Parkland 2013

Critics score:
49 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: This episodic drama is set in Dallas during the three days after the JFK assassination, and some of it is highly charged. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: You're left wondering why it was made. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: Takes one of the most traumatizing events of the American 20th century and turns it into a trivia digest. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: An absorbing new footnote to a history lesson that will never fade. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: A collection of powerful scenes that somehow add up to something less than powerful. Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: [An] inadvertently tacky restaging of events. Read more

Mike D'Angelo, AV Club: As vicarious, you-are-there re-creations of historical events go, it's creditably workmanlike; whether that's the best use of the dream factory is another matter. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: It's a worthy film, well shot, well told, but told at a remove. This is understandable, given what Landesman is trying to do. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Peter Landesman's well-made but dramatically unfocused re-creation of that November day and its aftermath ... Read more

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader: All we learn is that this happened and then this and then this -- the movie is like a multimillion-dollar grade-school play. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: The minidramas on display, in the hospital or in the anguish of Zapruder's accidental chronicling of a horror, dart this way and that, inconclusively. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: There are 8 million stories in this naked tragedy. Parkland is content to tell parts of some of them. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: For those who remember that dark day, it will inevitably have impact. But this was too much of a story for one film. Read more

Laremy Legel, A relatively watchable film that needed a bit more connective tissue. Read more

Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter: The film is otherwise engrossing, quietly revelatory, and often profoundly moving as it retells a story we only thought we knew. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: "Parkland" succeeds as it fails. For whatever its flaws, it is unforgettable. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Parkland is wildly uneven, although compulsively watchable. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: The assassination of John F. Kennedy, as seen through the eyes of bystanders, insiders and other players. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: Kennedy specialists will glean nothing new, and those hoping for sobriety will flinch at the camera's intrusions. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: I can see this film being shown in high school, as a way to fill up two-or-three periods. But I can't see anyone wanting to see it on their own. Especially if they already lived through it once. Read more

Ella Taylor, NPR: Somehow, all this commotion adds up to aimless inertia, in part because the movie lacks a point of view - let alone anything fresh to propose about the assassination or its peripheral players. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: The movie winds up telling us far more about our own time than the nation-changing event that it depicts. Read more

Michael Sragow, Orange County Register: This star-studded docudrama about President Kennedy's assassination and its aftermath focuses on fascinating, relatively obscure stories, but fails to organize them into effective and revealing drama. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Parkland is history as existential despair. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: [Parkland] might have made for a stirring documentary. Instead, first-time director Peter Landesman opts to treat history as a parade of cameos from the famous and not-so-famous. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: There's something to be said for Landesman's attempt to limit himself to just the facts that we can all agree on. Just that much is dramatic enough and awful enough to make for a good movie. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: It's sober, responsible and rather humdrum. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: While pretending to avoid controversy, debut director Peter Landesman continually steps out of bounds. Read more

Bruce Ingram, Chicago Sun-Times: Fifty years after the traumatic event, the assassination of JFK is still capable of touching a raw nerve -- even in a dramatization as flat-footed as this one. Read more

Jon Frosch, The Atlantic: Once Kennedy is pronounced dead, "Parkland" goes downhill fast, with a tone of TV-movie solemnity, epitomized by James Newton Howard's heavy-handed score, taking over. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Peter Landesman's bland Parkland approaches history by way of mediocrity. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: While this cast and this story could easily have filled, say, a ten-hour HBO miniseries, this 93-minute film too often feels like a blink-and-you'll-miss-em affair. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: The tone never stops waffling, and nothing truly revelatory ever emerges about those terrible few days in Texas. What we're left with is the Disney theme-park version of history-all waxworks and weepiness. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: The events of those days would have been better covered in greater depth in a miniseries, rather than a 90-minute movie. Read more

Pete Vonder Haar, Village Voice: Well-intentioned but unfulfilling ... Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Methodically and with generally unfailing good restraint, Landesman re-creates the grief surrounding the crime and the confusion of Oswald's capture and subsequent murder. Read more