Executive Action - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Executive Action Reviews

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December 3, 2016
Shrugged off by public and media, this is an utterly disquieting conspiracy theory on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, meticulously choreographed by a clique of rouge right-wingers.
½ November 22, 2016
A heartless dramatization film that sometimes uses real life footage to tell the possible real story behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The movie shows how a soulless elitist group with immense political power turned Lee Harvey Oswald into their own personal puppet to do their bidding. What I never knew was simply a written text on the screen just as the end credits were ready to roll. It was about the mysterious deaths of 18 witnesses just three years after the assassination (one even from a karate chop to the neck). "An actuary...concluded that on November 22, 1963, the odds against these witnesses being dead by February, 1967, were one hundred thousand trillion to one." Let that sink in.
Super Reviewer
½ July 2, 2016
Long before Oliver Stone's conspiracy theory movie, JFK, there was this movie, Executive Action. Worth watching for it's provocative theory that President John Kennedy was assassinated by a band of wealthy right-wingers for their personal gain.

Unfortunately, Burt Lancaster and Robert Ryan, great actors, seem to go through the motions. But, the story is engaging, especially for fans of political intrigue.
April 20, 2016
Oliver Stone borrows from this conspiracry thriller for his 'JFK"
April 13, 2015
Watching this movie will certainly leave you believing that Burt Lancaster and Robert Ryan had Kennedy killed. Unsettling movie connects the dots among all the strange inconsistencies of November 22, 1963 into a broad conspiracy movie that certainly was capitalizing on the Watergate paranoia of the time. The film's sparse docu-drama style lends everything a very believable quality as well as the intricate inter cutting of actual footage from Kennedy's trip. Ryan and Lancaster add weight to roles that are really one dimensional and today are seen almost as caricature, but in their hands there is still some honest menace. The final reveal of the movie regarding the deaths of the witnesses leaves the viewer with an effectively ominous final chord to go out on.
½ November 19, 2013
I thought this was a very good movie.
October 19, 2013
A movie that blends actual news footage of the Kennedy assassination with scripted film. May be the earliest movie I have seen so intertwine the two. The script follows the (for the most part plausible) conspiracy theory that JFK's assassination was planned by a group of ultra-rich right-wing industrialists. I think much of what caused JFK's death did have to do with his desire to pull out of VietNam and that Oswald was obviously a patsy. But Kennedy had upset the Insiders, and the Insiders only use the right-wing/left-wing dichotomy in a strategy of divide and conquer on the rest of us in order to consolidate their power. If the Insiders succeeded in 1963, just imagine how much better they are at it today. (They're still pretty sloppy - Gordon Kahl, Ruby Ridge, Waco, Vince Foster, Oklahoma City/Ken Trentadue, etc.) To note, this movie prophetically forecasts the population of the third world in 2000 at 7 billion, "Most of them Yellow, Brown or Black. All hungry and all determined to love; they'll swarm out of their breeding grounds into Europe and America."
October 12, 2013
I recently bought this movie, just watched it. I grew up in Dallas, and was in high school the day Kennedy was killed.I well remember the day. When we were given the news school was dismissed for the day. I was quite upset that it had happened, that it had happened in my city, and was worried about the stain it would forever put on us. The movie was very interesting, but I am not a conspiracy theorist. As a retired deputy sheriff the one thing about the movie that sparked my interest was the use of an electronic siren in the replay of a part of the movie. I am not sure, but I do not think they were in use at that time. If you will note all of the vintage tv film showed only motorized coaster sirens. I do recall when they were first used in Dallas, but not the year. We lived a few blocks away from Gaston Avenue, a major traffic artery. We heard sirens all the time. The first time I heard an electronic siren, I did not know for sure what it was, and what was happening. I thought the film overall was rather well done, and fit in with the time period.
October 6, 2013
I was always very interested in the theories of JFK's Assassination. In fact I wrote two political thrillers that are loose composites of the JFK & RFK Assassinations. I am very well read on the subject. When I saw this film in 1999 I felt it was a better film than JFK. I thought that this film was a better technical summary of what actually happened. The plot & its theory are closer in my view to what actually happened in 1963. Outside of airings on the late night re-run channel this movie was just about "blacklisted" by the establishment in the US. It barely saw the light of day in the US & made a short run at the theaters. The established order did not want the film around & so it wasn't. I also thought the acting in the film was more realistic than JFK.

