Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti, Marcia Gay Harden

Directed by Peter Landesman
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 1.5
Community: star rating
5 1.5 0
October 3, 2013

The premise is intriguing and then some. As we near the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination in Dallas, this movie examines that tragedy through the events that transpired when the bloodied body of the president was taken to Parkland Hospital. Based on Vincent Bugliosi's Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the film might have made for a stirring documentary. Instead, first-time director Peter Landesman opts to treat history as a parade of cameos from the famous and not-so-famous. Is that Zac Efron as a doctor struggling to save the president? It is. And that's Billy Bob Thornton as a harried Secret Service agent. And look, over there, it's Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden as an ER nurse. And you can't miss Silver Linings Playbook Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver, since she's playing the mom of Lee Harvey Oswald (Jeremy Strong) with a nut-job excess that shatters any semblance of reality.

Out of mercy, I won't go on, except to note a few performances that cut through the cheesy histrionics. Paul Giamatti is solid and touching as Abraham Zapruder, who with his 8mm camera captured the bullets striking Kennedy. Ron Livingston brings bruised dignity to James Hosty, the FBI agent who had a file on Oswald he never acted upon and was ordered to suppress. James Badge Dale as Oswald's brother Robert, subtle and a ecting, suggests the movie that might have been. Sadly, what Parkland becomes is a crying shame.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Hungry Like the Wolf”

    Duran Duran | 1982

    This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

    More Song Stories entries »