmoil created in the lives of these men after theyreceive a draft notice. Wood is Aaron Feller, a sensitive, troubled, young writer, frightenedby life's challenges, who decides he needs to explore more of what lifehas to offer but ends up, instead, releasing some inner demons. Kleinis George Rifkin, a married, successful attorney with a politicallyconnected father, who might get his notice quashed. Unfortunately,Rifkin misdirects his rage and lashes out at the wrong persons.Bernthal is Dixon, a take charge kind of guy whether he's being aPrince Charming to a pubescent neighbor or Savior to his friends. Youget the sense he's always been totally in control of his life butsurprisingly finds himself falling in love and for the first time muststruggle with his choices.I didn't know what to expect going in but I enjoyed the movie quite alot and felt all three actors had good chemistry as well as some greatscenes together. There were some light moments but this is a seriousand compelling drama.
Jason Balazs (12 June 2013)
This movie was a total waste of my time. I was waiting for them to go to war. The damn movie was so boring and really slow. You had two upper class guys who wanted to try to find a way out of going, then a cab driver working class fella who was all for it. The gay kid (Froto from lord of the rings), was so whimpy and couldn't even bench 75lbs and was worried about his book deal, while the other guy was dodging the thought of leaving his wife to go to war. I can tell you, I finally started hitting the next button on my DVD, but was met with credits at the end. Not one damn ***** died, what a shame...
magicdancer (12 June 2013)
I saw "Day Zero" twice during its run at the Tribeca Film Festival andwould have welcomed a third viewing. From seeing the trailer at thefilm's website (http://www.dayzerothemovie.com/) I knew the story dealtwith future reinstatement of the military draft in the United Statesand how three friends spent the thirty days between receiving draftnotices and reporting for duty. I was immediately drawn into the filmand the lives of these men; I cared about them and what they were goingthrough. The film is character driven and director Bryan Gunnar Colesucceeds brilliantly in getting inspired performances from thetalented, but mostly not well-known (to me, at least) cast.Chris Klein very convincingly plays George, an upwardly mobile NewYorker, who at a young age, has recently made partner in a prestigiouslaw firm. He does not want to jeopardize his career, does not supportthe war still playing out in the Mideast and diligently searches forways to dodge the draft. He considers everything from seeking the helpof his influential father to self-mutilation Â an edge-of your-seatscene. Nor does he want to leave his wife (Ginnifer Goodwin) who hasjust been declared cancer-free after a five-year battle.Jon Bernthal is excellent as Dixon, a street-smart cab driver whowillingly defends his friends with his fists, but is the solid, caringanchor in the life of a young girl in his building who prefers spendingtime with him to dealing with her drug addled mother. Sofia Vassilievais marvelous as the young Mara and I fully expect to see more greatwork from her in the future. Dixon is eager to serve, which causesfriction with his friends' opposing beliefs, but falling in love(Elizabeth Moss) suddenly complicates his life.The very talented Elijah Wood (and best-known cast member) once againdisplays the amazing versatility we've seen in all his post-"Lord ofthe Rings" films. His character, Aaron, is the most interesting andcomplex. He's a young writer with a successful book who is workingagainst a deadline on his second book. He's clueless, out of shape,bewildered, estranged from his family and in his seventh year ofsessions with an apathetic, inept psychiatrist (well done by AllySheedy.) He's also certain his draft notice is a death sentence. AsAaron attempts to toughen up and complete his 10-item "to do" listbefore going off to war, Wood provides some wonderful moments ofcomedy, which appear in all the right places."Day Zero" is ensemble acting at its best and cinematographer MatthewClark's extensive use of a hand-held camera is perfect for creating ayou-are-there empathy with the characters. This is a terrific film thatpulls you in and makes you wonder, "What would I do?" It is not apolitical film; it's a perfectly cast people film and you will lovethese people. I hope it gets a distributor and the wide release itdeserves.
