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The Final Countdown (1980)

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No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 4

audience

64

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 7,940

My Rating

Movie Info

The USS Nimitz, a modern-day nuclear-powered aircraft carrier captained by Kirk Douglas, passes through a time warp and finds itself at Pearl Harbor on December 6, 1941. Douglas is all for preventing the infamous Japanese attack by unleashing the 1980s technology at his disposal. But wait--if history is inviolate, what will happen to future events if the attack doesn't come off? For nearly two hours, pros and cons are volleyed back and forth by Douglas, by ambitious senator Charles Durning, and

Mar 27, 2007

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All Critics (15) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (9) | DVD (14)

As a documentary on the USS Nimitz, The Final Countdown is wonderful. As entertainment, however, it has the feeling of a telepic that strayed onto the big screen.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An idea worthy of Harlan Ellison, but disappointingly fumbled.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's filled with technology, special effects and action. But it just doesn't make any sense.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The special effects are funnier than, I suspect, they were intended to be.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Little more than a lengthy Twilight Zone episode.

May 14, 2012 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

One of the better time-travel movies. Generates lots of suspense because it's directed and acted with a great deal of conviction. John Scott's musical score is outstanding.

February 17, 2006
FulvueDrive-in.com

A solid movie with a lousy ending.

March 29, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Great what if sci-fi with a nuclear aircraft carrier, a time warp, and the attack on Pearl Harbor.

March 17, 2003
eFilmCritic.com

Something you'd watch on TV for free without complaint.

May 30, 2001 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Audience Reviews for The Final Countdown

The Final Countdown is a unique and original film that delivers terrific thrills. With a fine cast of talented actors, director Don Taylor crafts this Action Sci Fi film that tells the story of the USS Nimitz send back through time on December 6, 1941, one day before the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. The plot is wonderful, and director Don Taylor crafts a film that definitely is entertaining from start to finish. Sure the film's premise is absurd, and not believable, but that's what makes this such a thrilling film. This is a must see for Sci Fi fans who enjoy a different type of film. The strength of the film lies with its cast and effective directing. Director Don Taylor presents us with a wonderful film that has some terrific visuals. There are plenty of things going for this film to make it worth seeing and the film ends up being so much fun that you just don't care how ridiculous the premise is. This is a popcorn flick pure and simple. This meant for mindless entertainment, and it most certainly does that. If you want a really amusing, then check this one out. The film may have its flaws, but it certainly is a terrific film that is not meant to be taken seriously. With a great cast that delivers on-screen, The Final Countdown is a near flawless fun film that delivers a good plot with fine acting and it overcomes its flaws by being something original. Go into this film with an open mind, you're sure to enjoy, just don't expect a masterpiece. In terms of popcorn films, The Final Countdown is one of the best.
October 27, 2012
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Hard to believe this excellent movie came out in 1980, It was really enjoyable then and still enjoyable today. Great to see the carrier ops from 1980 time frame which haven't change much except for the aircraft on board the carrier. The Nimitz time travels back to the day before pearl harbor an is drawn into battle with Japan, well almost. 5 stars 9-18-12
September 21, 2012
bbcfloridabound
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Captain Yelland: Today is December 7, 1941... I'm sure we are all aware of the significance of this date in this place in history. We are going to fight a battle that was lost before most of you were born. This time, with God's help, its going to be different... Good Luck. 

"Nothing in the world can prepare you for..."

The Final Countdown is a terrible movie. You should know that. But it is one of those movies that is so bad, it's undeniably entertaining in its terribleness. Plus, a first rate cast make things go down a little better. Kirk Douglas commands the movie like a true film veteran. Martin Sheen is fine as well; as are Katherine Ross, James Farentino, and Charles Durning. Nobody is at their best, but how could you be with a movie as ridiculous as this one. 

Umm... plot; get ready. In the 1980's, the U.S.S. Nimitz is at sea, when they enter into a storm, the like of which none of them have ever seen. All of a sudden, the storm stops. They are left in sunny skies, with no damage. Everyone looks at each other. What just happened? No one knows. Soon, evidence starts trickling in that begins to make them believe they have traveled through time to December 6, 1941. Yes, the day before Pearl Harbor. When a run in with some Japanese planes confirms this; they are left to decide whether they should take action and risk changing history or let history run its course. 

Obviously, none of this is supposed to be taken seriously, but it plays itself out in a way that makes me think director Don Taylor was taking it seriously. It's a what if movie. What if a modern aircraft carrier was dropped into a battle that happened 40 years ago? What if we changed history? What if? What if? What if? That's all this movie is, is what if. 

I'm not going to say that the movie is one of the worst movies in history because it isn't. It may be one of the stupidest, but it isn't the worst. There are some redeeming qualities that make the watch more interesting. The film also made me think that making terrible movies would be the most fun job in the world. Sure, you're not going to make a lot of money and people are going to despise your work, but coming up with stupid, off the wall stuff like this and then actually filming it. It's every stoners wet dream.
July 19, 2012
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

not believable but fun
April 1, 2007
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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Latest News on The Final Countdown

January 25, 2012:
James Farentino: 1938-2012
The prolific actor, whose credits included "The Final Countdown" and roles on "Dynasty" and "Melrose...
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