Threads (1984)

Threads (1984)

The viscerally chilling Threads is the kind of film you only watch once

The Very Best



Australia, United Kingdom
English, Russian
Drama, Horror, Science Fiction, War
Ashley Barker, Brian Grellis, David Brierly
117 min


Not a recommendation as such, because Threads is absolutely not for the faint of heart. Proceed with caution.

What it's about

A part-kitchen sink drama, part-documentary-style look at the potential impact of nuclear war on the residents of a northern English town.

The take

Named for all the connections that form a functioning society, Threads is a harrowing look at what might happen when those ties are rent apart by nuclear war. This British TV movie — released during the Cold War — so violently seized on the nuclear anxieties of the time that its premiere was dubbed “the night the country didn’t sleep.” Depressingly, it hasn’t lost that initial resonance, and so it remains a panic attack-inducing watch.

Threads begins in the kitchen-sink vein of a Ken Loach movie. In the northern industrial town of Sheffield, a young couple from different social classes (Reece Dinsdale and Karen Meagher) discover they’re about to be parents — but looming above their small-scale drama are the clouds of war, as televisions and radios blare out the details of escalating tensions between the US and the USSR. And then, it happens: the town is strategically bombed, and Threads unfurls into an unrelenting nightmare. In the documentary-like approach that follows, it spares no graphic or emotional detail, charting both the personal devastation caused by the bomb and the annihilating impact of the nuclear holocaust on all the vital infrastructure we take for granted. In short, one of the bleakest, most terrifying movies ever made.

What stands out

Threads’ multigenerational timeline, harrowing visuals, and two-pronged focus — taking in the personal and the social consequences of nuclear war — can leave no viewer undisturbed by the bleak picture it paints. Its unrelenting brutality can’t be shrugged off, especially when you know it was made in consultation with experts on the subject (and, remarkably, on a low budget). For all the dread it unleashes, then, Threads makes for an extremely potent anti-war film.

Active Streaming Deals

$50 Off DirecTV Stream



Active Streaming Deals

69% Off NordVPN + 3 months Free



Active Streaming Deals

50% Off Sling



Active Streaming Deals

49% Off ExpressVPN




Add a comment

What did you think? Who should watch it?




Frybread Face and Me (2023)

A gorgeous and tender coming-of-age addition to the Indigenous New Wave


Nightmare Alley (2021)

A psychological thriller of the highest quality, masked as an adult fairytale, by the great Guillermo del Toro


Cold War (2018)

A quiet Polish masterpiece with ravishing music and dazzling visuals


Fair Play (2023)

You can't go wrong with the thrill of losing money, power, and love, all in one film


Beanpole (2019)

A brilliantly acted drama set in post-war Leningrad


The Dead Zone (1983)

A characteristically unsettling Stephen King adaptation given a poignant edge by Christopher Walken


Orlando (1992)

A queer magic realist period drama based on the feminist classic


The Earth Is Blue as an Orange (2020)

Art as a lifeline in a war zone


Last Resort (2000)

An expectation-subverting, understated asylum-seeker drama featuring two stellar performances


Navalny (2023)

An urgent profile of Russia’s fiercest advocate (and Vladimir Putin’s greatest opponent)


Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw logo

© 2023 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.