No Way Out (1987)



Critic Consensus: Roger Donaldson's modern spin on the dense, stylish suspense films of the 1940s features fine work from Gene Hackman and Sean Young, as well as the career-making performance that made Kevin Costner a star.

Movie Info

No Way Out is told in flashback as Naval officer Tom Farrell (Kevin Costner) is grilled by his superiors regarding a recent "unpleasantness." While at a Washington party, Tom meets Susan Atwel (Sean Young), and they're soon sharing a steamy love scene in the back of a limo (marvelously parodied in 1993's Hot Shots! Part Deux). Several months pass before Tom meets Susan again; he discovers she's the mistress of the US Secretary of Defense David Brice (Gene Hackman). When Susan is murdered by … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Robert Garland, Gregory Goodell
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 19, 2001
HBO Video


as Lt. Cmdr. Tom Farrel...

as Defense Secretary Da...

as Susan Atwell

as Scott Pritchard

as Senator William 'Bil...

as Sam Hesselman

as Maj. Donovan

as Nina Beka

as Kevin O'Brien

as Contra

as Cup Breaker

as Ensign Fox

as Lt. John Chadway

as Contra

as Seaman Dufor

as Helmsman

as Gregory/Quartermaste...

as J.O.D.

as Airport Cop

as Quartermaster

as Programmer

as Lorraine

as Enlisted Man

as Computer Clerk

as Margaret Brice

as Band Singer

as Man with Lighter

as Limo Driver

as Filipino Urchin

as N.Z. Ambassador

as TV Reporter

as Marine Guard

as Marine Guard

as Technician

as Technician

as Technician

as Technician

as C.I.D. Man

as C.I.D. Man

as C.I.D. Man

as C.I.D. Man

as C.I.D. Man

as Maori Dancer
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for No Way Out

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (13)

While the film's behind-the-scenes look into the world of Washington bureaucracy is appealing, the movie is a complete letdown as a thriller, dissolving into implausible silliness.

Full Review… | July 29, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

No Way Out emerges, paradoxically, as a film that is better than it has to be and not as good as it ought to be, but there is skill here, as well as an admirable willingness to try something new.

Full Review… | July 29, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

No Way Out's greatest prize is Costner, a leading man at last: fiercely good, intelligent, appreciatively sensual in a performance balanced perfectly between action and introspection.

Full Review… | July 29, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

A thriller that grabs you even before the ironies of its plot kick in is a thriller you don't want to miss. No Way Out is that sort of movie, a thriller that's thrilling throughout.

Full Review… | July 29, 2013
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

A juicy thriller-romance bursting out of the Pentagon's arid corridors.

Full Review… | July 29, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Viewers who arrive at the movie five minutes late and leave five minutes early will avoid the setup and payoff for the preposterous twist that spoils this lively, intelligent remake of 1948's The Big Clock.

Full Review… | May 23, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for No Way Out


Costner vehicle saved from total mediocrity by, yet again, Gene Hackman (he should've belonged to International Rescue the number of dreary Hollywood thrillers he's salvaged...) Decent twist at the end, too.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


Tense and racy thriller in Pentagon. Sean Young's hotter in naked when she asked her close friend to borrow her apartment for a night.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Minister of Defense David Brice (Gene Hackman) accidently kills his mistress Susan (Sean Young) and his secretary Scott Pritchard (Will Patton) devices a ploy to frame someone else. They launch a full scale investigation claiming that the man this woman was seeing was a soviet spy (Yuri) within the Pentagon and they must find this man. Brice appoints his own investigator to find the presumed killer but the catch is that the investigator is the man they're hunting for. Kevin Costner is also excellent as Tom Farrell who finds out that his girlfriend has been killed and can't show any emotion without giving up the fact that he was involved with her. Will Patton steals the show in my opinion with a brilliant portrayal of absolute loyalty.

NO WAY OUT is an almost perfect thriller about a man who finds himself entangled in a situation in which there is seemingly, well, no way out. Once the murder happens, the movie kicks into high gear keeping you on the edge of your seat. This is a riveting, thought-provoking, and fast paced thriller, with plenty of plot twists and turns and I was blown away by the surprise twist at the end.

Deb S

Super Reviewer

No Way Out Quotes

– Submitted by Pat M (3 years ago)

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