CJHammond (08 June 2013)
First of all, I was made aware of this movie by friends. And while Iwas quite an Elijah Wood fan some years ago, I must admit myexpectations weren't really that high.But then I started reading something about the plot and thought, "Hmmm,this *could* be a film worth watching." So, I got myself tickets forthe Monday screening at the Tribeca Film Festival. And I don't regretit a bit! So many questions that I have asked myself many, many timeswere picked up by this movie. Is the war the world is fighting just?Will it help us? Will it make things worse? Why do we feel we must(not) fight? How to justify that? And by having very controversialcharacters as the main players, you have no problem at all seeingthings from both (or rather multiple) sides. Plus, no answers areforced down your throat.Naturally, there still is a message, but, at least to me, it wasn't,"That's not worth fighting for." but, and that's a message hardlyheard, "Suffering doesn't only come from being hurt, but also from(possibly) having to hurt." All in all, I can but recommend this film.A wonderful starting point for having a discussion with your friends(and, even more so, with those you consider do *not* share your opinionon this matter!) So, 10 out of 10 is really what this movie deserves.
(07 June 2013)
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. Rob Malkani who wrote the screenplay for "Dot.Kill" also wrote this script. The movie is a character study; so there's not a lot of action. While Cole does a good job with the pacing, the nature of the movie makes it a bit slow going.Chris Klein plays George Rifkin, a young lawyer whose wife is recovering from cancer. He wants to remain close by her and seeks for ways to get out of the newly implemented draft. Klein was in both "American Pie" films. Here he gives a respectable performance as the young man torn between patriotism and his desire to remain home. His wife is played by Ginnifer Goodwin who played Vivian, the first wife of Johnny Cash, in the film "Walk the Line." Her wide-eyed performance is one of the best in the film.Elijah Wood from Cedar Rapids, Iowa plays Aaron Feller, a novelist who is estranged from his family and emotionally unstable. Wood came before many screen audiences when he played the teenager who discovers a comet in Deep Impact and his classic role in three films based on "The Lord of the Rings." Ally Sheedy who won best actress acclaim for "High Art" from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association & the National Society of Film Critics plays his therapist Dr. Reynolds who doesn't want to listen to Aaron any longer.Jon Bernthal plays James Dixon. Of the three friends, he's the guy who supports the war with a short-trigger fuse. His abbreviated fight scenes give the film short infusions of energy. Bernthal played the interviewer in the film The Air I Breathe. Elizabeth Moss who played the president's daughter on TV's "West Wing" and has been on TV's "Mad Men" plays Dixon's young girlfriend. Her performance is also excellent as she learns that the guy she thought she had finally found is heading off to war. After watching the film, I put it in the box for the next garage sale. I was glad to have watched it one time. Enjoy!
(05 June 2013)
It's 30 days before DAY ZERO, when three friends are to be drafted intothe army during the raging war in Iraq. They react to the news andsomehow come to terms with reality. On this simple (even thin) premise,Brian Cole crafts a well balanced 90 minutes, which manages to cloud aspecific or biased point-of-view. Sure, there's anti-war clambering andpatriotic posturing. There's plenty of flag waving and flag burning,but this film is not about the draft or serving one's country. As areviewer who has already been drafted to face a war (in Viet-nam) andhad to grapple with decisions that would ultimately shape the remainderof my life, I know this film is about "the inner self"Âthe draft beingthe catalyst and the reactions mere symptoms to the rumbling of thehuman spirit or the lack there of.The three stars carry the film a long way and beyond. Chris Klein asGeorge Rifkin represents the majority view, that the draft is a lifeinterrupter. One never gets the impression that George is a coward. Hejust wants to continue his law practice, enjoy his family and wife; andultimately, his anti-draft stance festers from resentment to anger. JonBernthal as James Dixon represents the patriotic view, that "it had tohappen sooner or later," and everyone should stand up and fightterrorism. He is a violent and disturbed man, short fused and drives ataxi for a living, quite a contrast from George. He imprints his viewson his friends without hesitation, but when he meets a girl, his viewsare somewhat tempered. Elijah Wood, in his best performance on screento date (yes, even better than Mr. Baggins), plays Aaron Feller, anaÃ¯ve, fragile man, who has just published his first novel and isworking on the second. He is thrown into a panic by the draft notice.He looks for help in all the right places, and doesn't find it. He thenlooks in all the wrong places, and does. He manages to face his innerdemon and takes the appropriate corrective action.The three friends interact with great chemistry. While Wood carries thefilm's main theme and presents it with pathos and comedy, the morepolitical and preachy messages come from Klein and Bernthal. Bernthal'sraging approach to life is engaging. He is always there for hisfriends, but not without cost. He chews up the scenery. Klein, on theother hand, gets the more conventional row to hoe, with everything fromdraft dodger to conscientious objector. He whines and bleats and tearshis hair out (figuratively. Wood loses his, literally). BetweenBernthal and Klein, we have Macbeth and King Lear, so it is up to Woodto bring the real interest. He crafts his character from thin air, ashis scenes are mostly interspersed vignettes that are visuallyappealing and pathetically comic. In fact, Wood's sense of comedictiming matches the great stars of cinema, like Chaplin. He takes usfrom entertaining comic relief to riveting drama as Aaron takes aroller coaster ride from naÃ¯ve to psychosis in 30 days to Day Zero.This film has only been screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, where Iam sure it will win awards and be picked up by a distributor (if not,the film industry is blind). It demonstrates that in the hands of athinking director, three strong actors can create storms in tea cups.It also provides the viewing audience with Elijah Wood's best of manygreat performances on celluloid, and for an actor nearing his 40thfilm, it is a landmark. AEdward C. Patterson
