Killing Kennedy Blu-ray Review

      Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Release Date: February 11, 2014
  • Run Time: 88 minutes



            Despite the widespread criticism of Killing Lincoln, a recreation style adaptation of the best selling book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard from producers Ridley Scott and Tony Scott, this was apparently seen as reason to try again. Killing Kennedy, also adapted from a book by O’Reilly and Dugard, at the very least benefits from the disposing of recreation elements, instead approach the narrative in a more straightforward manner. The unfortunate thing about this final film is how much it resembles the superior Parkland feature film. The simple truth is that this material is over-used and we have had enough films about Kennedy’s assassination to last several decades.


            Killing Kennedy is highlighted only by the performances, and even those are not quite impressive enough to make up for the film’s shortcomings. The film covers all of the same events that every other piece of entertainment about Kennedy’s assassination also latched onto, with the added material giving extra insight into the path of Lee Harvey Oswald (Will Rothhaar). We follow his defection into Russia, as well as his return and ultimate disillusionment resulting in a tragic act. There are more sequences to show the progression to the tragedy, though not much explanation behind the actions. Michelle Trachtenberg works her Russian accent as Oswald’s wife.


            The other half of the story is very predictably dedicated to Kennedy, played by Rob Lowe. We watch him all the way through his rise into the role as President and into the grave. Ginnifer Goodwin plays Jacqueline Kennedy. Performances are fine enough, though many sequences are a bit too heave-handed on the melodrama, mostly enhanced by the female leads. While Lowe gives something of a subdued impression of JFK, Goodwin chews the sets apart in her somewhat over-the-top emotional portrayal of the grieving First Lady. In short, this feels far more like a TV movie than it should.


            The Blu-ray release includes both the original televised version, as well as an extended cut. The special features include a making-of featurette, as well as an interview with author Bill O’Reilly and a couple additional featurettes.


    Entertainment Value: 2/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 4/10

    Historical Significance: 1/10

    Special Features: 5/10


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