JFK is the total package. It's masterfully directed. Brilliantly written. Perfectly paced. Flawlessly acted. Sharply edited. I LOVED everything about this movie.
In my opinion JFK is a PERFECT film. This is what cinema is all about. If I used a rating scale out of a 100, it's a 100/100.
While watching this big climax suddenly it hit me. This isn't a film about Jim Garrison and his passion to get the truth out there, this is a film about Oliver Stone's passion to get the truth out there! It's a 3-hour-long "closing argument" that spells out for the audience all that has been found in the many studies of JFK's assassination. Stone even conveniently connect the dots for us, making the assumptions so we don't have to ourselves. There's nothing wrong with this film, and certainly if even half of the things presented as facts in the movie are accurate then it's worth getting the truth out there to general audiences. I applaud the idea, but didn't adore the execution. In many ways it felt like the movie was just throwing as many pieces of damning evidence they could find in an effort to make a point. Sadly the point they make is "We don't have any idea what happened, but it wasn't what the Warren Commission said." I think this movie could inspire someone to look deeper into the truth of things, and to question what we are told, but I don't know how well it holds up as a cohesive story.
The scenes with Donald Sutherland alone, make this unmissable.
Allows you to make your own mind up about the assassination.
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.
This is definitely a film that will leave you thinking and debating for some time afterwards.