Thirteen Days

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2 1/2

This historical drama offers audiences a revised view of the inner workings of the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. For anyone not familiar with the crisis, it involved the Soviet Union moving mid and intermediate range missiles into Cuba. These missiles would have the capability to hit almost any target in the continental United States, and during the Cold War, caused great concern in America. The story is told primarily from the perspective of Special Assistant to the President, Kenny ODonnell (Kevin Costner), one of only two men President Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood) allows in his innermost circle. He becomes intimately involved in the highest decisions during this international crisis. Deciding each move of the tense negotiations also falls onto a third man, U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy (Steven Culp), the Presidents brother. Thus, THIRTEEN DAYS shows these three men and the heart-wrenching political decisions they are forced to make under the most trying of circumstances. Unfortunately, while the film provides a nice history lesson, it really fails to engage the viewer, leaving most glancing at their watches long before the two-and-a-half hour running time is up.

The main value in this film is that it records the events of history in dramatic form, giving the viewer some perspective on the emotions involved at the magnitude of decisions the leaders face. Another clear message throughout this film really comes from the crisis. At a time when the entire country would likely support a full-scale attack on the Soviet Union, President Kennedy values a peaceful solution and has to resist tremendous pressure for a military response. As wars, civil battles and terrorist acts around the world involve a U.S. response, peace is an important message for our day. We are a world in need of peace, and while THIRTEEN DAYS urges us to follow that path, the true need is for a Prince of Peace. Most of the scenes take place in and around the White House, so little violence or sexual content is present. However, due to the intense nature of the situations, several characters use foul language, including strong profanity many times, some obscenities and numerous moderate crudities. Unfortunately, too much vulgar language dilutes the strong message of peace in THIRTEEN DAYS.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
New Line Cinema, 888 7th Ave., 20th Floor, New York, NY 10106

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (32) times - Mild 16, Moderate 16

Obscene Language: Many (14) times - F-word 2, s-word 9, other 3

Profanity: Many (32) times All Regular (GD 14, J 10, C 2, JC 6)

Violence: Few times Mild (plane wing shot through, plane shot down)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Several times (smoking, alcohol)

Other: Solid retelling of the events; some characters express reliance upon their god; issues of war versus peaceful solution come out

Running Time: 155 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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