The Sum of All Fears

The Sum of All Fears

Phil Alden Robinson (2002)

12 Certificate
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Our Score
This absorbing adaptation of a typically intricate Tom Clancy novel takes a couple of big gambles. The first is replacing Harrison Ford as CIA analyst Jack Ryan with Ben Affleck, who's 30 years younger - the story has been re-written to accommodate a less savvy, lower-ranking hero. The other is a shocking act of international terrorism that takes place around the halfway mark and transforms the film from a thinking person's thriller into a contemporary version of Sidney Lumet's doom-laden Fail-Safe. Unexpectedly, perhaps, the appealing Affleck and director Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams, Sneakers) pull it off, with the help of a superior supporting cast that includes Morgan Freeman and James Cromwell, as well as the disturbing post-11 September credibility of the terrorist scenario. Only Alan Bates rings a false note as the one-dimensional villain, but the intelligent twists and taut pacing ensure entertaining, albeit occasionally uncomfortable, viewing.


The CIA becomes suspicious of Russia's nuclear activities, and agent Jack Ryan is ordered to investigate. However, it is not long before the threat of terrorists detonating a nuclear bomb on American soil is on the cards, sparking a race against the clock to avert disaster. Thriller based on Tom Clancy's novel, starring Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, James Cromwell, Liev Schreiber, Bridget Moynahan and Alan Bates.

Cast & Crew

Jack Ryan Ben Affleck
DCI William Cabot Morgan Freeman
President Robert 'Bob' Fowler James Cromwell
John Clark Liev Schreiber
Dr Cathy Muller Bridget Moynahan
Richard Dressler Alan Bates
Admiral Pollack Ken Jenkins
Gene Revell Bruce McGill
General Lasseter John Beasley
Defence Secretary David Becker Philip Baker Hall
Director Phil Alden Robinson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: UIPGuidance: Swearing. Available on: video and DVD