Silent J’s review published on Letterboxd:
Holy FUCK that was long!
The question is...did it need to be so long?
If you ask me, no.
Was it worth it?
If you ask me, definitely not.
This film is almost 3 1/2 hours and in those 3 hours, I never cared what was going on. Maybe it's because I went over the Kennedy assassination many, many times in history classes throughout the years and I knew that the popular opinion of who did it was Lee Harvey Oswald, but I don't think that's it. Even if you know how a film is going to end, a film can still have the power to pull in you in and it never truly pulled me in. It was never really interesting. It felt so melodramatic and even forced at times.
Don't get me wrong, there are some positive to the film. This is very well acted, especially with a scene stealing Gary Oldman as Oswald, and this is very well made with good direction and editing. Sadly there are too many problems the film has going for it. Namely, Kevin Costner. I realized he's kind of an incompetent actor. He's given some great performances over the years (especially in Mr Brooks which I believe is his best work) but there's been plenty of times where he is just wooden. He just mumbles through his roles without much care for the material at least that's what I garner. Either he just doesn't care about this film's material or he's always been wooden and I'm just noticing now. The editing was clearly held with more care than the material and it feels like style over substance.
Maybe I'm missing something or I'm too young to understand how good or important this film is or whatever, but this, in my opinion, is far from a great film or even a good one. It had potential, but it all gets, excuse the phrase, "shot" to hell somewhere along the way. I understand the Kennedy assassination is a bit of a serious and touchy subject, but the film plays it out in such a forced way, even to the point it's used as spectacle. That's what this is. Pure spectacle.
As Lee Harvey Oswald might say, "This might be pretty, but it sure as hell ain't as pretty as a couple of titties."