The Day After (1983) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Day After (1983)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A peaceful Midwestern city attempts to recover after it is destroyed by a nuclear missile strike. This powerful made-for-TV movie is a deeply disturbing testament to the folly of pro-military hawks who believed that annihilation was a justifiable means of attaining power and control.


Jason Robards
as Dr. Russell Oakes
John Cullum
as Jim Dahlberg
JoBeth Williams
as Nancy Bauer
John Lithgow
as Joe Huxley
Steve Guttenberg
as Stephen Klein
Bibi Besch
as Eve Dahlberg
Lori Lethin
as Denise Dahlberg
Amy Madigan
as Alison Ransom
Jeff East
as Bruce Gallatin
Georgann Johnson
as Helen Oakes
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Critic Reviews for The Day After

All Critics (6)

A major event by any measure, this ABC production resonated far beyond the boob tube, with controversy swirling around its creation, content and broadcast.

June 6, 2021 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

A propaganda film that favors the current politics of the White House. [Full Review in Spanish]

February 5, 2020 | Full Review…

[T]he most realistic depiction of nuclear war ever created for family consumption, they told us. No, scratch that: ABC hyped that, preying on our anxieties...

August 6, 2005

An unforgettable and highly moving experience. I guarantee you - you won't forget it. * * * * stars

June 12, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Day After


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.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

A very scary, powerful, depressing movie. It makes me wish for a quick painless death in the event of nuclear war when it comes. For a TV movie, this has the best special effects you can find. It must have been hard to create the illusion of nuclear war. The cast has many stars, and not just TV stars, film stars. It's hard to watch, but worth it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

This disaster nuclear classic, could be in some scenes boring, but The Day After still a shocking, provacative and moving, anti war masterpiece.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

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