Thirteen Days (2000) / Drama-Thriller

MPAA Rated: PG-13 for brief strong language
Running Time: 125 min.

Cast: Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Steven Culp, Dylan Baker
Director: Roger Donaldson
Screenplay: David Self (based on the book, "The Kennedy Tapes - Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis", by Ernest R. May and Philip D. Zelikow)

Review published June 16, 2001

In October, 1962, the United States became poised on the brink of destruction in the Cuban missile crisis. The Soviet Union began implementing nuclear missiles on the island of ally Cuba, all to be aimed at the United States. Thirteen Days follows, of course, the thirteen days of peril when President John F. Kennedy (Greenwood, Double Jeopardy), his brother and Attorney General Robert Kennedy (Culp, How to Make a Monster), and political advisor and friend Kenny O'Donnell (Costner, For the Love of the Game) had to choose between going to war or diplomatic means to avert the worst crisis our nation has ever known.

Thirteen Days is solid political and historical entertainment with good direction, outstanding acting, and a terrific script. Director Roger Donaldson (Cadillac Man, Cocktail), who hasn't has a successful venture since No Way Out (which also starred Costner) way back in 1987 snaps back into fine form handling the complex political wrangling and dealings. Costner is typical Costner (i.e. solid) but it's Bruce Greenwood as Jack Kennedy that shines with a terrific performance.

For those unfamiliar with the events, it may seem a bit dry and talky, but for political and historical junkies, Thirteen Days is one of the better historical dramas to be made in some time.

Qwipster's rating:

2001 Vince Leo