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No Way Out (1987)

tomatometer

90

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 40
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 4

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.

85

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 2

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.

audience

72

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 20,196

My Rating

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

Jun 19, 2001

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All Critics (40) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (4) | DVD (10)

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.

July 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

July 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop 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.

May 23, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comments (3)
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The action is tight and suspenseful, and the plot culminates in the most astounding last-minute switch of the decade.

July 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

As befits the title, it dead-ends long before it's over.

July 26, 2014 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Good performances from a strong cast and paranoid plotting enough to keep even the staunchest of remake nay-sayers quiet. Hitchockian production with a modern twist.

July 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

It's too bad Alfred Hitchcock didn't live long enough to put Kevin Costner into a movie, because Costner is exactly the kind of leading man Hitchcock liked.

July 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

This is a major treat.

July 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Sex, violence and secrecy can make a volatile on-screen combination, but not this time.

July 29, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

A tense and well made thriller.

June 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

Kevin Costner displays some charisma, for once, in a twisty, stylish espionage thriller.

March 30, 2009 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A cleverly plotted thriller with impeccable performances. Costner is spot on as the man who finds it hard to play by others' rules, even if it may cost him his head.

March 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

...primarily comes off as a fast-moving and increasingly compelling thriller...

March 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Smart and steamy Beltway thriller.

January 12, 2006
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Audience Reviews for No Way Out

No Way Out has become a bit of classic thriller. It's dated even for 1987 as I'm sure the Pentagon's technology was a little bit better than that shown. I'm not even going to go into the clothes, fashion, attitude and language, it was the 80's. The story however is still clever. The build up of tension and suspense is still thrilling all these years later and the twist, no matter if you love or hate it, is still something pretty special. It didn't need to happen but somehow I'm really glad they did. It's quite a statement on retrospect. Not only has Roger Donaldson fooled his audience, he's also made a statement about the state of politics and that of trust. There are no good guys! It's rough around the edges and cheesy as hell but you've got to love it. The script is good and the performances, particularly the maddening Will Patton are great.

http://cinephilecrocodile.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/no-way-out-dir-roger-donaldson-1987-no.html
June 2, 2014
SirPant

Super Reviewer

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.
December 27, 2006
garyX
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.
November 19, 2006
deano
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

    1. David Brice Secretary of Defense: Strange ending, big time. Gene Hackman doesn't get charged or caught for his actions, weird to say the least.
    – Submitted by Pat M (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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