The Day After - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Day After Reviews

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½ February 12, 2017
170212: This film is good for a 1983 made for television movie. Features many big stars. Still makes me cringe years later. What I find strangely interesting is that no one seems to talk about the potential for nuclear holocaust now. The Day After may be dated but is still worth watching. Be warned, especially if the black dog chases you around, it's pretty damn dark.
February 3, 2017
This one is a really good nuclear...end of the world movie
January 25, 2017
This bleak, unsentimental and remorseless film is an ultra realistic, blow by blow of what would transpire before, during and after a massive nuclear attack. It is a tough watch and pretty unremitting in it's dark hopelessness but is also a amazingly sober and well crafted piece of moviemaking with terrific, powerful performances across the board from an impressive cast (Jason Robards, John Lithgow, Jobeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg, to name but a few) the special effects used to realize the nuclear attack is the only place were the film shows it's made for tv budget, but is still an utterly disturbing scene. This is a relentless, terrifying look into a possible future that we should hope never comes to pass.
December 31, 2016
I never enjoy movies of this era because they tend to be too slow in progressing the plot. While this film was a bit slow to get into things, it wasn't because of your typical 80's slow build, it was because there are quite a few different characters to introduce. Once things get going (ie, the nukes drop) the story picks up pretty quickly and is very captivating.
What I enjoyed most about this was its simplistic realism. There isn't really a hero or villain and the day isn't saved, a more earnest reflection of how humanity will likely behave in this scenario.
If you're curious about what the critics had to say on this film, it was pretty well received when it was released during a time when nuclear war was still a very real and present danger.
September 24, 2016
A "very important movie" for 1983, "The Day After" aimed to show Americans what life in the aftermath of nuclear war would look like. It's not the most balanced portrait, focusing on the people who are instantly killed, and those condemned to a slow death from radiation poisoning. In hindsight a lot of the information about electromagnetic pulse effects would probably have to be updated. But the movie is quite stark and reflects the best understanding of the day on the topic which possessed everybody's thoughts during the cold war.
½ August 30, 2016
For a TV anti-war propaganda movie, this hits all the right notes. Brutal, unforgiving, and somber (at times, downright depressing), The Day After doesn't sugar coat the costs of nuclear warfare. What the movie does that is so heartbreaking is to spend its first and second acts within the lives of people before the war, which makes its impact on their families and well-being that much more palpable when the bombs drop. This is about the most real and raw movie about war I've personally seen and I love the fact that its coming from ABC in 1983 and was straight-to-TV.
August 4, 2016
Though it may come off a little cheesy today, watching the helpless people of Kansas City wait for the end is still as terrifying as in 1983.
½ July 3, 2016
This was solid and, considering its epoch, scary. I remember being a teen when this came up, and with U.S./Soviet relations at a nadir, nuclear war films were just starting to appear on the cinephile's radar once again, after taking a breather from their 60's heyday for the sake of the glut of natural disaster films that hit theatres in the interim.

This was one of the first and best, simply because director Nicholas Meyer was so good at sci-fi. I fervently wish he had made a lot more movies.
½ July 3, 2016
This was solid and, considering its epoch, scary. I remember being a teen when this came up, and with U.S./Soviet relations at a nadir, nuclear war films were just starting to appear on the cinephile's radar once again, after taking a breather from their 60's heyday for the sake of the glut of natural disaster films that hit theatres in the interim.

This was one of the first and best, simply because director Nicholas Meyer was so good at sci-fi. I fervently wish he had made a lot more movies.
June 9, 2016
It may not appeal to millenial audiences but this movie 30 years later still inflicts the spine tingling effects of a nuclear holocaust do to the realistic dramatization of a post nuclear wasteland of the midwest
½ February 17, 2016
I remember our family in the early 80s watching this on tv - a glorious but rare event in itself - and we had a howling good time at the beginning with the cheap tv-movie effects and over-acting.
But it did have a few good points, and the truth of dealing with the fallout eventually took over - what is contaminated, what is safe? What can we eat?
Where can we go, who is there left to help?
The gravity of the situations did have an impact, and we continued to watch until the end, and the dramatic panel division afterwards was even more entertaining.

I remember being bowled over by Henry Kissinger's grounded wisdom and common sense, and his main contrasting character who turned out to be Carl Sagan who came of as a pompous know-it-all who kept embarrassing himself with nonsense analogies and derivative theories that confused himself let alone his audience.

It all made Kissinger shine even more tho - I was ready to vote for him to be president and wondered why he wasn't: born in Germany - curses!

Back to the movie - Oddly, not even bumbling, smarmy Steve Guttenburgh could derail this one, mainly bc he has only a few lines, thankfully. But there aren't many redeeming factors here either.

Great concept, mediocre results.

2.5 horrified glares out of 5
October 2, 2015
Shop as usual and avoid panic buying.
August 9, 2015
how to find extended verion?
April 11, 2015
Highly entertaining and shockingly powerful for a TV movie.
January 29, 2015
Great disaster movie! It kept me thinking!
½ January 22, 2015
Didn't hold my interest for more than 15 minutes
September 17, 2014
Not quite at the level of the excellent 'Threads', there's a lot of characters in this and none of them are really given enough time on screen. As a result the film as a whole doesn't really have the emotional impact that it probably should despite some decent ideas and effects for a low budget TV Movie.
Super Reviewer
½ August 17, 2014
Seven years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, when Cold War international tensions were still high, network television (remember network television?) hypothesized about what nuclear mano-e-mano could possibly look like for, say, an typically American flyover state housing a totally innocent missile silo or two ...
With esteemed national treasure Jason Robards leading the large cast through various scenarios, the hypothesis is pretty darn convincing. While not the technical CGI Christmas tree we've come to expect from film lately, and using old fashioned methodologies to involve the audience (plot development and acting, dammit, acting) what's achieved is a gripping narrative about the dormant volcano we've been complacently camped out under for so very long.
Decent. Saw it on YouTube.
February 6, 2014
The Day After is one of the most scariest and thoughtful apocalypse movies I have ever seen. There are images in this film that I can't un-see. Nicolas Meyer (the director of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) does a great job of filming the paranoia and inner thought of the characters, and for turning a nice, calm environment into a bat-shit crazy war zone. The Day After is an anti-war apocalypse film you must see to believe, a classic TV movie.
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