JFK was a really good film, but about 30 % of the movie was bs. The private sector got rid of JFK. JFK was essentially an economic conservative. He wanted to get rid of the Federal Reserve, cut the oil depletion allowance that heavily benefited Big Oil, & wanted to get out of Vietnam. This film is closer to that theory. I read one of Harrison Livingstone's books, & he also proposes that theory. Big Oil & Big Defense Contractors run the country. It's even worse now than it was then. The government as a general entity did not kill JFK. The High Cabal got rid of him because of the power that they possess. The CIA as an official body did not kill JFK. This film is the best on the subject with JFK (1991) being the 2nd best. Flashpoint (1984) is about the JFK murder but does not really propose a theory on it but just shows how the government could try to cover it up. It is still a good movie. Ruby (1992) is a mediocre film. The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald (1976) is really good for a made for tv movie.

The film was very well acted & many of these actors are no longer with us. The film focuses heavily on the framing of Oswald by these right wing business tycoons. They are so cold blooded that they go about the plot in a very unfeeling manner. They are literally heartless. What I liked about this film is that it informs us & entertains at the same time. JFK was basically a threat to their "money pile" & the established order of how things are "supposed" to work. When I first saw this film in 1999; I did not even know that it existed. I am a huge film buff but that is how obscure it was.

One of the issues that they analyze at the end of the film is that people "have" to believe in the fairy tales of lone gunman, & they do not have a clue of who really runs the country. After viewing a film like this it really makes you ponder if we really live in a democracy or under the dictates of a ruling elite of big business & the like. It was a nightmare and yes it was a conspiracy. Do not miss this one. It is an underrated sleeper of a film. I just wish more people saw it in 1973. That is how important this film is.
March 16, 2013
great little jfk conspiracy thriller with dynamite perfomances forom legends Burt Lancaster and Robert Ryan
December 21, 2012
Two men (Burt Lancaster and Robert Ryan) take a minute by minute perspective (or second by second as it felt like to this viewer) of the murder of John F. Kennedy. They go essentially through one paragraph or sentence of information and present it in the slowest form to the viewers at home. As one critic noted this "excruciatingly dull thriller [was supposedly intended] to clear the air about the JFK assassination but was more successful at clearing theatres." I can see why! Hard to understand how two fine actors, Lancaster and Ryan, got themselves into this boring disaster. 18 years later, Oliver Stone came out with the film JFK, one of best films of the 1990's. Watch that one! Don't watch this!
October 8, 2012
Before Oliver Stone set out to prove the Kennedy assassnation wasnt just one guy acting alone, a little seen 1973 movie showed how big business and right wing interests sought to do away with the Kennedy clan once and for all.

The films itself takes only and hour and a half to weave its arguements but despite the brief running time the film works well as the scenario behind it feells all to real.

A lot of the filmakers and the cast had been hounded by Communist hunters during the 40s and its easy to see where loyalties lie in shaping conspiracy.

The cast are all good with Burt Lancasters planning operative and Robert Ryan as a ruthless business man leading a fine supporting cast.

The plot is interesting and its also amazing that only 10 years after Kennedys murder an intricate conspiracy theory had already taken hold.
July 28, 2012
Altho this must've seemed pretty interesting for the time (and not at all representative of its dismal performances with both public and critics), it seriously pales compared to JFK. Notable mainly as the first major film to point out the obvious conspiracy behind the Kennedy assassination.
July 14, 2012
A good thriller, and an interesting application of the military-style "mission" film with all antiheroes. We understand their fictional motivations to do something truly awful, for awful reasons they believe are justified. The film may not be dripping with the melodramatic emotion of modern acting styles, and some of the lesser actors are even slightly wooden. But the writing is good, and the low-key performances create an overall creepy and paranoid tone.
January 8, 2012
my dad told me about this after telling me it got pulled from theatres 2 days after he saw it... definitely more believable than Ancient Aliens on the History Channel
Super Reviewer
June 16, 2011
This was really the first mass media piece to put out a conspiracy theory about the Kennedy Assassination. Unfortunetly it was banned and shunned almost right away. The film admits from the start that it blurs some facts and details with Dalton Trumbo's imaginative non-fiction. It's hard to believe that this came out only 10 years after said watershed event, considering how much attention Oliver Stones "JFK" got for being contraversial almost another 20 years later.
½ March 30, 2011
It takes the true events of the JFK assassination and adds a creepy conspiracy plot. Its a taut and methodical film, with slow pacing but a suspenseful and tense climax. A few recognizable stars to hold it all together and it makes for a controversial movie that opens up a lot of questions.
April 14, 2010
Startingy effective conspiracy thriller that takes an infamous historical event and shows a fictionalized version of "the truth." The use of documentary footage along with a sharp screenplay make this even better than Oliver Stone's examination of the same subject, "JFK" from 1991, seem long and even boring. This gets right to the point in showing how AND why it could have happened this way.
½ April 12, 2010
Not a bad effort of "what may have happened" from the point of view of the "baddies" when killing JFK. Lacks the tension "JFK" had but not a bad effort.
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