Brad M (05 June 2013)
i hope there never has to be a draft in this nations future ever again. Not because i, unlike the cowards portrayed in this movie, wouldnt want to go, but because i wouldnt want to serve with such scum as this. These people go throughout their lives living in our free nation as if it is their for the taking and it is a basic human right and not an extreme privilege. This movie honestly made me sick. I understand that this is a movie and these characters and their lives were fabrications, but just the though that there is such cowardice in this nation...words cannot even describe the anger and disgust i feel for this movie and ALL involved with its production. I dont know who directed it and i do not care, but he should be ashamed of himself. Does he not realize that his cushy director lifestyle would not be possible if it werent for the draft and people who actually had the gaul to go and fight for this great nation. So everyone, go join the military.
(05 June 2013)
This review is from: Day Zero (DVD) Day ZeroCONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS!Despite anything you may have read in anyreview..watch this film for yourself. It's worth it.Day ZeroFirst off it's beautifully filmed. You would never guess it had such alow budget. Well thought out shots and camera angles. Excellent use ofclose ups of everyone. Their faces tell the story.It's not entirely about war but about unprepared young men beingblind-sided by being drafted unexpectedly into a war they are unsureof. Even Jon Bernthal's seemingly gung ho character isn't as sure ofwhat he wants as he first appears. He has too much heart and love forother people. He's a genuinely good guy. What will fighting in a realwar and seeing it's horrifying atrocities do to his kind soul? He mightfight and survive but he won't come back the same man. He may have aload of guilt that he will never be able to shake. Ideals shattered.Nobility in shreds. His is the most clearly exposed character and hasthe most screen time. He's very good. A new DiNero.Chris Kline also was good and understated but you can see everything hefeels and how torn he his. To leave his cancer survivor wife that heloves dearly. To abandon his career as a successful lawyer. To fight ina war he does not believe is right. Or submit to a draft he believesdeprives people of their civil rights and due process of law. A solidquiet and painful l portrayal.Then of course Aaron..Elijah. Poor sad outcast Aaron. A person whocannot even be his own friend. A person self-isolated and despite someinteresting life-experiences (the post grad trip to Malaysia) sadlynaive. He is locked within his own self-destructive psyche. If hedoesn't love and respect himself how can anyone else? Still he hasstrong bonds with Bernthal and Kline. They get him. They might teasehim but they understand him and they are his friends and the only oneswho care about him. Elijah is very good. He shows Aaron's patheticshock at having his fragile life invaded by that draft notice. He iscompletely unprepared for any kind of combat. Why he never considersgetting a psych discharge is surprising. He would have easily gottenone. I knew a guy almost just like him back during Vietnam who was soemotionally wrecked that although he braved two weeks of boot camp hedisintegrated so badly the army gladly sent him right home. The armywould have done the same for Aaron, I'm sure! But the poor thing neversees this. Making us wonder if he truly sees himself clearly at all. Hedoes have talent as a writer. Something perfectly suited for his lonerpsychological make-up. He was NOT a fraud as he thought. He took a folktale and enlarged on it for his book. Last time I looked that wasn't acrime. Authors take such things as inspiration all the time. It was notfraud. Aaron never sees his strengths. He just loathes himself and thenwhen it seems Dixon is disgusted with him after that mis-adventure withthe pimp, he really starts to come apart.The head-shaving is a brilliant dissolving into psychosis scene. Hishair really was buzzed off and he still stayed 100% in character. Thatis enormous credit to his professionalism.When he calls his sister and she just blows him off it is the finalbreak for him. He can't see that his friends care. That they would helphim if he would let them. He is lost within his own madness. He cannotsee beyond it. His final decision is so sad because he feels he isvindicating himself and freeing himself. That last smile of his, hisonly real smile in the movie, is chilling. And for anyone who has everbeen there and felt anything like that it resonates deeply.I love how he found this character and made him different from anyoneelse he has played. His Depp-titude is becoming more and more apparent.The little nervous tick of his cheek. The not-quite smiles. Hisineptness around women. ( Best line..."Maybe later." ) His descent intomadness. Elijah has talent in spades.The supporting cast is all very good too. I love the young blondegirl,Sofia Vassilieva, who loves Dixon. She just breaks my heart. Anactress to watch, I'm sure we'll see lots more of her. His oldergirlfriend,Elisabeth Moss, is good, too. Ginnifer Goodwin is prettygood but perhaps not quite the best.All this comes down to why this wonderful, intelligent film got thecold shoulder. Well of course it's never been PC to even appearanti-war. But the thing is that's not really what this movie is about.It's about how war effects different types of people and how they dealwith it. It doesn't tell you what to do it just makes you think whatyou MIGHT do in the same situation.What one thought did I take away primarily? War demolishes lives. Rich, poor, here, there.... it touches everyone to the core and no one remains the same.It's a good film that deserves a wide audience. I hope very much it picks up on DVD and TV the interest it should have.
