Writer: David Self (Screenplay) Ernest R May, Philip D Zelikow (Book)
Starring: Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Steven Culp, Stephanie Romanov, Lucinda Jenney, Frank Wood, Henry Strozier, Kevin Conway
Plot: In October 1962, the Kennedy administration struggles to contain the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Tagline – You’ll Never Believe How Close We Came
Runtime: 2 Hours 25 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: History Lesson
Story: Thirteen Days starts like a normal day in the Kennedy administration, his assistant Kenny O’Donnell (Costner) joins the President John F Kennedy (Greenwood), his brother Robert F Kennedy (Culp) and advisers from every side for an emergency meeting.
The meeting is called to discuss the appearance of nuclear warheads in Cuba, believing Russia are moving to a closer position which could destroy large parts of America in minutes. What follows in Kenny trying to help JFK make the smartest decision, despite how many different people are advising with multiply options, all leading to one of the most intense stand offs in military history.
Thoughts on Thirteen Days
Characters – Kenny O’Donnell is the assistant advisor to the President, he gives him advice which would see him make decisions which would support the image of the President and the country instead of agree with the fast track answers which would see America go to war, he is the man that people turn to if they are not prepared to challenge the President’s decisions. President John F Kennedy is the man in the middle of the situation, the man that needs to make the final decision after taking on all the advice from his experts, he wants to remain in control of the situation to the best of his ability. Robert F Kennedy is one of the men advising his brother, he knows how John thinks and knows how the help him make the right decisions to remain calm and in control. We do have plenty of different advisors who are trying to offer a plan to what could make this stand off end quicker.
Performances – Kevin Costner is always entertaining to watch in a political movie, this is no different as he plays the pivot to everything going on. Bruce Greenwood as the President is great to watch through the film, with the whole cast looking like they would have been the people they are playing.
Story – The story here follows the events around the Cuba Mission Crisis, from the point of view of the Americans. This does break down to be a political thriller that does keep us on edge as we see all the potential ideas that were thrown out which could have seen the world in a different place if different outcomes had been used, while this is a 2 hour story, we only focus on the different ideas, which is interesting to see. Each person could have their own agenda which could show the mindset of the public during the events. We could have more intense moments, but it just doesn’t really do that much more, which doesn’t display just how dangerous the event could have been.
History – This is a big historical moment and it does show how the people in power were put on panic station when the events started to unfold.
Settings – The film uses the political settings for the most part, which does show us just how the people stayed together through the events of the crisis.
Scene of the Movie – Putting the Admiral in his place.
Final Thoughts – This is an interesting look at one of the biggest stand offs in modern history, we do see how it could have gone very differently and how everything unfolded.
Overall: Interesting look at history.