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Parkland | 2013 | PG-13 | - 2.6.5

A different perspective of the John F. Kennedy assassination of November 22, 1963: the film portrays the effects of the event on Parkland Memorial Hospital's staff (Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Colin Hanks and Mallory Moy), the Dallas Secret Service chief (Billy Bob Thornton), cameraman Abraham Zapruder (Paul Giamatti), FBI agents (Ron Livingston, David Harbour), Lee Harvey Oswald's brother (James Badge Dale) and the Presidential Security Team. Also with Tom Welling, Jackie Earle Haley and Jacki Weaver. Directed by Peter Landesman. [1:33]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A husband and his wife embrace and kiss briefly.
 A doctor reaches out to grab the hand of a young nurse in a hallway as a flirtatious gesture and she smiles, shakes her head "No," and walks around him.
 Clothing is cut from a man's body in an ER treatment room and we see his bared chest, shoulders, arms, abdomen, thighs and lower legs; his boxer shorts are left intact.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - FBI and Secret Service agents run to a woman in a limo as she screams and we see a flash of blood on her husband's head as he lies crumpled on the back seat and the limo rushes to a hospital where he is placed on a gurney and taken to a treatment room (we see bloody handprints as staff push against the corridor walls for more speed); his bloody clothing is cut off (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) and we see blood splatter over his entire body, the gurney and the uniforms of nurses and doctors; a nurse shouts at agents to get out of the room so that the doctors can intubate the patient and we see them remove the tube and place a large-diameter chest tube in a bullet hole in his lung (we hear gurgling); doctors provide a transfusion (we see no needle), do CPR to exhaustion, provide defibrillation, and call for a priest, who performs Last Rites and man asks for a coffin; we see bloody bandages on the ER floor as the man's wife bends over and kisses his bloody chest, his hand and his cheek; nurses and doctors cry as they stand around the treatment room and two men and the woman cry in the hearse as they leave the hospital with the coffin.
 A murder suspect, wounded in the abdomen, is rushed on a gurney into a hospital ER room where doctors and nurses cut open the chest, administer a transfusion, provide a large syringe of adrenalin to the heart (we do not see the injection), and administer defibrillation; one doctor asks if they should want the wounded man to live and a Secret Service chief in the room says that he needs a confession; the patient dies with blood all over the gurney, on the uniforms of the doctors and nurses, and up their arms and hands to above the elbows; we see the dead man's eyes still open in close-up, dark blood trickling from his chest to his throat and bloody gauze lies on the floor.
 A man films a Presidential motorcade and sees the President being shot; we hear three shots off screen as the cameraman keeps filming and shouts four times, "They killed him" and six times, "Oh my God!"; shaken, he walks back to his nearby office where he slams things off his desk. In a long shot in a home movie, we see a man's head whip back and seem to explode and the moviemaker says, "His head just seemed to fly to pieces" and later, "I filmed a murder."
 We hear a woman scream in an open limousine and see close-ups of fresh and dried blood on her gloves and skirt; a close-up of her cheek shows blood spatter and later, she presents a piece of her husband's skull and brain tissue to ER staff (her gloves are bloody).
 In a hospital, Secret Service men run through a corridor with their rifles at the ready, clear a small records room, and hide the Vice President there; later that day, they run and shout with guns drawn, rushing the VP to the airport and onto Air Force One.
 During a screening of an 8mm film, Dallas Secret Service men gasp loudly as a man's head explodes on film in a long shot and the DSS leader curses loudly; an FBI man says that the DSS blew it and lost the President and the Secret Service chief shouts and curses at the FBI man; everyone storms out of the room, except a magazine representative and the filmmaker asks him not to use frames in which the head explodes and the two men argue about this until the magazine man relents.
