Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
JFK Movie Poster Image
Politician makes case for JFK murder as conspiracy.
  • R
  • 1991
  • 206 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 6 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Some of those in whom we trust (law enforcement, government officials) are shown to be dishonest and self-serving. There are scenes of sordid homosexual behavior without any moderate gay characters to balance that portrayal.


Footage of President Kennedy's assassination from many angles repeatedly; Lee Harvey Oswald's killing is re-created; woman thrown from car, elderly man being beaten; rough arrests by police officers, dead bodies shown in a variety of poses, quick glimpse of machete used as a weapon; some domestic violence.


Kissing and playful sexuality between husband and wife; some passionate kissing; suggestively dancing strippers with pasties in club scene, homosexual revelry bordering on deviant in several sequences.


Rough language throughout: continuous use of all forms of "f--k,"" bastard," "hell," "assh---," s--t"; many derogatory terms for homosexual; racial epithets, including the "n" word.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking throughout; some scenes of heavy drinking, drunkenness, hints of drug use, particularly as part of homosexual partying. Smoking in many scenes as was more prevalent in 1960s: cigarettes, cigars, pipe.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that in its attempt to convince the audience (and the world) that President Kennedy was not killed by Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone, this film shows disturbing footage of the actual shooting over and over again, sometimes close-up, sometimes in slow-motion, heightening the effects of the bullets. Other scenes show brutal beatings, dead bodies, and a re-creation of the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald. Language throughout is coarse, filled with sexual expletives and racial and homosexual insults. There are party scenes that show licentious gay behavior. A stripper is briefly seen dancing suggestively while nearly nude.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjalajs January 26, 2018

The best 'Conspiracy theory' Movie ever

Awesome cinematic tools used to depict the horrific event and best performances from the supporting and main leads to showcase the historical events in the best... Continue reading
Adult Written byagent man June 4, 2011
Teen, 13 years old Written byLukeCon February 3, 2020

Captivating political-thriller about Kennedy assassination has profanity

See JFK, and your eyes will be opened. What will they be opened to? The possibilities that the Kennedy assassination may have not been what it looked like.
Thi... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byGirialkia May 4, 2017


Despite this site not giving JFK a good message, I think the overall message was something incredibly realistic. JFK shows how you can't always trust your... Continue reading

What's the story?

Two monumental questions remain about the death of President John F. Kennedy: Was his assassination the result of a conspiracy involving more than a single gunman positioned in the Texas Book Depository, and if so, who conspired to kill him? Filmmaker Oliver Stone answers the first question with an emphatic "yes" in favor of the conspiracy. For his answer to the "who," Stone turns to the real-life efforts in the late 1960s of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) and his quest to reveal the villains as well as the theory behind the plot.

The movie is filled with Garrison's dizzying assortment of suspects: from angry anti-Castro activists to organized crime figures, hangers-on, political heavyweights, even a cabal of menacing gay power brokers. And to oppose Garrison's crusade, there are the many in office who wanted to shut down the investigation and let the official government explanation (The Warren Report) prevail.

Is it any good?

JFK is a well-made work of suspense, intrigue, and drama, all based on trying to solve one of the greatest mysteries of our time. Oliver Stone has tackled such enormous issues and larger-than-life subjects before. He's adept at managing a huge cast, complicated plotting, and weighty topics. JFK is no exception. He presents his case in a clear and decisive manner. He has enlisted an impressive group of supporting players (Tommy Lee Jones, Sissy Spacek, Kevin Bacon, Gary Oldman, Joe Peschi among many), as well as some of the world's greatest actors in cameo appearances (Walter Matthau, Donald Sutherland, Jack Lemmon). Is the theory plausible? Was Garrison a hero or a hack? Courageous or reckless? Whatever the audience comes away with, it's definitely worth a watch.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about an art form, in this case filmmaking, used as a powerful political tool. Was JFK successful at provoking thought about President Kennedy's assassination? What tools could you use to further verify or invalidate the film's point of view? Have you seen other movies that advocate a particular cause, or present a controversial issue? Other works of art (i.e. music, painting, literature)?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate