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Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)



Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 156
Fresh: 87 | Rotten: 69

It doesn't reinvent the action-thriller wheel, but Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit offers a sleek, reasonably diverting reboot for a long-dormant franchise.


Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 35
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 18

It doesn't reinvent the action-thriller wheel, but Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit offers a sleek, reasonably diverting reboot for a long-dormant franchise.



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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 59,682

My Rating

Movie Info

Based on the character created by bestselling author Tom Clancy, "Jack Ryan" is a global action thriller set in the present day. This original story follow a young Jack (Chris Pine) as he uncovers a financial terrorist plot. The story follows him from 9/11, through his tour of duty in Afghanistan, which scarred him forever, and into his early days in the Financial Intelligence Unit of the modern CIA where he becomes an analyst, under the guardianship of his handler, Harper (Kevin Costner). When

Jun 10, 2014


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All Critics (156) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (87) | Rotten (69) | DVD (2)

I'm aware that commercial and cultural forces require everything to be rebooted triennially with fresher, hotter stars. But this is the second time the Jack Ryan franchise has rejected a youth transplant.

March 14, 2014 Full Review Source: Grantland
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The dim star wattage in this fifth rehash is palpable from the start.

January 24, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is the very definition of an OK thriller.

January 21, 2014 Full Review Source: Richard
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Kenneth Branagh knows how to invest the ridiculous with a sort of grandeur - Exhibit A: the surprisingly fun Thor - but Shadow Recruit is more straightforward in nature, so he can't get too fancy.

January 20, 2014 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Branagh runs through all of this efficiently enough, but it feels awfully familiar.

January 17, 2014 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Almost 25 years later, Jack: Ryan Shadow Recruit tries its best to reignite the Cold War, with tepid results.

January 17, 2014 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An attractive cast and better-than-average thrills make "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" a lesser, but worthy entry into the series of films based on the late Tom Clancy's characters.

July 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Chambers
Movie Chambers

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is not the kind of film that Jack Ryan fans would expect, nor is it the kind of film that they or the character deserve.

June 9, 2014 Full Review Source:

Briskly paced and doesn't overstay its welcome - which is a good thing, because sometimes it's best to not linger on the plot holes.

April 21, 2014 Full Review Source: Columbus Alive
Columbus Alive

A simplistic, vainglorious attempt to reboot a popular literary character featuring two extremes of acting: leaden and scenery-chewing.

March 15, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

It's rare that a movie like this should be longer, but a little elongating might help this clipped, B-grade thriller resonate a little deeper.

March 14, 2014 Full Review Source: Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair

Proof that "January junk" no longer applies to every January release.

February 21, 2014 Full Review Source: Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

For a character who has been rebooted three times in five movies, it's a little disappointing they didn't try something new with Jack Ryan in Shadow Recruit. And by "something", I mean "anything".

February 13, 2014 Full Review Source: The Vine
The Vine

Chris Pine is perfectly cast as Jack Ryan, the Tom Clancy created hero.

February 10, 2014 Full Review Source:

The action comes non-stop and credit director/co-star Branagh with making the film interesting, both with his performance and his guidance.

February 9, 2014 Full Review Source: MediaMikes

The nauseating repetition will cause frustrating exhales. The fast cutting frenetic chase sequences feel like they were left on Paul Greengrass' cutting room floor.

February 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Dark Horizons
Dark Horizons

Jack Ryan seems neither sufficiently suave nor highly skilled to fully capture our imaginations. After all, he's really just a super banker, whose mission success here depends on downloading data onto his memory stick. Hardly thrilling?

February 6, 2014 Full Review Source: UTV

It's one of these vending-machine movies: a good-enough, easily forgettable flick that benefits from selection bias and low expectations.

February 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Seven Days
Seven Days

The plotting is fairly hackneyed, with standard-issue office break-ins and routine car chases, right down to the inevitable ticking bomb climax. And the action lacks the furious kinetic urgency the Bourne movies brought to the secret agent genre.

February 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

If it wasn't for Costner's pleasantly gruff CIA handler being tart and folksy in a moderately appealing way, there'd be not a single thing standing between Shadow Recruit and total unwatchability.

January 31, 2014 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Nothing new re-boot of the Tom Clancy espionage wherein we learn the Russians are the bad guys...Again.

January 31, 2014 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Great Chase Scenes

January 31, 2014 Full Review Source:

... a modestly engaging if overly familiar espionage thriller, with the Americans and Russians in yet another cinematic struggle for world domination.

January 31, 2014 Full Review Source:

[T]he film's second half seems determined to snuff out the promise of its first, making it hard to wish for this incarnation of the character, or any, to have more big-screen adventures.

January 31, 2014 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

I am completely fine with Pine giving us more Jack Ryan in the future. Hopefully they can find a new script or go back to one of the Tom Clancy novels for an interesting story.

January 29, 2014 Full Review Source: The Scorecard Review
The Scorecard Review

Audience Reviews for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Technically strong and stylish with a good performance from Costner, although the plot is poorly developed and the detective work is improbable and almost entirely based on lucky guesses. Because of this, I really felt cheated out of half the suspense and it did nothing to give the impression that Jack Ryan was a particularly talented analyst. The film is fun, near-mindless action, but really is not worthy of the Jack Ryan franchise.
July 21, 2014

Super Reviewer

Maybe the most generic thriller I've ever seen. Well-done, but blander than Chris Pine's face.
June 16, 2014
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

Well this looks like a reasonably slick espionage mov...BANG! REBOOT! ugh! Yep Ryan's back in the fifth film of the Tom Clancy novel adapted franchise that really did seem like it was dead in the water. But guess what! this time they have abandoned the Clancy stories completely and gone with a fully original idea that just happens to be yet another fudging origins tale...Jesus H Christ! another flippin' origins reboot.

