The 10 Best Oliver Stone Films

From 'Scarface' to 'W.,' the writer-director's most essential big-screen works

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'JFK' (1991)
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© Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection/Everett Collection6/11

6. 'JFK' (1991)

In spite of the hand-wringing it engendered at the time, the movie that launched the "Oliver Stone, conspiracy loon" tag is also one of his most viscerally enjoyable. This is thanks to a scenario the basic facts of which (President Kennedy was assassinated and nobody has ever been 100 percent sure who did it) everyone knows by heart, an everymanish performance from Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison and one of the best supporting casts Stone ever assembled. Check out the scene-stealing performances from Tommy Lee Jones as flamboyant New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw, Kevin Bacon as a male prostitute and a surgical strike appearance by Donald Sutherland as X, the general who acts as conspiracy exposition fairy. The montage that accompanies his monologue should be its own short film. By the way, Seinfeld fans should note that the climactic trial scene in JFK is the source of the "back, and to the left" joke from "The Magic Loogie" episode, which seemed kind of ballsy at the time.

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