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Fascinating in its depiction of presidential leadership in action. Read full review. Owen Gleiberman. A big, square, rousing political thriller docudrama. David Ansen.

Keeps you hanging on every twist and turn of its wilder-than-fiction plot. Greenwood gives a nuanced performance that may be the film's best work, but at times his surface dissimilarities to JFK are jarring.


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Richard Schickel. The players don't particularly look like their historical models, but they make us feel their life-threatening pain and puzzlement.

Thirteen Days (film)

Marc Savlov. A suspenseful breath of fresh air following on the heels of one of the dumbest Hollywood summers in recent memory. Michael Sragow. A thoroughly bland and mediocre movie about the Cuban missile crisis. User Score. Write a Review.

User Reviews. This review contains spoilers , click expand to view. It gives us an insight of how decisions were made by President Kennedy during those 13 crucial days. Starting from when the missiles were first discovered and ending when the deal was made. This film is a huge reminder of how close the world was to global annihilation with two great powers pointing weapons of mass destruction threateningly at each other.

The President has the power to order airstrikes and react to threatening situations such as that of the Soviet Union with the 40 and more missiles, all he has to do is make a call. The scenes in which President Kennedy makes his decision, and has it executed, shows how much power he possesses. One call can change the destiny of the citizens of the United States. This is still apparent today as President Obama is entrusted with controlling the United States along with its people.

Even now, few people have the power to deploy weapons of mass destructions, such as the President.

Invitational Rhetoric - Cuban Missle Crisis

The threat of nuclear war, which the Cuban Missile crisis avoided, is still active today as the United States still possesses nuclear weapons. This film introduced a number of new things to me. I was not knowledgable of the fact that the generals kept pushing the President to have airstrikes and ultimately invade Cuba. The generals not only suggested this over and over again for the good of the people, they also wanted to redeem themselves from the failure at the Bay of Pigs.

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The continuously pushed the President, up to the point where he nearly considered it the best option. In addition to the tension between the generals and the President, I was also not aware of the fact that the President required the unanimous vote of the OAS Organization of the United States in order to go ahead with the blockade. He requested for these votes after the pictures of missiles being tested for launch in Cuba reached him.

Lastly, I was interested in the fact that there were two letters sent before the deal which ended the crisis happened. The first was, according to the film, from Khruschev himself requesting that a deal could be made. This first letter gave the United States hope that violence was out of the question and that this crisis could finally end by peaceful means. However, the second letter sent was more aggressive. I was surprised with the fact that the administrators with the President suspected a coup during the second letter. Overall, this film helped open my eyes to a lot of the behind the scenes of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Thirteen days kept me interested and on the edge of my side due to the fact that the President had to make decisions within a short period of time. This is a movie where you can clearly see that time is of the essence. The different opinions and views expressed during meetings with the President helped put the problem in perspective as the President worked step by step. I think the film did this really well as I could see how the gears worked in making a final decisions, I could also see where the President was coming from every time he made a decision.

Ratings and Reviews

However, one aspect of the movie that confused me were the black and white scenes. As a whole, I enjoyed the movie as it gave me insight into one of the most intense days in United States. This movie helped me picture this certain era as being unstable and fragile. There was a lot of pressure on the President from the generals, the administrations, the citizens and the press.

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Along with the pressure, the tensions between the Navy, the Generals and the President took a toll on every decision made during those thirteen days. It's a pity the film didn't have the guts or, perhaps, the funding to leave Costner out of it, and let these splendid actors carry the story.

The film has been criticised for setting no scenes in Moscow, and relegating Cuba to a few shots of palm trees being bulldozed by burly Russians. It's certainly one-sided, but historically this is legitimate.

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Thirteen Days (film) - Wikiquote

The fact that the American characters do not know what is going on in Moscow, and do not care what is going on in Havana, captures precisely the tone of the many memoirs which emerged from the Kennedy administration. It's easy to forget how invisible the rest of the world was from Washington in There wasn't even a telephone line between the White House and the Kremlin. Khrushchev was reduced to broadcasting messages for Kennedy over Radio Moscow.

Thirteen Days is lavishly pro-Kennedy, and correspondingly hard on some supporting characters. Its McGeorge Bundy unjustly resembles, in look and temperament, Dick Cheney, though seeing as the film was released in this must be a coincidence. The joint chiefs of staff are thoroughly Dr Strangeloved-up.

Only one passing reference is made to the midterm elections that were upcoming at the time.

Thirteen Days

The real O'Donnell said that Kennedy's first comment to him when the crisis broke was about how two militant anti-Castro Republicans would fare at the polls: "We've just elected [Homer] Capehart in Indiana, and Ken Keating will probably be the next president of the United States. Instead, there's a shot of O'Donnell throwing an American football moodily at a sofa, while the president remains unfailingly statesmanlike.

There's nothing from the Soviet or Cuban perspectives, but Thirteen Days gives a mostly accurate, if discreetly polished, view of the crisis from inside Washington's corridors of power.