A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
JFK and Jackie Kennedy profess their love and support for each other frequently, but the message is complicated by JFK's on-screen philandering.
Positive Role Models
This warts-and-all portrait shows JFK to be lustful, boastful, and destructive to his family at times. Oswald is portrayed unsympathetically as well, though we understand his state of mind at the time of the shooting better.
Violence & Scariness
The assassination of JFK is at the center of this drama -- we see it reenacted, with gunshots and screaming onlookers. There are other shootings, too, and Oswald is abusive to his wife, hitting her in the face while she holds a baby.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
At one point, the viewer sees the president and two young women cavorting in the pool; one woman is briefly visible in the nude from the rear. One scene takes place inside Jack Ruby's club where there are go-go girls gyrating in black velvet bikinis.
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Some cursing including four-letter words: "That's the most meaningless bulls--t I've ever heard."
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Products & Purchases
Killing Kennedy is based on a book.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some scenes take place in bars where characters drink and sometimes act a bit tipsy.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Killing Kennedy is a drama focused on the last few months of the lives of President Kennedy and assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. We see Kennedy's death, both in historical footage and in dramatic reenactments, with blood, screaming onlookers, and devastated family members. Oswald also kills a police officer and attempts to shoot another political figure. We see domestic violence and the aftermath. JFK flirts and cavorts with women, including in one scene in a pool where a woman's appears naked from the back. Expect a bit of strong language and scenes of drinking and minor drunkenness. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Killing Kennedy's strength is in helping us know Oswald better (whether the viewer agrees that he was JFK's acting-alone assassin or not). By now, the beats of the Kennedy story are familiar to even the most casual student of history: The Bay of Pigs. The Cuban Missile Crisis. Floozies giggling their way through the corridors of the White House. And then the terrible shots that rang out over the plaza and ended Camelot's reign forever.
We are with Oswald when he meets his wife and idealistically defects to the USSR, renouncing his U.S. citizenship. We are with him, too, as he returns to the U.S. and starts his downward spiral: playing with guns in the garage, scissoring out ominous newspaper clippings, belting his wife in the face. It's creepy stuff and plenty disturbing even while the rest of the film is rather pedestrian. The movie is straightforward, though, and would be a fine one for teens to watch if they're doing a report or school project on Kennedy.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.