• Unrated, 1 hr. 20 min.
  • Documentary
  • Directed By:
    Koji Masutani
    In Theaters:
    Sep 17, 2008 Wide
    On DVD:
    Oct 27, 2009
  • Global Media Project

Opening

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Virtual JFK: Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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Fascinating stuff, but after a while the film runs out of things to say and falls back on clichés.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

April 9, 2009
Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times
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Director Koji Masutani has masterfully assembled a wealth of archival footage, photos and audiotapes, some of which has been recently declassified.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

March 20, 2009
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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Despite its title, Virtual JFK doesn't imagine a world where JFK survives the events of Dallas and goes on to win a second term as U.S. president. That would be a whole other movie, and a fascinating one at that.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

February 27, 2009
Jim Slotek
Jam! Movies

If nothing else, Virtual JFK does remind us of what it was that made him charismatic.

Full Review Source: Jam! Movies | Original Score: 3.5/5

February 27, 2009
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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The film is a seductive immersion into an early sixties zeitgeist and Cold War cool.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2/4

February 27, 2009
Maureen M. Hart
Chicago Tribune
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The word Iraq is never uttered, but there's no avoiding it as Kennedy asserts during the Bay of Pigs crisis that to attack Cuba, a country that hadn't attacked the United States, would be contrary to our national tradition.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

January 8, 2009
Bill White
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Contrary to its title, Virtual JFK is less a counter-history of the Vietnam years than a tribute to John F. Kennedy's stubborn resistance to a military that pressured him to go to war on six occasions during his short presidency.

Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Original Score: B

December 12, 2008
Ted Fry
Seattle Times
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The controversial process of counterfactual history gets a captivating workout in Virtual JFK.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

December 11, 2008
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
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A compelling history lesson that offers an insightful primer on the Kennedy presidency even while proving sadly germane to our current times, Virtual JFK: Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived spells out its provocative premise in its title.

October 6, 2008
Matthew Nestel
Boxoffice Magazine

Hearty takes and outtakes by Kennedy, his peers and nemeses intertwine objectively to thwart anyone who pegs the work as purely absurdist.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 3.5/5

September 19, 2008
Paul Brenner
Filmcritic.com

plays out like a hagiographic screed

Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Original Score: 2/5

September 18, 2008
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
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Virtual JFK -- directed by Tokyo-born, US-educated Koji Masutani -- doesn't bring up Iraq per se, but the parallels are clear.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 18, 2008
Ken Fox
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Assembles an amazing array of recorded conversations and vintage newsreel, and offers up enough press conference footage to make one nostalgic for the days when an uncowed, penetrating press really did serve the public interest.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 3/4

September 17, 2008
Stephen Garrett
Time Out New York
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Koji Masutani and Blight methodically examine how John F. Kennedy's stalwart authority and nuanced judgment preserved an unambiguous, if fragile, peace at six different inflammatory moments during his presidency.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 4/6

September 17, 2008
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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The title of the documentary Virtual J F K: Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived pretty much says it all, though the movie itself says not nearly enough.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

September 17, 2008
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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The question: Can an individual leader take a nation to, or keep it from, war? The conclusion: Individual temperament matters, and John F. Kennedy's example proves it.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

September 17, 2008
Ronnie Scheib
Variety
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Virtual JFK reps an extended glimpse into a bygone era of statesmanship.

Full Review Source: Variety

September 17, 2008
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine

Argues that nearly 60,000 United States armed forces wouldn't have lost their lives in Vietnam had John F. Kennedy not been assassinated. Duh.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2/4

September 15, 2008
Sara Cardace
New York Magazine/Vulture
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With its fascinating central question (What if ... ) and well-chosen, nostalgic footage of John F. Kennedy in his prime, this well-played documentary manages to escape the fate of other dry historical overviews.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

September 15, 2008
Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

November 18, 2011
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