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  1. BLOW OUT (1981)

    John Travolta is fully believable as a fastidious sound engineer who unwittingly records a Chappaquidick–like accident (or is it?) while collecting wind noises in a park. At this point in his career, director Brian De Palma was taken seriously.

  2. JFK (1991)

    Vibrating with a batshit sense of total conspiracy, this epic Hollywood courtroom drama pits a lone district attorney (Kevin Costner) against evil government forces as he tries to expose the truth. Only Oliver Stone could get this made.


    The classic Hollywood conspiracy movie, John Frankenheimer's political thriller plays on then-current McCarthyite anxieties and the deceptively calm exterior of Angela Lansbury, as one of cinema's most memorable monster moms.


    Released in the final summer of the Nixon Administration, this ultraparanoid thriller has newspaper reporter Warren Beatty running down the loose ends of a murder, after a presidential candidate is iced at the top of Seattle's Space Needle.

  5. Z (1969)

    Costa-Gavras's French-language drama goes deep into the details of grassroots activism and ominous blowback as an inspiring leftist speaker (Yves Montand) is murdered while crossing the street, only minutes after delivering a speech.

Assassination movies

In honor of this week's Parkland, here are five political-assassination movies worth getting paranoid over.

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