Critics Consensus

Although its decision to look at John F. Kennedy's assassination through uncommon perspectives is refreshing, Parkland never achieves the narrative cohesion its subject deserves.



Total Count: 125


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,668
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Movie Info

PARKLAND recounts the chaotic events that occurred in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Written and directed by Peter Landesman and produced by Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, Bill Paxton and Exclusive Media's Nigel Sinclair and Matt Jackson, PARKLAND is the ferocious, heart-stopping and powerful true story never told of the people behind the scenes of one of the most scrutinized events in history. (c) Exclusive Releasing


James Badge Dale
as Robert Oswald
Zac Efron
as Dr. Charles "Jim" Carrico
Marcia Gay Harden
as Nurse Doris Nelson
Brett Stimely
as John F. Kennedy
Jeremy Strong
as Lee Harvey Oswald
Paul Giamatti
as Abraham Zapruder
Billy Bob Thornton
as Forrest Sorrels
Jacki Weaver
as Marguerite Oswald
Jackie Earle Haley
as Father Oscar Huber
Matt Barr
as Dr. Paul Mikkelson
Mallory Move
as Emergency Room Nurse
Elizabeth Tulloch
as Marilyn Sitzman
Ron Livingston
as James Hosty
Jason Douglas
as Ken Howe
David Harbour
as Gordon Shanklin
Larry Jack Dotson
as Acme Brick Supervisor
Austin Nichols
as Emory Roberts
Jonathan Breck
as Winston Lawson
Eugene Lee
as Orderly
Nico Evers Swindell
as Rufus Youngblood
Irene White
as Hospital Switchboard Operator #1
Luci Christian
as Hospital Switchboard Operator #2
Kat Steffens
as Jacqueline Kennedy
Tom Welling
as Roy Kellerman
Mark Duplass
as Kenneth O'Donnell
Gil Bellows
as David Powers
Sean McGraw
as Lydon B. Johnson
Paul Sparks
as Harry McCormick
Samuel Davis
as Trauma Resident
Colin Hanks
as Dr. Malcolm Perry
Gary Grubbs
as Dr. Kemp Clark
Arthur Simone
as Trauma Doctor
Matthew Tompkins
as Secret Service Agent
Gary Clarke
as Admiral George Burkley
Chamblee Ferguson
as Dallas Morning News Lab Tech
Bryan Batt
as Malcolm Kilduff
Ellen Halper
as Acme Brick Timekeeper
Chris Freihofer
as Chamberlain
Rob Gallavan
as Lem Johns
Robert Catrini
as Funeral Director
Chuck Huber
as Hugh jamieson
Rory Cochrane
as Earl Rose
Richard Dillard
as Theron Ward
Drew Waters
as Col. James Swindal
Walter Orr Roberts
as Dallas Police Detective
Dana Wheeler-Nicholson
as Lillian Zapruder
Jeffrey Schmidt
as Richard Stolley
Glenn Morshower
as Mike Howard
Jimmie Dale Gilmore
as Rev. Saunders
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Critic Reviews for Parkland

All Critics (125) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (63) | Rotten (62)

