- 2 hr 25 min
A historical drama based on the actual events surrounding Cuban Missile Crisis, which put the world on the edge of nuclear war during President John F. Kennedy’s administration. The movie begins in October 1962, when President Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood) views photos from U.S. Air force planes showing the Soviet Union placing nuclear weapon missiles on nearby Cuba. Though not yet operations, the Soviets would have the capability of wiping out 80 million Americans if the project is completed. Now the President must determine an effective strategy, with his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy (Steven Culp), Special Assistant Kenny O’Donnell (Kevin Costner). In spite of military advice to invade the island from General Curtis LeMay (Kevin Conway) of the Pentagon, Kennedy wants to show a tough stance against the Soviets and tries political negotiations. When diplomatic efforts fail, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (Dylan Baker) suggests a naval blockade along with the Organization of American States. The Soviets attempt to break the blockade and deliver the missiles, leading to a tense political standoff between the two Cold War superpowers. The news reaches the American public, which creates a widespread public panic. The European nations fear Soviet retaliation against them. Kennedy and his cabinet must find a solution that gives Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to demonstrate his own political strength, while still calming the U.S. population. Kennedy, along with UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson (Michael Fairman), Vice President Lyndon Johnson (Walter Adrian) and advisor Ted Sorenson (Tim Kelleher) try to establish secret negotiations to craft a mutually beneficial solution to a worldwide crisis. Director Roger Donaldson creates a taut political thriller in spite of the known outcome from history. The film brings the delicate art of political compromise and well-known personalities to life in an effective drama about global relations in the nuclear age.