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]
The assassination of JFK is one of the biggest stories of all times. It is also the mother of all conspiracy theories together with Roswell with probably thousands of variations. It is far to interesting to ever be left alone. To be fair there is a lot to debate. Kennedy had many enemies in the CIA, military, the mafia who founded his campaign, in politics and other areas that want to get him out of office. As always the investigation got really political, witnesses saw different things from each other (normality with so many people), the report has loop holes and errors were made. I repeat nothing abnormal and the bigger an investigation gets the more errors will be made and inconsistencies will be found. After looking into both sides I have no clue who is right or wrong. But lets go to the movie. The movie is based on the book “On the trail of Assassins” by prosecutor Jim Garrison who made in real life a re-investigation in the assassination of JFK as the official Warren-Report had some inconsistency and weaknesses. The film is well crafted, directed and has a legendary cast of actors. Like I said the story itself is one of the most interesting stories of all time and a mystery people talk about today over 50 years later. The director Oliver Stone knew what he did and made a remarkable movie. The cast is superb with legendary names like Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Bacon, Walter Matthau, Jack Lemon and Donald Sutherland to name a few. Rarely ever get you such a cast of talented actors in one movie and I say everyone delivers. It is a great overall performance that made this movie even better. Then we have the score from John Williams who is a legend himself. It enhances the atmosphere and is fitting. The rest is history as the movie earned fan and critical acclaim. It won 2 Oscars and was nominated for 6 more. Is it factual correct or solves the mystery? I don't know about either or if it can even be solved. It is however entertaining and I enjoyed it in a time where I normally would have avoided such a movie. Overall I think this is a classic worth watching and remembering.
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.
Along with Platoon, Stone's finest work.
A provocative, and intense movie that puts a different spin on history and does so in a highly effective manner.
Will stay with you long after you see it.
In a strong year for cinema, one of 1991's finest.
The end is touching. Thank you Oliver Stone for this movie, that you dedicated "to the young in whose spirit the search for truth marches on". It is important to understand, how politics is working in reality to see through the lies of official versions of big political events. If you know 9/11, you will see similarities. The movie is great of course with many famous actors, even the length of more than 3 hours was not a problem for me.
JFK 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.
Excellent film that puts together some of the fascinating facts about the JFK assasination into a pretty intriguing narrative that is well acted, well cut, overall well executed and directed. It can get bit dull and boring at times if these sort of thrillers aren't your thing. Little if any actual action scenes. This film is almost entirely character and substance driven drama based on real events that took place.
The best aspect of this film is that despite being over 30 years old, the film is still topical to this day. The JFK assasination and assasination of his brother RFK deeply wounded the American social counciousiness and hopefully this incident will someday be conclusively resolved.