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Thirteen Days


Latest Home Video

Nov 12, 2013

MPAA Rating:


Run Time:



Roger Donaldson


Kevin Costner

Bruce Greenwood

Shawn Driscol

Stephen Culp


2001 New Line Cinema

Still shot from the movie: Thirteen Days.

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Overall B+
Run Time145

Making the Grades

As I was toddling around in my baby walker, the rest of the world was teetering on the brink of its very existence. Obviously I have no direct recollections of those days in the fall of 1962, although I have since become aptly aware of "just how close we came," as the tagline of this movie says.

Thirteen Days - Official site Chock full of dialogue, Thirteen Days still keeps an unrelenting grip on your attention by telling the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis through the eyes of Kenny O'Donnell (Kevin Costner). Presidential aide and right hand man to John F. Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood), he observed the innermost moments of the decision making process the between the president and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy (Stephen Culp).

Thirteen Days - Official site With reconnaissance pictures clearly showing the presence of medium range missiles being installed in Cuba, President Kennedy has few choices. The most obvious is to go in with force and attack the island--a full invasion and the favored option of Kennedy's military aides. But certainly this decision would ignite retaliation from Cuba's ally (the USSR) with global nuclear war the very likely result. Fortunately Kennedy sees another option that involves diplomacy, a firm resolve, and the most precious commodity of all--time.

Thirteen Days - Official site Even though we know how the story ends, watching the events unfold that led Kennedy to enact a blockade on all USSR ships bound for Cuba, was a riveting emotional experience. The inclusion of many profanities and terms of Deity are the movie's only shortcoming. While it is probable a few coarse words were uttered in those back rooms, most of the "private" dialogue in this movie is dramatized, and could have been scripted to allow this movie to find its way into more homes and schools.

Political historians note that Thirteen Days does use artistic license, especially in the role of Kenny O’Donnell. However, everyone agrees the movie is still very effective at providing a sense of just how serious this situation was.


Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Thirteen Days.

Learn more about the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Canadian Movie Ratings

PG Coarse Language
AB PG Coarse Language
MB Not Rated Mature ThemeLanguage Warning-----
ON Not Rated Mature Theme, May Offend Some

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

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Details on home video releases of Thirteen Days...

Home Video Notes: Thirteen Days

Release Date: 12 November 2013

Thirteen Days re-releases to home video (Blu-ray) in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s death. The disc includes the following extras:

- Historical Figures Commentary, composed of archival audio featuring John F. Kennedy, Robert McNamara and Kenneth P. O’Donnell, and interviews with Pierre Salinger, Sergei Khrushchev and many others

- Roots of the Cuban Missile Crisis Documentary, comprised of film footage from the era with interviews covering U.S./Soviet relations from post-WWII Europe through the end of the crisis

- Historical Figures Biographical Gallery: Video biographies of key figures involved in th crisis, featuring John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Nikita Khruschchev, Fidel Castro and many others

- Filmmaker Commentary, with director Roger Donaldson, actor Kevin Costner and others

- Deleted Scenes with Director’s Commentary

- Bringing History to the Silver Screen Documentary

- Visual Effects Scene Deconstructions (Multi-Angle Featurette)

- Historical Information Fact Track

- Theatrical Trailer

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