So we see how Ryan starts off his career, becomes a marine, gets badly injured, meets his future wife and finally ends up working secretly for old man Costner blah blah blah...its all of no importance. Bottom line Ryan is working as a covert CIA analyst and trying to snoop out suspect money transactions that could lead to terrorist attacks. Low and behold he finds one! a suspicious looking operation that stereotypically leads him to Russia where he must bring down the evil Kenneth Branagh with lots of hi-tech jiggery pokery.

What can I say? the entire cast of this film felt completely miscast in my humble opinion. Kenneth Branagh directed this film and conveniently gave himself the meatiest role as the main bad guy. The problem is whilst Branagh can do a marvellous Russian accent he can't really pull off the bad guy spiel too well and comes across as trying way too hard with his dastardly cool as ice persona. I get the feeling he's been watching Alan Rickman in 'Die Hard' too much, watching him slap his men around just came across as funny. Pine as the main protagonist Ryan was always coming across as 'Kirk' to me quite strangely, every time the action kicks in I just see him running around spaceship corridors. While he isn't bad as the main guy he isn't exactly thrilling to watch either, he does the desk jockey pen pushing angle well but in the thick of some realistic action he doesn't quite sell it for me. I think the problem being we've seen Jack Ryan as a young smart keen company boy already with Affleck and Baldwin, and this doesn't really feel any different, wash rinse and repeat. The less said about the awful Knightly the better frankly, she just doesn't look comfortable in this type of movie, stick to your rom-com's and silly fantasies dear.

I think in general this is a standard run of the mill espionage action thriller that combines elements from 'The Bourne Identity' and 'Mission: Impossible'. I'm sure you can guess what I'm getting at...this film offers nice sequences of standard hi-tech computer hacking gadget filled tomfoolery with some nice chase sequences and a bit of fisticuffs to boot. None of it is anything remarkably special, we've seen it all before albeit this time its inevitably slicker and glossier.

The whole roller coaster sequence where Ryan must infiltrate Branagh's posh offices, hack his computer and download/upload files for the CIA is the main set piece and admittedly its done well. Think of the Cruise sequence in the first 'M:I' flick where he's dangling from wires...well that doesn't happen here but there's the same kind of high tension as Ryan must hack n jack within a time limit before his actions become noticed and the bad guys come running. Its the best bit of the whole film and it did make me sweat I won't deny, of course you know he will make it but still. Other than that its pretty much the same kind of stuff you've come to chases, damage porn, a few punch ups and a big explosion at the very end which really should of caused a lot of damage despite the film making it out to be a happy ending.

It all came across as a very tame safe sanitized action thriller with not much action or any solid brute violence. I'm not saying that violence makes a film but I think this needed some beefing up definitely. Branagh is a competent director but here he offers nothing new or anything to stretch the limits of our imaginations. There are many espionage franchises out there these days and at the end of the day this just doesn't cut the mustard if you ask me. Back in the day the older Jack Ryan movies fared better because there was less competition in this genre, these days forget it, this is going nowhere fast.
June 13, 2014

Super Reviewer

Trust No One.

Good but not so great! It's just another spy movie with an over the top villain that's plotting world domination. It's predictable and generic. They sacrificed what made the Jack Ryan character unique. I'm not saying that the movie didn't work as some Bond/Bourne/Mission Impossible wannabe with bits and pieces slapped together from every spy thriller ever made. It captured successful elements from those films pretty well. It's just a shame that they relied on recycling tired and over used narrative when there is still a bunch of great Ryan books that they have yet to adapt. There should be no reason to slap together this films story when a much more talented writer like Clancy still has more stories to draw from. Despite following a predictable formula very closely instead of the source material, the movie still works as entertainment. Chris Pine is great, despite the writers failing him, and he really carries the movie. He could be a great Jack Ryan if they actually wrote the character correctly. Branagh delivers a pretty good villain, even though he's more suited for a Bond film. There are a couple of scenes that deliver good suspense. It's just not a Jack Ryan movie. It seems that they only used Jack Ryan for the brand name rather than faithfully trying to tell a story about him.

A new version of the saga of CIA analyst, Jack Ryan. It begins when Ryan was attending the London School of Economics; and 9/11 happened. He would then enlist in the Marines and would go to Afghanistan. The chopper he was on would get shot down and he would suffer severe injuries that would require intense rehab. While there, he grabs the attention of a man named Harper, who works for the CIA and would like him to finish his studies and get a job on Wall Street so he can find out of any terrorist plot through their finances. A few years later, Ryan finds anomalies in the accounts of a Russian named Cherevin. Jack thinks he should go to Russia to find out what's going on. Jack was told not to tell anyone who he is and that includes his girl friend Cathy. But she catches Jack in some lies which makes her doubt him. Jack goes to Russia and Cherevin assigns him someone to take care of him. But when they're alone the man tries to kill Jack. So Jack kills him. Obvious Cherevin is hiding something so Jack goes to meet him, and he says he will bring his fiancé along. But Cathy shows up and Jack has to tell her the truth. Harper says Cathy has to go with Jack when she meets Cherevin. Jack doesn't want her to but Cathy says she's going. So the action begins that leads to the climax...
June 13, 2014
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

    1. Viktor Cherevin: You Americans like to think yourself direct but maybe your just plain rude.
    – Submitted by joseph j (6 months ago)
    1. William Harper: Could you wipe that" Boy Scout at his first field trip" grin off your face for a second?
    – Submitted by Laurie E (6 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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