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Thirteen Days Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Once this 2 1/4-hour slow-starter finally finds its rhythm, we're reminded of how gripping policy give-and-take around a long rectangular table can be.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    I call the movie a thriller, even though the outcome is known, because it plays like one: We may know that the world doesn't end, but the players in this drama don't, and it is easy to identify with them.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    Even though the actors are good, their characters stay stock.

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    A big, square, rousing political thriller docudrama.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Superb film about Cuban missile crisis, best for older kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Thirteen Days, a docudrama about the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, is exciting and suspenseful, even though the actual outcome is well known. The film is a recreation of a crucial incident in American history that's suitable for teens and mature tweens, as well as adults. There's frequent swearing used to heighten the emotional impact (i.e., "bastard," "asshole," "s--t," "Jesus Christ," one use of "f--k"). Because the film is set in the 1960s, smoking is a casual part of many of the meetings in the White House. Alcoholic beverages are consumed in several scenes, never to excess. President John F. Kennedy is seen taking a prescription drug on one occasion. 

  • Families can talk about the Cuban missile crisis. Why is this incident considered such an important historical event?
  • Families can also talk about what we do when we have hard choices to make. President Kennedy and his brother, his closest advisor, listen to advice from experts, but realize they must make their own judgment. Who would help you make a big decision?
  • What other movies have you seen that deal with the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union?

The good stuff
  • message true5

    Messages: Behind-the-scenes White House intrigue shows how fragile the international political climate can be. By the film's end, the audience fully recognizes the importance of having men of goodwill and superior leadership in positions of power. Clearly it's easy to destabilize a world with such different ideologies, voices, and motives. It takes bravery, intelligence, and the support of other leaders to keep the world safe. 

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Though President Kennedy and his closest aides stumble a bit, in this crisis they prove to be open-minded, earnest, and brave as they try to live up to the enormous responsibility they've been charged with. Military officials are, for the most part, characterized as eager to go to war and unwilling to reveal any weakness, no matter what the consequences. The events took place in 1962; no women or men of color are involved in a significant way. 

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Cuban soldiers fire at U.S. planes, some of which are slightly damaged. There are some tense moments as enemy ships engage in a standoff. A plane is shot down and we learn that the pilot has been killed. 

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false3

    Language: Frequent swearing: "balls," "s--t," "hell," "bastard," "crap," "ass," "goddamn," "Jesus Christ," one use of "f--k" and one ethnic slur "Jap carrier." 

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Men consume alcoholic beverages in moderation during some meetings and private conversations. Smoking is seen in the background of many of the White House discussions. President Kennedy swallows some pills in one scene.