 A man slams books and files off his desk and onto the floor in anger; he exits his office, breaks into the locked desk of a subordinate by breaking locks with his handgun butt, removes some papers and shouts at another man walking into the room; the first man tells the other that they could have prevented an assassination if they had known the suspect was in their office two weeks previously and a short argument ensues. Behind half-drawn Venetian blinds in an office, a man throws heavy cardboard files into a framed certificate on a wall and we hear glass breaking and see some pieces of it fall to the floor. A man tells another man to burn a file on a suspect; the man complies, going to the washroom with the file and lighting fire to the few documents with a cigarette lighter over a toilet and as he leaves the room, he prays. A coffin arrives at a hospital in a hearse and nurses wrap a male body's head with many lengths of gauze in order to keep the broken skull together and men place the body into the coffin while another man puts a crucifix on top of it; a Medical Examiner storms in, shouts and forbids the body to leave, causing a shoving match between him and Federal agents, until a Secret Service team storms through with the coffin; they load it into a hearse and they have trouble lifting the coffin into Air Force One, nearly dropping one end while personnel inside the plane had just finished removing seats to make room for the coffin, shouting throughout the procedure. We see original film footage on TVs that announce the death of President John F. Kennedy and we hear people shout and cry and we see a funeral procession.
 The brother of a man accused of killing two men argues with his mentally ill mother, telling her to shut up and she tells police and government agents that her accused son is a special agent of the US Government, so they should pay her living expenses and those of her daughter-in-law and grandchildren. A TV announcement and a Secret Service man tell a man's family that he was shot to death in jail and the mother says he should be buried with the President at Arlington National Cemetery; the woman's other son angrily tells her to shut up.
 We hear that a murder suspect is a "delusional nobody" and that his mother is mentally ill, both of them searching for ways to look important. We hear a radio announcement that a suspect in the assassination also killed a police officer and when the suspect's name is announced, his brother at work looks stunned and leaves to go to the jail; he and the suspect argue about why the suspect does not know what is going on or what he did and as the brother leaves the room, a police detective says he should change his name and leave town, because the police and the government will never help him or his family in the future.
 In the evening after an assassination, a man who inadvertently filmed it cries in anguish and his wife tells him that many news people want to buy the film; the phone keeps ringing and she says "Enough" and takes her husband by the arm and forcibly steers him away.
 At the graveside funeral of an accused assassin, no pall bearers appear, because the family is being shunned by the community and the deceased's brother asks reporters to help; they do so silently, placing the coffin onto straps covering the open grave and we see the coffin in the bottom of the grave as the brother uses a shovel to fill the grave with dirt himself until cemetery workers step forward and silently complete the task for him.
 Agents are shown with bright red bloodstains on the cuffs, collars and chest of their shirts and the back of their suit coats. A man in an ER cubicle has two long red scratches down his forehead-temple area and we see a nurse clean and place gauze over them. Two ER scenes show close-ups of an X-Ray viewer with X–rays of hands and lower legs/feet that reveal fractures.


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LANGUAGE 5 - At least 1 F-word, 3 scatological terms, 12 mild obscenities, exclamations (shut-up), name-calling (insane, piece of work, delusional nobody, killer), stereotypical references to government agents, Blacks, hospital authorities, people with mental illness), 6 religious profanities (GD), 17 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh my God, Oh God, Jesus Christ, God, Jesus, Oh Christ, Jesus Oh Dear God, Hail Mary full of grace).


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SUBSTANCE USE - ER staff provide two unconscious male patients in different scenes with blood transfusions, saline IVs, and large shots of Adrenalin to the heart (we do not see the injections), and a man's personal physician gives three vials of a transparent drug for Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency) to an ER nurse who puts them in her pocket in case it is needed. Men and women smoke cigarettes throughout the film, nurses and doctors smoke in staff lounges and doctors' offices, government agents smoke in offices and on the street, reporters smoke in offices and at crime scenes and at the city jail, other employees smoke at their desks at work, an open pack of cigarettes is shown on a car dashboard in a close-up, and burning cigarettes are seen in many offices and smoke rises from them.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Politics, murder, assassinations, JFK, mental illness, Catholicism, death, funerals, smoking.

MESSAGE - The 1963 Kennedy Assassination changed the lives of many people.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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