In the most telling scene in this unusual drama, the 37th President looks at a portrait of JFK and says: "When they look at you, they see what they want to be. When they look at me, they see what they are." Here in a nutshell is Nixon's self-hate, his obsessions with the Kennedys, and his unhappiness.

Oliver Stone's three-hour-and-eleven-minute portrait of this ruthless politician from Whittier, California, begins with the Watergate plumbers and ends with the resignation of the President. In between the film covers 50 years in Nixon's life, putting special emphasis on the death of his two brothers from TB, his father's stern work ethic, and his mother's Quaker faith.

Anthony Hopkins gives a riveting and intense performance as Nixon, a man brought down by his guilt, paranoia, and thirst for power and public adulation. Also giving fine supporting performances are Joan Allen as Pat Nixon, Mary Steenburgen as Hannah Nixon, James Woods as H.R. Haldeman, Paul Sorvino as Henry Kissinger, J.T. Walsh as John Ehrlichman, Powers Boothe as Alexander M. Haig, Jr., and Bob Hoskins as J. Edgar Hoover.