Thirteen Days (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Thirteen Days (2000)



Critic Consensus: Thirteen Days offers a compelling look at the Cuban Missile Crisis, and its talented cast deftly portrays the real-life people who were involved.

Movie Info

For thirteen extraordinary days in October of 1962, the world stood on the brink of an unthinkable catastrophe. Across the globe, people anxiously awaited the outcome of a harrowing political, diplomatic and military confrontation that threatened to end in an apocalyptic nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. The alarming escalation of events during those fateful days brought to the fore such public figures as Robert McNamara, Adlai Stevenson, Theodore Sorenson, Andrei Gromyko, Anatoly Dobrynin, McGeorge Bundy, Dean Acheson, Dean Rusk, and General Curtis LeMay. In addition many others -- politicians, diplomats and soldiers -- were on the front line of the showdown. In Thirteen Days, we see all of these people, -- and, above all -- President John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby, through the eyes of a trusted presidential aide and confidante, Kenneth P. O'Donnell.more
Rating: PG-13 (for brief strong language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: David Self
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 10, 2001
Box Office: $33.1M
New Line Cinema - Official Site


Kevin Costner
as Ken O'Donnell
Bruce Greenwood
as John F. Kennedy
Steven Culp
as Robert F. Kennedy
Dylan Baker
as Robert McNamara
Henry Strozier
as Dean Rusk
Frank Wood
as McGeorge Bundy
Len Cariou
as Dean Acheson
Michael Fairman
as Adlai Stevenson
Lucinda Jenney
as Helen O'Donnell
Bill Smitrovich
as Gen. Maxwell Taylor
Ed Lauter
as Gen. Marshall Carter
Kevin Conway
as Gen. Curtis LeMay
Kelly Connell
as Pierre Salinger
Elya Baskin
as Anatoly Dobrynin
Madison Mason
as Adm. George Anderson
Christopher Lawford
as Cmdr. William Ecker
Boris Krutonog
as Alexander Fomin
Charles Esten
as Maj. Rudolph Anderso...
Jack Blessing
as John Scali
Olek Krupa
as Andrei Gromyko
Stephanie Romanov
as Jacqueline Kennedy
Janet Coleman
as Evelyn Lincoln
Dakin Matthews
as Arthur Lundhal
Walter Adrian
as Lyndon Johnson
Peter White
as John McCone
Tim Kelleher
as Ted Sorensen
James Karen
as George Ball
Daniel Ziskie
as General Walter `Cam'...
Jack McGee
as Mayor Daly
Drake Cook
as Mark O'Donnell
Caitlin Wachs
as Kathy O'Donnell
Jon Foster
as Kenny O'Donnell Jr.
Matthew Dunn
as Kevin O'Donnell
John Aylward
as Orville Dryfoos
David O'Donnell
as Lieutenant Bruce Wil...
Vivien Straus
as White House Aide
Gene Del Bianco
as Petty Officer
Daniel Vergara
as OAS President
Reuben Moreno
as Argentine Diplomat
Thomas Roberts
as Sonar Operator
Sean Bergin
as Chief Sonarman
Alan Francis
as Executive Officer of...
Robert Munstis
as Radio Room Operator ...
Michael Gaston
as Captain of USS Pierc...
Joseph Repoff
as Radio Room Operator ...
J. Tucker Smith
as Captain of USS Kenne...
Chris Henry Coffey
as Officer of Destroyer
Oleg Vidov
as Valerian Zorin
Radu Gavor
as Romanian Delegate
Zitto Kazann
as Chilean Delegate
Alex Veadov
as Radio Room Operator ...
Tom Everett
as Walter Sheridan
Karl Makinen
as Young FBI Agent
Boris Lee Krutonog
as Alexander Fomin
Charles Barrett
as Air Force NCO
Darryl Smith
as Football Coach
Alan Graf
as Football Referee
Robert Miranda
as RFK's Driver
Todd Sible
as RFK's Staffer
Marya Kazakova
as Soviet Woman
Cliff Fleming
as Aerial Coordinator
Ben Koldyke
as RF-8 Pilot
Kevin O'Donnell
as NPIC Photo Interpert...
Tim Jerome
as Journalist
Liz Sinclair
as Kennedy Assistant No...
Colette O'Connell
as Kennedy Assistant No...
Karen Ludwig
as Operator Margaret
Audrey R. Rapoport
as White House Operator...
Marliese K. Schniede...
as White House Operator...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Thirteen Days

Critic Reviews for Thirteen Days

All Critics (139) | Top Critics (33)

An outstanding movie for families with older kids.

Full Review… | December 29, 2010
Common Sense Media

a slightly more accurate mythology of the Cuban Missile Crisis

Full Review… | November 21, 2010
Old School Reviews

"Days" terrifically evinces those days' timorous uncertainty of whether Red dread over ending the world matched Yankee angst. The knowing glances at its conclusion speak volumes: The planet's lucky break had only to do with random chance.

Full Review… | October 31, 2010

Suspenseful and efficient--to the point that it feels like a soulless, though remarkably well-calibrated, machine.

Full Review… | February 15, 2010

An unblinking chronicle of the world on the eve of destruction.

Full Review… | January 15, 2007

Thirteen Days will not satisfy young viewers looking for a thriller or older audiences eager to look behind the scenes of an unforgettable two weeks in history.

Full Review… | June 25, 2004

Audience Reviews for Thirteen Days


Great script, better than average costumes, decent acting (I say that even with Kevin Costner in a leading role!), good directing -- and lots of historical drama. "Thirteen Days" is the Cuban Missile Crisis lesson you wish you'd had in high school.

Christian C

Super Reviewer


"If the sun comes up tomorrow, it is only because of men of good will. And that's - that's all there is between us and the devil."

A dramatization of President Kennedy's administration's struggle to contain the Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962.

In the 1960's few realized how close the world came to Nuclear Winter. Even today, with all the resources at hand, fewer care who prevented the Third World War. One thing is certain, America was enormously fortunate to have had as President of the United States, John F. Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood) during those nearly fatal "Thirteen Days." As the thinking man's president, Mr. Kennedy was lucky to have in his cabinet men of intellect and reason. His main confidante was his younger brother, Robert Kennedy (Steven Culp) who proved invaluable as Attorney General. When the world learned of the Nuclear threat ninety miles away, Kennedy came to rely heavily on his political adviser Kenny O'Donnell (Kevin Costner) who displayed cautious insight and prudent judgment in critical moments which could have proved disastrous had the Joint Chiefs of Staff gotten their way.

Further, Kennedy was definitely fortunate to have selected as his ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson (Michael Fairman) who stood toe to toe with Russian's Valerian Zorin (Oleg Vidov) and did not back down. The film is dramatic and terrifyingly accurate with dated Black and White footage and actual verbal scripts from hidden recordings from the oval office. What we know today is; had the Administration followed the prodding of the military, they would have initiated the Third World War as the Russian military in Cuba, actually had short range Atomic warheads at their disposal. This is a frightening film for rational people.

Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

Great film! A movie that I've watched at school that was legit, not a lame educational movie. A very good adaptation of the drama and conflict behind the Cuban Missle Crisis. Fueled mostly by great performances and powerful dialogue, this film is a great historical drama. The emotion and intensity in the story is very believable. We truly were on the brink of war, and this film I believe captures a realistic look into what occured. I recommend this film to everyone, especially History buffs.

Jameson Worley

Super Reviewer

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