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(Review originally written at 24 January 2006)

Basically this movie is a great history lesson. If you want to know more about the cold war and the Cuba missile crisis in particular this is a perfect medium for you to start with. The movie is quite detailed and accurate even though of course some moments and characters have been 'over-dramatized' for the good of the movie and its flow and emotions.

Even though you already know from start till finish how this movie is going to end, it still is a tense movie to watch. The story is build up well and makes the movie really interesting and compelling to follow. It perfectly captures the tension of the whole crisis and really makes you realize how close the world actually came to a WW III. It makes us aware of the fact that those 13 days in history should always be remembered and used as a lesson for the entire world now and forever. It's too bad that the movie becomes a bit too moralistic at times, especially toward the ending.

Bruce Greenwood doesn't really look like JFK but he's a good actor, so he becomes believable enough in his role trough his acting skills. Steven Culp really does look like Robert Kennedy and on top of that he also is a great actor. I wasn't always happy with Kevin Costner performance but overall he did an acceptable job. There are some weaker moments which involves his character but I more blame those moments to the at times too moralistic written script.

A bit of a disappointing aspect of the whole movie is its style. Roger Donaldson at times tries to be over-artistic and mixes the movie with black & white and color images. Perhaps he tried to copy Oliver Stone's style? Who knows. The cinematography was also disappointingly standard but thankfully the good editing saved this a little. Also the musical score by Trevor Jones is surprisingly solid.

Overall it's a very good political movie that has some great tense and important moments in it and also works great as a history lesson.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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