Audience Reviews for Parkland

  • Jul 01, 2015
    Based on Vincent Bugliosi's book, Four Days in November, the film Parkland chronicles the events following the assassination of JFK. What I liked about this film was how it tells a part of the story that isn't widely known. From the doctors at the hospital, working on the President, to the acquisition of the Zapruder film, Parkland goes behind the scenes to tell the untold story. I was also impressed with how the film managed to stick to the facts and not dwell on any of the conspiracy theories that surround the case. Zac Efron stars and really wasn't all that great. I think that Efron needs to stick to what he does best, taking his cloths off and making people laugh. While the film is kind of slow, I really enjoyed Paul Giamatti's portrayal of Abraham Zapruder, the man who filmed the assassination. Zapruder really struggled with releasing the tape to the media and the events he witnessed ultimately destroyed his life. Giamatti's portrayal of the man is supposedly spot on and truly deserves an honor mention. Parkland gives us a lot of new information about the events that followed the assassination of President Kennedy, but a lot of it are things the general public really aren't that interested in learning about. For a Kennedy aficionado, this film must of been eye opening, as for the rest of us, it was an interesting, non-bias view of history, albeit a little boring.
    Todd S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 07, 2014
    I left feeling unsure about what the goal of this movie was. I've seen better documentaries on TV which went much more in depth with the material. Yet being a factual reenactment, they couldn't exactly give much in the way of twists either; the viewer already knows what's going to happen. So it's either a kind of shallow documentary or the world's most predictable drama. As other reviewers have noted, the film tries to follow several different individuals and does a pretty poor job developing any of them to a meaningful extent. It starts pretty much out of the gate with the big event, so we don't learn anyone's background, nor does it follow them more than a few days beyond the tragedy. So again, all extremely predictable to anyone who has read a book or watched a decent documentary on the topic. 2 Stars. 12-10-13
    Bruce B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 25, 2013
    Released just ahead of the 50th anniversary of that tragic day, Parkland is an examination of the JFK assassination from the point of view of the "on the ground" players. It weaves a narrative that examines the event from the point of view of secret service agents, investigators, doctors, and bystanders. It's a film that seeks to paint a picture of the assassination and the immediate aftermath rather than retell history. As a narrative, Parkland is a bit of a mixed bag. There's a plethora of stories to cover, and no one story-line fully pays off. We get the sense of a lot of inner turmoil and frustration, but the film doesn't have the level of cohesion one might like, missing a central protagonist. At the same time, the film's varied narrative approach does give us a more expansive view of the assassination, and involves us in characters that, though centrally involved with the event, often get passed over. Ultimately, it's the performances of the film that really give it the necessary texture in order to maintain our attention. The ensemble cast is quite impressive, and features a number of powerful performances, notably by Paul Giamatti, Ron Livingston, and James Badge Dale. Through their performances we get an authentic sense of the emotion involved, which seeks to anchor the film. As history, Parkland treads lightly between 'mainstream' view and apolitical. The film heavily implies that Oswald acted alone, and conveniently skips over a myriad of inconsistencies involving him. Robert Oswald wears the look of guilt the entire film, looking disapprovingly at his doubting mother. The secret service agents watch in horror at the Zapruder film, yet that film's implications are never explored. As a timeline of what happened and how lives were impacted, it has value, but as a source of investigative work, the film is very dubious. An overall successful film, mostly because of the performances. 3.5/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 23, 2013
    Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, he was brought to Parkland Hospital, and this film is tells the story of what Happened on November 22, 1963 and its subsequent aftermath. Considering the subject, Parkland could have been a standout drama. However as it is, it's an average movie, and though I liked it, I also felt something was missing to really make it standout. Some of the cast were good, and the performances were engaging and captivating, but the film also has a short run time, for which the filmmakers seem to try to crame way too much in a 90 minute film. If the film had been two hours and the script with have been tweaked a bit, and then Parkland might have been a great film, but as it stands it's a good movie that never reaches its full potential. If you're interested in what happened after JFK's assassination, then Parkland might give you an insight, but it never is truly accurate or exposes new information on what happened. Even with all of that being said, Parkland still manages to grab your attention, but if you want to know more about the facts, read up on it, and watch plenty of documentaries because, this film is never a portrait of accuracy, and it seems that the filmmakers focused more on making a short picture that should have been made into a two hour film to really make it something engaging. Here we get that feeling, as the assassination part of the President is pulse poundingly shocking and riveting, because it was a dark part of history, one that still resonates to this day. Parkland is a good movie, unfortunately it does boast a few shortcomings, which makes this an average drama, and it's a shame because its subject is truly captivating.
    Alex r Super Reviewer

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