Overall, "Thirteen Days" is an excellent historical drama. A few minor points prevented me from giving this movie 5 stars.
It's just a tad longer than it needs to be. The director did an excellent job of conveying a LOT of historical fact without turning it into a documentary but there were a few places where a little bit of editing would have helped. There were also a couple of scenes where Hollywood got a little too thick in the interest of drama. I get the need to keep it exciting but the director took a little more liberty than needed.
Outside of those minor issues, this is a great Cold War flick about an event that few Americans truly understand.
When an actor is portraying historical figures there are two ways to go: All in, with every detail as close to the person you're attempting to portray displayed for the audience OR The proxy approach where the actor shows you the character he is playing but it's accepted that he's just a proxy for the historical figure. With the "All in" method the actor either hits the mark perfectly or the method fails miserably. In "Thirteen Days" they wisely went with the Proxy method. The audience always knows who the character is (JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Curtis Lemay, etc.) but the actor doesn't have to be a perfect stand in for the character. The actors in Thirteen Days did a pretty good job of this.
The use of Black & White in some scenes was brilliant and really helps pull the viewer into the right time. Some of the special effects look a bit too contrived but overall, they pull it off.
For the most part, the director did an excellent job of inserting the conflicts involved in the ever changing decision making process into the storyline. Overall, this isn't a bad historical drama. It might even be a good vehicle to spark an interest in the history of the Cold War in a young student.
There are so many real world events like this one that make excellent storylines. (Thirteen Days, Apollo 13, Zero Dark Thirty, Etc.). I wish Hollywood would step up to the plate and make these movies instead of Fast & Furious 47.