Not a John F Kennedy biopic, but a film of New Orleans' attorney Jim Garrison's investigation into the President's assassination, JFK is that rarest of things, a modern Hollywood drama which credits the audience with serious intelligence and ultimately proves itself a great film. Oliver Stone's film has the archetypal story, visual scale and substance to match; not just a gripping real-life conspiracy thriller, but a fable for the fall of the American dream (a theme further explored by the director in Nixon and Any Given Sunday). JFK doesn't reveal exactly what happened in Dallas on 22 November 1963--those who knew generally took their secrets to the grave--but marshals a vast wealth of facts and plausible theories, trusting the audience to draw its own conclusions. Following less than a year after Dances With Wolves (1990), these two epics mark the high point of Kevin Costner's career and the vast supporting cast here, including Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland, is superb. Quite simply the best American political film ever made. --Gary S Dalkin
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