JFK

Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29

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Critic Reviews

  1. Newsweek
    Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Nov 12, 2013
    100
    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. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Peter Stack
    100
    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
    90
    Through his art and passion, Stone makes JFK plausible, and turns his thesis of a coup d'etat into fodder for renewed debate.
  7. Miami Herald
    Reviewed by: Bill Cosford
    Nov 12, 2013
    88
    JFK is staggering in its power. [20 Dec 1991, p.5]
  8. Reviewed by: MATT NOLLER
    Nov 12, 2013
    88
    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. 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. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Gene Siskel
    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
    80
    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. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Julie Salamon
    80
    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
    80
    Truth or not, this is an exceptional piece of cinema, deeply provoking and audacious.
  15. 80
    Oliver Stone's JFK is electric muckraking filmmaking.
  16. 80
    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. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    80
    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. Tampa Bay Times
    Reviewed by: Hal Lipper
    Nov 12, 2013
    75
    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. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    75
    It's riveting moviemaking and a boost for what's left of America's ailing collective life. [20 Dec 1991]
  21. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    63
    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.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Nov 28, 2012
    9
    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. May 30, 2016
    10
    JFK is an absolute masterwork of filmmaking and story telling, never has editing and cinematography blanded so well together, to create one ofJFK is an absolute masterwork of filmmaking and story telling, never has editing and cinematography blanded so well together, to create one of the most riveting, educational, thrilling, mysterious, and controversial films of all time. JFK is one of the best pieces of filmmaking i've ever seen, and one of my all-time favorite films.

    With films like this, where the subject matter is delicate and lies close to people's heart, and where it is incredibly controversial there will always be haters of the movie just because they hate it (I've read many reviews like that) without even viewing the film properly, without predjudice or anything like that.
    I am no american, and i am too young to have been alive around 1963, so i knew little about the assassination going into this film, except ofcourse that JFK was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald (which is something i learned in school, i didnt know if it was true or not, i did know that there was some controvery around the assassination though, and that's it) So i went in watching without predjudice. A movie like this will always have historians or other people complaining about how factually inaccurate it is, and frankly, i dont care about this in any way, same with biographies, i dont care if it is incredibly inaccurate, i care if it is a well-made film, and damn, JFK is one hell of a well made film. It's one of the most riveting, educational, thrilling, mysterious, and controversial films of all time. In my honest opinion there really is little to complain here.

    The main thing about this film is exposition and there's a lot of it in the film. There are times when Stone essentially asks us to listen while a character explains things. These scenes could have been deadly. He makes them exciting by using persuasive actors, by cutting between many different points of view, and by reconstructing the events being described. Stone's film is hypnotically watchable. Leaving aside all of its drama and emotion, it is a masterpiece of film assembly. The writing, the editing, the music, the photography, are all used here in a film of enormous complexity, to weave a persuasive tapestry out of an overwhelming mountain of evidence and testimony. Film students will examine this film in wonder in the years to come, astonished at how much information it contains, how many characters, how many interlocking flashbacks, what skillful interweaving of documentary and fictional footage. The film hurtles for 188 minutes through a sea of information and conjecture, and never falters and never confuses us. That is not to say that we are quite sure, when it is over and we try to reconstruct the experience in our minds, exactly what Stone's conclusions are. "JFK" does not unmask the secrets of the Kennedy assassination. Instead, it uses the Garrison character as a seeker for truth who finds that the murder could not have happened according to the official version.

    JFK is one of the best edited films of all time.
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 15, 2015
    9
    Absolutely epic and amazing movie. Always feels thrilling, exciting and actors are flawless. This is one of Oliver Stone´s best movies and oneAbsolutely epic and amazing movie. Always feels thrilling, exciting and actors are flawless. This is one of Oliver Stone´s best movies and one of my absolute favourites. Yes there are of course some faults, but who cares, great movie. Full Review »