Zero Days

Critics Consensus

Factors beyond Gibney's control prevent Zero Days from offering a comprehensive look at its subject, but the partial picture that emerges remains as frightening as it is impossible to ignore.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 70

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,218
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Movie Info

A documentary thriller about the world of cyberwar. For the first time, the film tells the complete story of Stuxnet, a piece of self-replicating computer malware (known as a "worm" for its ability to burrow from computer to computer on its own) that the U.S. and Israel unleashed to destroy a key part of an Iranian nuclear facility, and which ultimately spread beyond its intended target. This is the most comprehensive accounting to date of how a clandestine mission hatched by two allies with clashing agendas opened forever the Pandora's Box of cyberwarfare.

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Critic Reviews for Zero Days

All Critics (70) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (64) | Rotten (6)

  • A potent reminder of the unseen threats that face the world today. You'll need a stiff drink after, but that shouldn't discourage you from seeking out this sobering, powerful, and absolutely vital film.

    March 9, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Filled with juicy historical tidbits, it keeps expanding its frame of reference to reveal one of the looming, but invisible threats of the digital age.

    May 17, 2018 | Full Review…
  • ... urgent, even necessary... [Full review in Spanish]

    December 30, 2017 | Full Review…
  • It's remarkable how Gibney packs complex, jargon-heavy ideas into a neat package.

    November 20, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Alex Gibney's powerful documentary looks closely at some recent examples of malware designed to wreak havoc worldwide.

    August 8, 2017 | Full Review…

    Peg Aloi

    Arts Fuse
    Top Critic
  • Zero Days is more than just, as a source puts it, "a cool spy story". It is also a cautionary tale of the dangers of secrecy and a clarion call for an honest discussion on cyber weapons and their lethal potential.

    March 8, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Zero Days

  • Jul 08, 2016
    Documentaries are rarely my cup of tea, considering that many are made about irrelevant or quirky subjects that only serve as an excuse for a filmmaker to dilute an already murky plethora of more deserving feature productions. "Zero Days" serves as an essential and elucidating exception to this trend, and as much as it uncovers, it is only the tip of the iceberg in regards to the subject of cyber crime and espionage. Focusing primarily on the Stuxnet virus (codename: Olympic Games), a malicious code crafted by none other than our National Security Agency and unleashed on the Iranian nuclear energy program by our Israeli buddies Mossad, Alex Gibney takes us on a digi-stylized tour up the tight-lipped echelons of the CIA, NSA, and office of the POTUS. Many of the interviewees invoke the almighty "it's classified" response to a system that has next to zero oversight and is held to little accountability. A program designed to sabotage Iran's nuclear centrifuges that started during the Bush administration and was fostered under Obama's direction led to the rise of Iran's cyber army and an even greater threat to our national security than what the program was intended to deter. One of the scariest take-away lessons from this is that until we acknowledge the white elephant of cyber warfare, the globe is on the edge of another threat to international peace on the level of mutually assured nuclear annihilation. The documentary does drag in places, and there is some ambiguity as to the breadth of who can and can't do anything about the problem, but the ramifications of the Natanz event are made explicitly clear by the whistle-blowers and implicitly daunting in the silence of our own leaders. Don't you feel safe?
    K Nife C Super Reviewer

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