BP’s Top 100 Movie List Challenge #97: JFK, by Sarah Brinks

I’ve decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have tragically never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge. I’ve decided to rate each film using an arbitrary scale based on the board game Battleship (lowest: Destroyer, Submarine, Cruiser, Battleship, highest: Carrier)

JFK is another one of those films that I had heard about for years but had never seen. The over three hour run time was a part of the reason I had never seen the film, but it shouldn’t have been because the movie is well paced and did not feel over-long. JFK is a methodical film, telling the story of the investigation conducted by Jim Garrison into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. JFK has a star-studded cast led by Kevin Costner as Garrison. Director Oliver Stone is known for his political dramas and JFK examines all the aspects of the conspiracy surrounding President Kennedy’s assassination. Garrison looks into Lee Harvey Oswald’s background, the potential CIA cover-up, the angles of the shots, Vietnam War funding, and much more which all raises questions about the “lone gunman” story accepted by the Warren commission.

I did really enjoy the film and actually learned about the assassination and the investigation but there are so many moving parts and such a large cast I occasionally got lost along the way. There were times when I didn’t understand where we were in the flashbacks or the case but I did always manage to catch up, though I doubt I fully understood everything in the film. Costner’s final monologue when he lays out all the evidence, the inconsistencies, and the potential truth behind the case does a nice job of painting a complete picture.

Overall the film is an achievement and a double Oscar winner for editing and cinematography. It is a dense, beautifully made, and well-acted film.

JFK rating: Battleship

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