The film starts in 1948 during Truman's campaign for the presidency, but flashes back to 1917 or so. After that, the film progresses through the story in traditional linear fashion.
Gary Sinise truly brings Harry Truman to life in the film, though the real Truman was far less eloquent than Sinise's incarnation. Even with the eloquence attached, this film would certainly do Harry proud. It shows Harry as he was: Honest, fair minded, and humble. He never wanted to be President of the United States, but he was pressured by F.D.R to be his running mate in the 1944 election. He only became President when Roosevelt died. He said it was as if "the moon, the stars, and all of the planets" had fallen on him. The film covers his decision to use the bomb on Japan, the entrance to the Korean War, and his decision to fire General Douglas MacArthur. He was a man who heard the call of his country, and did what was best for us. He showed us that the best leaders, sometimes are the ones who never sought power, but had it thrust upon them.
Diana Scarwid does a good job as Bess Truman, considering how the real Bess was an intensely private person, even while in the White House. (She only ever had one press conference, and she spent most of her time at their house in Independence Missouri.) She was not an Elenore Roosevelt/Jackie O/Nancy Reagan/Michelle Obama type of first lady, she wasn't even first lady material, but she certainly was the perfect match for the president.
There are a few qualms I found with the movie; It uses some intercut news reel footage of the real President Truman. Sinise captures the soul of the man, and you could swear you are looking at him when Sinise acts, but when you have real footage to compare to during the film, the physical differences become evident, and it gives the film some cheesiness. (It's not over bearing, it just is a little too noticeable when you watch it.)
The film has a very condensed feeling. I think it would have been better as a "John Adams" like miniseries.
Over all, I would have to give this film an A+. It's very long, but it worth the watch.