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JFK

Year: 1991
Production Co: Alcor Films
Director: Oliver Stone
Writer: Oliver Stone/Jim Garrison
Cast: Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Bacon, Joe Pesci, John Candy, Walter Matthau, Donald Sutherland, Gary Oldman, Michael Rooker, Jack Lemmon, Laurie Metcalf, Sissy Spacek, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Sally Kirkland
Oliver Stone at his best, and to date it's his most ambitious and compelling film. His last few movies (Alexander, World Trade Center) have given every indication he's turned studio hack and lost his anti-establishment stance, so with no redemption in sight, we have JFK to look back on.

Many people would call it paranoid. I tend to think the whole conspiracy over complicity in Kennedy's assassination is presented in a level-headed and gripping fashion.

It's also his magnum opus, clocking in at a little over three hours as New Orleans state district attorney Kim Garrison (Costner) doggedly pursues the facts in the convoluted mess of the Kennedy killing and the dogs breakfast the infamous Warren Commission report made of it.

Costner is never better as Garrison, wending his way through shady bottom feeding crooks like Dave Ferrie (Pesci) all the way through to the higher echelons of government to men like Senator Long (Matthau) and the military officer who refuses to identify himself with anything more than 'X' (Sutherland).

In any other film a character calling himself 'X' would be almost laughable, an action thriller where he then goes off to jump out of a plane or save the world from aliens. But JFK is a drama that treats itself and its subject matter seriously, and the menace in scenes like the clandestine meeting with Sutherland's anonymous tipster is made all the more poignant.

Stone peppers the cast with big names and his script means they can't put a foot wrong. It's a document of the sort of corruption and webs of not just nefarious deceit but the red tape of political machinations.

The running time flies by as the film crams in so much detail and the result is stunning. Let's hope he gets his mojo back soon.

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