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8.1
/10
556 Ratings

Fail-Safe

Directed by Sidney Lumet
United States, 1964
Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Synopsis

A series of human and computer errors sends a squadron of American ‘Vindicator’ bombers to nuke Moscow. The President, in order to convince the Soviets that this is a mistake, orders the Strategic Air Command to help the Soviets stop them.

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Fail-Safe Directed by Sidney Lumet

Critics reviews

Though Dr. Strangelove was the work of surgical, precise, brilliant filmmaking, Kubrick knew it too well—and couldn’t help but broadcast his genius with every composition and cut. With Lumet you get a more levelheaded, unpretentious buildup, which makes the flourishes all the more hard-hitting—such as a climax that suddenly breaks the studio-bound claustrophobia to show the startling authenticity of New York streets, and freeze-framed civilians quite oblivious to the pending doom.
May 09, 2016
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Kubrickian parody was one inspired response to the absurdity of dual civilizations on the brink of mutual destruction, but Lumet and screenwriter Walter Bernstein’s insights into the ideological horrors of the nuclear age run deeper… So dark a movie would seem an odd choice for a weekend matinee, but FAIL-SAFE is utterly devastating and oddly life-affirming in equal measure. It’s a largely overlooked but critical piece of American mythology.
October 10, 2008
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