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Stone goes for the gut, but the complexity of theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination might have benefited from a cooler assessment. Understandably, he is hostile to the lone assassin findings; here, Oswald (Oldman) is merely the 'patsy' of a nebulous conspiracy cover-up involving just about everyone; sadly, their exact roles in the 'coup d'├ętat' are never properly clarified. The investigation conducted between '66 and '69 by DA Jim Garrison (whitewashed as Costner) allows Stone to proffer a dazzling array of facts, hypotheses and flashbacks, intercutting archive footage, reconstructions, and more conventional dramatic material. While his logic is often murky, the data overload is forceful, if not wholly persuasive. Though the huge cast performs strongly, characterisation is minimal, and the overall structure uninspiring. Often the film seems a garbled rant, but mostly it's more complex and less flashy than Stone's other work; the urgent editing packs a powerful punch, and if the conclusions are vague and ready to see conspiracy everywhere, one can't deny the force of Stone's call for more open debate.

Release details

Duration: 189 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Oliver Stone
Screenwriter: Oliver Stone, Zachary Sklar
Cast: Kevin Costner
Gary Oldman
Sissy Spacek
Tommy Lee Jones
Laurie Metcalf
Michael Rooker
Jay O Sanders
Sally Kirkland
Ed Asner
Jack Lemmon
Vincent D'Onofrio
Brian Doyle-Murray
Joe Pesci
Walter Matthau
Tomas Milian
John Candy
Kevin Bacon
Donald Sutherland
Martin Sheen
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