Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Nov 12, 2013
    If history is a battlefield, JFK has to be seen as a bold attempt to seize the turf for future debate. It is also "just" a movie, and one that for three hours and eight minutes of dense, almost dizzying detail, is capable of holding the audience rapt in its grip. [23 Dec 1991, p.50]
  2. 100
    Stone and his editors, Joe Hutshing and Pietro Scalia, have somehow triumphed over the tumult of material here and made it work - made it grip and disturb us.
  3. Director Oliver Stone has fashioned in JFK a riveting, dramatic and disturbing look at one of the great whodunits of history. [20 Dec 1991]
  4. [Stone's] filmmaking is so supple and alive, his obsession with the visual aspect of history so electrifying, that JFK practically roots itself in your imagination.
  5. 90
    JFK is Stone's best and most emotional film since "Platoon."
  6. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Through his art and passion, Stone makes JFK plausible, and turns his thesis of a coup d'etat into fodder for renewed debate.
  7. Reviewed by: Bill Cosford
    Nov 12, 2013
    JFK is staggering in its power. [20 Dec 1991, p.5]
  8. Reviewed by: MATT NOLLER
    Nov 12, 2013
    JFK still retains a primal power; no number of derivative, headache-inducing CSI episodes can blunt the impact of Stone's aggressive visuals, and the film's plea for accountability and honesty in government is as vital now as ever.
  9. Controversy and all, JFK is one of the year's most powerful and provocative films.
  10. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Director and co-screenwriter Oliver Stone pulls off an amazing filmmaking feat with JFK, transforming the dry minutiae of every John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theory of the past three decades into riveting screen material.
  11. 88
    Does JFK capture the truth? Possibly, in a poetic sense. Is it a compelling film? Most assuredly. [20 Dec 1991]
  12. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Nov 12, 2013
    So is JFK a good movie? Actually, it’s a great movie that looks better with each passing year. Even aside from what it’s saying, and even with the many, many forced moments, JFK has a mad genius about it.
  13. It's powerful film making that at the very least accomplishes what Mr. Stone said he set out to do - to offer the world an alternate myth. [20 Dec 1991]
  14. Reviewed by: Torene Svitil
    Truth or not, this is an exceptional piece of cinema, deeply provoking and audacious.
  15. Reviewed by: Staff [Not Credited]
    Oliver Stone's JFK is electric muckraking filmmaking.
  16. Reviewed by: Desson Howe
    Stone creates a riveting marriage of fact and fiction, hypothesis and empirical proof in the edge-of-the-seat spirit of a conspiracy thriller.
  17. Disturbing, infuriating yet undeniably effective, less a motion picture than an impassioned. [20 Dec 1991]
  18. Stone makes it virtually impossible to leave the theatre convinced, beyond all shadow of doubt, of the lone gunman theory.
  19. Reviewed by: Hal Lipper
    Nov 12, 2013
    Stone's riveting three-hour movie freely mixes black and white and color documentary footage with pseudo-documentary and dramatic footage, so the line between real and fabrication is constantly blurred. [20 Dec 1991, p.7]
  20. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    It's riveting moviemaking and a boost for what's left of America's ailing collective life. [20 Dec 1991]
  21. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    JFK is provocative, a technical primer and an ensemble treat with unusually well- realized star cameos. [20 Dec 1991]
  22. 63
    The movie is often tremendously exciting.
  23. The movie, which is simultaneously arrogant and timorous, has been unable to separate the important material from the merely colorful.
  24. Reviewed by: Stephen Hunter
    JFK is entertaining, if only because the cast of characters in the New Orleans underground is so bizarre. [20 Dec 1991]
  25. Reviewed by: Ted Mahar
    JFK drags but is undeniably fascinating. [20 Dec 1991]
  26. It is preachy, didactic and heavy-handed as only an Oliver Stone movie can be. And yet ... and yet... despite all this, the film has an undeniable cumulative power. [20 Dec 1991]
  27. Reviewed by: Jay Boyar
    Nov 12, 2013
    JFK is a limp, semi-coherent, boring movie. [20 Dec 1991, p.21]
  28. A three-hour oration, rambling and familiar and repetitive, during which director Oliver Stone uses the assassination of John Kennedy as an elaborate pretext for delivering a dull sermon. [20 Dec 1991]
  29. Stone's all-purpose conspiracy theory, built like a house of cards, rivals "Mississippi Burning" in its sheer crudeness and contempt for the audience.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Nov 28, 2012
    Oliver Stone delivers the epic tale of Louisiana D.A. Jim Garrison and his crusade for the truth about the assassination of President John F.Oliver Stone delivers the epic tale of Louisiana D.A. Jim Garrison and his crusade for the truth about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I've heard many different things about the legitimacy of "JFK", but it does bring up a series of valid questions surrounding Kennedy's murder. Everyone in this star-studded cast brought their A-game for "JFK". From Kevin Costner's commanding turn as Jim Garrison to Gary Oldman's dynamic portrayal of Lee Harvey Oswald, the acting remains a flawless aspect of the film. Another aspect of the film I admired was the Oscar-winning cinematography. Cinematographer Robert Richardson does a stunning job at seamlessly integrating actual archive footage and mock archive footage into the film. He also does a fairly impressive job with lighting techniques in some more tense scenes. Overall, "JFK" struck a very powerful chord with me, and it remains a fairly provocative film that enforces that the power to question is one of the most effective abilities of the citizens of a country. Full Review »
  2. Jun 7, 2013
    Three years after the assassination of John F Kennedy new evidence has come to light and District Attorney Jim Garrison decides to conduct anThree years after the assassination of John F Kennedy new evidence has come to light and District Attorney Jim Garrison decides to conduct an in-depth investigation into the President's murder unearthing a number of theories on the events that occurred.

    Based on the books "On the Trail of the Assassins" by Jim Garrison and "Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy" by Jim Marrs Oliver Stone’s J.F.K is let down slightly is in its inability to choose which conspiracy theory it supports. At least five are mentioned including the CIA, the mafia and weapons manufacturers meaning that even after the three hour running time viewers will be left none the wiser as to who might have actually been behind the assassination. Despite this it certainly presents a compelling case against the widely believed lone gunman theory and will certainly inspire some to delve a little deeper into that fateful day in 1963.
    Full Review »