(04 June 2013)
Tagline: An uninteresting failure with a competent display by ElijahWoodÂ Review by Neo: To say I am disappointed, it is a clear understatement.It is rare that a film can possesses such a fine display from one ofthe co-stars in Elijah Wood, but still ends up a total disappointment.Day Zero doesn't work like a movie, it doesn't provide a movieexperience, but at no times, does it feel real either. It is a filmwith an adequate premise about the possibility of drafting civiliansinto the war against terror. For once, I just cannot see any redeemingfactor for this movie. With just Wood showing potential, the rest ofthe cast with Chris Klein in particular produces an emotionless andpetty display that is more wooden than anything. Likewise, JonBernthal, tries hard, but fails to convince owing to lack of on-screencharisma. Basically, a film is bounded to fail, when the story does notwork, nothing really tend to happen and along with fail performancesfrom the leads. Day Zero is easily a big disappointment.The movie goes like this: Three best friends are about to face theprospect of being drafted into national service on the war againstterror. With just 30 days left, the film shows how different peoplereact, feel and do in the remaining days before reporting on duty.Let's focus on the rare display of positiveness coming out of thisfilm. Elijah Wood has been trying for years to shed his image of beingtypecast as Lord of Rings and there is no doubting that he is one actorwith potential to burn. I thought he was more than convincing in hisrole and the way he depicted the torment of an artist who is atloggerhead with the fact that he is going to be killing human beingsface to face is almost daunting to endure. Being the only shining lightin the film, including a memorable moment in front of the mirror wherehe screams at himself. It is certainly a rare moment of quality thatfails to lighten up the dullness of the flick. As mentioned before,Chris Klein may have the leading man looks, but his acting is far toodisconnecting to the audience. Despite having the chance to play afairly conflicted role, Klein is not impressive and fails miserably.While, Jon Bernthal actually tries to act and does slightly better thanKlein, it is needless to say that the guy has no on-screen charisma andperhaps will fit in better on the small screen than the big one.All in all, Day Zero seems to want to express some sort of messageabout the divided opinion on the war against terror (i.e. how it is theother peoples' war or how we are defending our country), but inreality, it never hits on these issues seriously. Instead the filmtries to focus on how people and humans react to this situation and howordinary people will be affected by issues like these. While it isinteresting to think about the prospect, the filmmaker fails to add anhuman touch to the proceeding and the effect is by the 45 minutes mark,the audience is looking at their watches, thinking, when is this filmgoing to end. By the time, it ends, I am unable to feel or even try tofeel for what has happened, as the film is impossible to relate to andalmost difficult to connect. Day Zero is really a film that probablydeserves zero marks, but for the performance of Elijah Wood, there aresome brownie points given Â (Neo 2009) I rate it 4/10- www.thehkneo.com
Neil (31 May 2013)
would hate to fight in a was with a bunch of rich draft dodgers like our President. They make me ill.Good movie. Real people who don't want to go to Iraq.
