Director Roger Donaldson teams up with star Kevin Costner for another political thriller (after their 1987 pairing, No Way Out), only this time with a film based on the actual events surrounding the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, taking place during the titular thirteen days wherein the U.S. and the Soviet Union nearly engaged in full-scale nuclear war. After President John F. Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood) is shown photographs from a spy plane detailing the presence of missiles in Cuba capable of obliterating massive areas of the U.S., he must immediately decide the most effective course of action for the country. With the aid of best friend and special assistant Kenny O'Donnell (Kevin Costner) and brother Robert (Steven Culp), the President must avoid a dire chain of events that could be dictated by General Curtis LeMay (Kevin Conway), who would rather take immediate action and invade Cuba. After initial reticence about leaking the information to the nation, President Kennedy eventually tells of the conflict, leading to widespread panic and a blockade of Cuba. With the aid of Robert McNamara (Dylan Baker) and Adlai Stevenson (Michael Fairman), the leaders must find a way to alleviate the tension of the situation. Thirteen Days also features Walter Adrian as Lyndon Johnson. ~ Jason Clark, Rovi
This was a very well done film that kept me on the edge of my seat, even with the long run time. The fact that it is based on a real event makes the suspense that much more effective. The performances are all great and if you aren't afraid the learn something valuable about international relations, watch this and make your History teacher proud of you.
I have seen Thirteen Days several times and while I know it has some factual inaccuracies, I think it captures the essence of the crisis and many of the events that took place during it. There are some annoying things, like Costner's accent, and I never got why it sometimes is in color and sometimes B&W (and that really bugged me the first time I saw it in the theatre), but the performances are generally very good and I found it gripping (even, or maybe especially after, having read the transcripts of the tapes made during that crisis and a biography of Robert Kennedy -- which, in fact, I was inspired to do in part based n having seen this.)
Excellent movie for the history buff. It gave me a whole new perspective on President Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. I never even heard of Kenny O'Donnell since I was only 8 years old at the time the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred. Together these 3 men made a super team. I wonder what would be the outcome today if these events had taken place in 2010.