The Hunt for Red October (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hunt for Red October (1990)



Critic Consensus: Perfectly cast and packed with suspense, The Hunt for Red October is an old-fashioned submarine thriller with plenty of firepower to spare.

The Hunt for Red October Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

The first of several films based on Tom Clancy's "Jack Ryan" technothrillers, Hunt for Red October stars Alec Baldwin as eccentric CIA analyst Ryan and Sean Connery as Soviet submarine commander Marko Ramius. Ramius sets the plot in motion when he murders his political adviser, burns his orders, and steers his sub Red October towards American waters, hoping to defect. The CIA, aware that the Red October was about to embark on an evasive mission to demonstrate its ability to avoid detection and fire its nuclear missiles upon U.S. installations, believes that Ramius is insane, and that he plans to start World War III. To cover their own behinds, the Russians back up the CIA's suspicion. Only Jack Ryan believes that Ramius' mission is not as apocalyptic as it seems -- and it is Ryan who is assigned to infiltrate the Red October to prove his theory. The sort of film that in an earlier era would have been called a "thinking man's thriller," The Hunt for Red October ushered in a new series of Hollywood-produced post-Cold War adventure films, including 1995's Crimson Tide. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: PG (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure
Directed By: ,
Written By: Larry Ferguson, Donald Stewart, Robert Garland, John Milius, David Shaber
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 1, 1998
Paramount Pictures


Sean Connery
as Marko Ramius
Alec Baldwin
as Jack Ryan
Scott Glenn
as Bart Mancuso
Sam Neill
as Capt. Borodin
James Earl Jones
as Adm. Greer
Joss Ackland
as Andrei Lysenko
Richard Jordan
as Jeffrey Pelt
Peter Firth
as Ivan Putin
Tim Curry
as Dr. Petrov
Courtney B. Vance
as Seaman Jones
Stellan Skarsgard
as Capt. Tupolev
Jeffrey Jones
as Skip Tyler
Timothy Carhart
as Bill Steiner
Daniel Davis
as Capt. Davenport
Larry Ferguson
as Chief of the Boat
Tomas Arana
as Loginov
Ned Vaughn
as Seaman Beaumont
Anthony Peck
as Lt. Comdr. Thompson
Ronald Guttman
as Lt. Melekhin
Artur Cybulski
as Diving Officer
Christopher Janczar
as Andrei Bonovia
Don Oscar Smith
as Helicopter Pilot
Rick Ducommun
as Navigator C-2A
George H. Billy
as DSRV Officer
Arthur Cybulski
as Diving Officer
Reed Popovich
as Lt. Jim Curry
Andrew Divoff
as Andrei Amalric
Sven Ole Thorsen
as Russian COB
Peter Zinner
as Adm. Padorin
Tony Veneto
as Padorin's Orderly
Ray Reinhardt
as Jodge Moore at Brief...
F.J. O'Neil
as General at Briefing
David Sederholm
as Sunglasses
John Shepherd
as Foxtrot Pilot
William Bell Sulliva...
as Lt. Cmdr. Mike Hewit...
Gates McFadden
as Caroline Ryan
Louise Borras
as Sally Ryan
Denise E. James
as Stewardess
Kenton Kovell
as Seaman - Red October
Pete Antico
as Seaman - USS Dallas
Tom Fisher
as Seaman - USS Dallas
Mark Draxton
as Seaman - USS Dallas
Anatoly Davydov
as Officer #1 - Red Oct...
Ivan G'Vera
as Officer #2 - Red Oct...
Radu Gavor
as Seaman - Red October
Ivan Ivanov
as Seaman - Red October
Ping Wu
as Seaman - Red October
Herman Sinitzyn
as Seaman - Red October
Vlado Benden
as Seaman - Konovalov
George Winston
as Seaman - Konovalov
Ben Hartigan
as Admiral (Briefing)
Robert Buckingham
as Admiral #2 (Briefing...
A.C. Lyles
as Advisor #1
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News & Interviews for The Hunt for Red October

Critic Reviews for The Hunt for Red October

All Critics (66) | Top Critics (16)

Clancy is known for writing difficult books, but the movie makes plausible a preposterous situation because of Baldwin's convincing, low-key approach to being a film hero.

Full Review… | February 11, 2015
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

You may not be limp from accumulated tension when this hunt is over, but its cautiously upbeat global message leaves a satisfying glow and it operates with a crackerjack premise.

Full Review… | February 11, 2015
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

An exciting techno-suspense thriller with a hollow center.

Full Review… | February 11, 2015
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Though Hunt shows fitful signs of life, it lacks the human drama of Das Boot, the technical dazzle of The Abyss and the old-fashioned brio of Run Silent, Run Deep.

Full Review… | February 11, 2015
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Red October is an idealized, dreamy fantasy of life in the business world-harmless as airplane reading, a bit dull on the big screen.

Full Review… | February 11, 2015
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The Hunt for Red October is overplotted and sometimes implausible, but McTiernan's clipped style and lavish budget help it through the choppier waters.

Full Review… | February 11, 2015
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Hunt for Red October


It bogs down in the technical stuff in its second half, but it's still a competent Cold War classic from the director of Die Hard, (who also directed duds like The 13th Warrior and The Thomas Crown Affair, but I digress). I enjoyed learning that Alec Baldwin and Sam Neill weren't always middle-aged, and I especially appreciated that the Russians didn't have ridiculous accents (the film uses a zoom to switch from subtitled Russian to English, letting you in to the artifice). It's overly long and a bit mechanical, but this big-budget game of Battleship compares favourably to a lot of similar films.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer


A thrilling action movie, adequately cast.

Christian C

Super Reviewer

Captain Ramius: You're afraid of our fleet. Well, you should be. Personally, I'd give us one chance in three. More tea anyone? 

"Invisible. Silent. Stolen."

The Hunt for Red October is a film that deserves its classification as a thriller. There isn't a lull in the 2 hour plus runtime. It's a nonstop thrilling ride beneath the sea. Part of the reason the movie works so well is because of an extraordinary cast of Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, James Earle Jones, Sam Neill and Tim Curry. There's a bunch of great character actors in there too, that I know by their face, but if asked I couldn't tell you their names. 

Red October is the name of a Russian sub, which is the command of Captain Ramius. Under his command the sub defects and makes its way towards the United States. The plot has many turns and what you expect isn't always what you get. Sean Connery makes this movie with his terrific veteran presence. Every time I watch a movie with him in it; I am always stunned by how convincing the guy is onscreen. Alec Baldwin isn't one of my favorite actors, but he is pretty good as the hero.

This is a thriller that doesn't rely to much on action. There are long sequences where the excitement comes from listening to the characters talk instead of watching them run and shoot. Its a smart, well paced, cool film that I liked immensely. I'll take this over Die Hard any day.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

The Hunt for Red October Quotes

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– Submitted by Aaron P (2 years ago)

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