(30 May 2013)
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. This one was enjoyable to watch and still had me thinking about it afterwards.
maryschweitzer (28 May 2013)
I was fortunate to be at the premiere of this film on 4/29/07. Day Zerois set in a future in which we are still fighting in Iraq and the draftis reinstated. It is a character study centered on 3 very differentmen, how they react to a draft notice, and what they do with the 30days they have before they must report (Day Zero).The 3 men: Aaron (Elijah Wood) is a writer with one successful bookalready published and currently working on his second book. George(Chris Klein) is a successful attorney from a well-to-do family who hasjust made partner in his law firm and is married to a woman who hasrecently survived cancer. Dixon (Jon Bernthal) is a cab driver whoseems content with his life Â he lives alone and is good friends with ayoung girl in his building.We learn that George and Dixon were in school together and that Dixonwent to jail (or some kind of juvenile lockup) for 2 years when he beatup some guys that were bullying George. We unfortunately aren't toldmuch about how these 2 met and came to be friends with Aaron oranything else about Aaron's background.The reaction of the 3 men to the draft notice is quite telling fortheir characters: Aaron immediately throws up, George begins to thinkabout how he can get out of being drafted, and Dixon is immediatelyexcited and ready to go (and angry at George for not wanting to serve).Aaron provides what comic relief there is in the first half of themovie. He is incredibly insecure. He has a therapist, but his therapistobviously has no interest in him and does crosswords and her nailsduring their sessions. The fact that Aaron doesn't seem to be botheredby this is another example of his severe insecurity and lack ofself-esteem. Aaron is immediately worried about being killed there Âand about being killed first because he won't be liked. Aaron makes alist of 10 things he wants to do before leaving, which his friendslaugh at and make fun of when he shows them.The movie is beautifully acted and photographed with a greatsoundtrack. It is clear during the Q&A that both the director andwriter are anti-Iraq war, but they don't shove that down our throats inthe movie. I thought they presented a very balanced view of the impactof receiving a draft notice on 3 very different personalities Â Dixonwho is willing to serve is not written as a "bad guy" because he wantsto serve. In fact it is George who is written at several points as theleast likable of the characters as he tries to get out of serving. I amsure there are those who will say this is an anti-war movie but for meit simply showed the toll it takes on 3 very differentpersonalities/lives as they face the real likelihood of dying in a war.And it also shows the unfairness of who has to serve and who doesn'thave to.Elijah Wood did an amazing job Â there is no sign of him at all in thischaracter. Aaron has none of Elijah's poise, confidence, or joy oflife. His funny scenes got good laughs from the audience and my heartbroke for Aaron as he clearly sunk deeper and deeper into his breakdownwith no one to help him Â not his therapist or his friends. I thinkthis is the most complex character Elijah Wood has ever played and hedid an amazing job.My biggest complaint about the film is that Aaron's character wasn'tdeveloped more by the writer and director. I felt cheated not knowinghow he came to be friends with George and Dixon (esp. since we are toldhow George and Dixon came to be friends) and why Aaron is estrangedfrom his family. But most importantly what made Aaron make his finaldecision Â was it fear of death or fear that he couldn't live up to hiswish to "serve with honor"? Or did he simply have a psychotic break?There is nothing simple about Aaron Â I wish we had been able to get toknow him better. But that didn't prevent me from enjoying this film andrecommending it highly.This movie deserves to be seen by people on all sides of the Iraq warissue Â it presents many sides of the debate and I hope will open manymeaningful discussions about the war and the implications ofreinstating the draft.
Brenda Rypens (27 May 2013)
"Day Zero" tells the story of three friends, George, a lawyer who'smarried to Molly, Dixon, a cab driver, and Aaron, a writer. When thedraft is re-installed, they get 30 days to prepare for war.While writer Robert Malkani started working on the script over twoyears ago, the theme is still very accurate. But "Day Zero" is not awar movie, it's more than anything a film about friendship andrelations as George, Dixon and Aaron have to face the truth and theyall have to find a way to deal with the emotions that are going on intheir lives.Chris Klein is very convincing and totally believable as George Rifkin.I thought him to be a coward at first but he turned into a very braveperson. Jon Bernthal was my revelation in the film. I had never evenheard of him before but I thought him to be very refreshing andextremely talented. But Elijah Wood stood out for me and this hasnothing to do with me being a fan. Elijah proved once again howtalented he really is. His portrayal of Aaron is heartbreaking, funnyand convincing. It's fascinating to see him take his character to avery dark place. It just seems so easy for him.The theme of the film could have easily turned it into an over-seriousfilm. It is, but it also has some very funny scenes mixed with somevery emotional scenes. "Day Zero" is supported by great cinematographyand a strong soundtrack.If there was anything I missed, it was character development. WhileGeorge and Dixon are no-nonsense guys, I found it difficult tounderstand Aaron's motives.What I most liked is the fact that the film does not force the answersdown your throat. As a European, I haven't really given the subject alot of thought. But the filmmakers give their viewers the opportunityto make up their own mind, to have their own opinion. Never did I havethe feeling that they were forcing their opinion down on me. But it didmake me think and that's a very good thing.I truly hope "Day Zero" will find a distributor soon so that it getswhat it deserves: a worldwide release!
