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Parkland
Rating
Director Peter Landesman
Language English
Opens Opens June 28, 2014

Oliver Stone threw just about every conspiracy theory regarding the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy into his 1991 film “JFK.” Peter Landesman’s “Parkland,” on the other hand, includes none of them. Based on journalist (and former Manson Family prosecutor) Vincent Bugliosi’s eyewitness account of the assassination, “Parkland” examines the people whose lives were forever changed by the event.

First and foremost is Abraham Zapruder (Paul Giamatti), whose home movie of the president’s motorcade becomes a gruesome document of the murder. Billy Bob Thornton plays the head of Kennedy’s security detail, while Zac Efron shows up as the Parkland Hospital surgeon who attempts to save the lives of both JFK and, a few days later, his assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

The most interesting strand is that of the gunman’s brother, Robert Oswald (James Badge Dale), a family man who’s basically run out of Texas due to his name. Shot by Paul Greengrass’ regular cinematographer, Barry Ackroyd, “Parkland” is interesting in spurts and dull in others, but if you’re trying to refute the conspiracy theories, adding a disclaimer that says “The persons and events depicted in this film are fictitious” doesn’t help.

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