Critics Consensus

An urgent warning against nuclear conflict, Threads is a chilling hypothetical that achieves visceral horror with its matter-of-fact presentation of an apocalypse.



Total Count: 10


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,753
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Movie Info

Originally produced by the BBC, Threads is a shattering speculative tale the onset of World War III, and the horrors of the post-apocalyptic society that struggles for survival. The film takes place in the ruins of Sheffield, a British working class town. Despite the fact that the world seems to be falling apart all around them, a young couple (Karen Meagher, Reece Meagher) intend to go ahead with their upcoming wedding. As the date draws near, however, simmering international tensions soon erupt into global thermonuclear war. In the devestation that follows, the apocalyptic erosion of society sends mankind hurtling back hundreds of years into an age where famine, strife, pestilence, and death wash over the land like an unrelenting flood of venomous bile. The central theme of the film seems to be that the adage "Life Goes On" just isn't good enough in a world doomed to a slow death by radiation. Without resorting to shock or sensationalism, this one makes The Day After and Testament look like kids' stuff. Though not picked up by any of the major American networks, Threads was widely distributed in the US through the auspices of cable mogul Ted Turner. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Threads

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4)

  • It's the accumulation of horrific detail that appalls and truly scares us - not just the putrefying bodies but the severing of civilization's entire network, modern man trapped in modernity's ashes.

    Apr 17, 2019 | Full Review…
  • For all its grim hopelessness, Threads had a subtextual faith that people would understand all this before it was too late.

    Apr 17, 2019 | Full Review…

    Sean O'Neal

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • The only film I have been really and truly scared and indeed horrified by - in an intense and sustained way - is Mick Jackson's post-nuclear apocalypse movie Threads.

    Apr 17, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Threads first aired on BBC2 on 23 September, 1984, and had much the same - albeit vicarious - impact of instant and lasting trauma on its millions of viewers (6.9 million, to be precise) as a megatonne bomb hitting a major city.

    Apr 9, 2018 | Full Review…
  • An over exaggeration in order to compare today to the days of the Cold War? Most certainly. But a sheet of ice on grey pavement would be a fitting metaphor for Threads, a movie that revels in its simplicity.

    Apr 17, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Shocking, harrowing and hard to watch, it nonetheless made an important contribution to an increasingly urgent debate about the world's ever-growing nuclear stockpile.

    Apr 17, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Threads

  • Aug 17, 2018
    An excellent dramatization of a nuclear attack in England whose unique power is hidden in that it demonstrates nuclear devastation under the most positive of circumstances ("what if we knew it was coming and had time to prepare for it?"), underlining the stark reality unfolded. It casts serious shade on other stories of this type but yet, while an superb work that is by no means a feel-good movie but it's certainly one that cannot help but provoke good thought.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • May 09, 2009
    In this VERY graphic dramatisation of a city during the lead up to nuclear war and the following fall-out, we're shown that things would be completely horrible. Got to ask...did anyone think it would be sunshine, peaches and ice-cream all round?
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 13, 2008
    brutal stuff!!! very realistic, this is graphic and morbid..ultimately depressing..but movie production values are high and not much is held back...not exactly entertaining but is gripping drama if apocalypse genre is your thing...
    alan j Super Reviewer
  • Mar 15, 2008
    a nuclear bomb goes off in a northern english town, here, its sheffield, very grimm and brilliantly made, not afraid to tell and show like how it would be, and filmed in 1984, when the cold war was raging, so very relevent at the time, we did this for g.c.s.e english in school, cheered us up no end, but it opened a lot of school kids eyes, especially here in u.k, as we wernt watching hollywod do it, ive not seen this in years, so its memorys of it in school, , i really do wanna see this again
    scott g Super Reviewer

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