(27 May 2013)
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 the draft in the current times (even with the government changing it to 35 years old-yeah right). Then as the movie wore on (A therapist who wasn't paying attention to her patient and he doesn't care, the taxi driver friend verbally berates his 15 years known lawyer friend as well as punches him at a party, another trying to get his fathers connections to get him out of the draft) it slowly drifted into a 2 movie. Then about half way through it just got worse and moved into a HARD one-star (guy tries to cut his thumb off as lying just won't work to get out of the draft, taxi driver friends now verbally berates the writer friend, taxi driver friend talks about his hard [wah wah] family life like anyone watching would care about this person, writer friend loses it at the end). All above is good enough for a one star but there was another thing that peeved me. I have never seen a movie that I recall in where it would like you to be concerned for the characters but instead made you loath each and everyone of them by the end. Case in point, after beating up a pimp later in the movie (a scene subsequent to him punching his best friend) he exclaims "Do you think I like doing this?" and we all should really see life from his point view. Uh-NO. This is the same guy who after knowing he is going to the draft starts a relationship and just is so "hurt" when he has to tell her he's leaving all while spouting off to all his friends to be less "self-centered." Even Elijah Wood's character admits to "plagiarism" and by movie end shaves his head and gets tattoos in a complete contradiction of the character he has displayed in the movie. Oh and Mr. Movie wants you to be sympathetic to him too. In addition in almost no possible scenario would these three ever be friends and if it was the case what a superficial group.
(26 May 2013)
Day zero is a great movie. It is a complex, emotional and yet still honest look at a diverse group of friends and their nuanced reactions to the (hopefully unlikely) consequence of the reinstatement of the draft. There have been a number of "911 films" made in the last couple of years and, for the most part, they either played the "conspiracy theory" card or the "our brave heros" card. This movie looks at ordinary people, doesn't take a particular political stance, and helped me imagine what it would be like to go through the experience.I would strongly recommend this movie to just about anyone, with the very minor caveat that it is not a feel-good movie - it is a real look at a very charged situation, so watch it when you are ready to do so, but definately watch it.
(26 May 2013)
I have been a huge fan of Elijah since The War. But I find this movie below his usually performance. The story is a good one but they could have developed a bit more the psyche of the characters instead of focusing on only some aspects. Damn difficult to review without giving away too many details. All in all, enjoyable and worth watching but don't expect a future classic. Would have love to see the relations between the three friends if only two had been drafted...
Jay Harris (26 May 2013)
This film from 2007 is set in a near future where the draft has beenreinstated.As in life & fiction all these stories must be about a trio,no matterwhether it is a comedy, drama or musical.Our three buddies are in their late 20's,they even went to the sameHigh School (STUYVESNT-one of the highest rated public High Schools).BTW I am a graduate of same High SchoolThey are very well acted by Elijah Wood, he is in the middle of writinghis second novel.Chris Klien as an successful married attorney, and DonBerenthal a taxi driver.They all receive there draft notices the same day. How the 3 of themreact to this event & the war is the crux of the story. GinniferGoodwin & Elizabeth Moss are the wife & girl friend of 2 of them. AllySheedy has a nice few scenes as a shrink.Bryan Gunner Cole in his first feature directorial effort showspromise.The script is by Robert Malkani,there are more than a fewscript problems.The movie runs only 90 minutes but the last 30 are at a crawl pace.I question the very last scene with Elijah,I wonder what was the reasonto do what he did.The film had a very short 2 screen run for 2 weeks in Jan.2008 Itdeserved a better release than this, Granted this is my standard gripe.Half way decent films like this are short shrift-ed, BUT stupid moroniccomedies open in over 2000.Ratings: *** (out of 4) 81 points(out of 100) IMDb 7 (out of 10)
Review total: 20, showing from 1 to 20