The Sum of All Fears (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Sum of All Fears (2002)



Critic Consensus: A slick and well-made thriller that takes on new weight due to the current political climate.

The Sum of All Fears Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

When the president of Russia suddenly dies and is succeeded by a man about whom little is known, tension increases as old fears ignite new paranoia. Director of Central Intelligence Bill Cabot recruits a young analyst from the Russia desk, Jack Ryan, to supply insight and advice. Then the unthinkable happens: the capital of Chechnya is leveled by a nuclear bomb. America is quick to blame the Russians, and mistrust escalates despite Ryan's certainty that other players are at work. He is right. Terrorists bent on provoking open war between the two nations are moving behind the scenes to manufacture and escalate a conflict. When they successfully detonate a second bomb outside Baltimore during the Super Bowl, the world is pushed inexorably towards war... unless Ryan can supply the needed proof to stem the tide of disaster in time.more
Rating: PG-13 (for violence, disaster images and brief strong language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Daniel Pynee, Paul Attanasio, Daniel Pyne
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 29, 2002
Box Office: $118.5M
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


Ben Affleck
as Jack Ryan
Morgan Freeman
as DCI William Cabot
James Cromwell
as President Robert Fow...
Liev Schreiber
as John Clark
Bridget Moynahan
as Dr. Cathy Muller
Alan Bates
as Dressler
Ciarán Hinds
as President Alexander ...
Philip Baker Hall
as Defense Secretary Be...
Ron Rifkin
as Secretary of State S...
Bruce McGill
as National Security Ad...
Josef Sommer
as Senator Jessup
Ken Jenkins
as Admiral Pollack
Richard Marner
as President Zorkin
Ian Mongrain
as Syrian Radar Operato...
Russell Bobbitt
as Israeli Pilot
John Beasley
as General Lasseter
Al Vandecruys
as US STRATCOM Colonel
Richard Cohee
as Mt. Weather General
Philip Pretten
as President's Military...
Alison Darcy
as Fowler's Aide
Ostap Soroka
as Zorkin's Translator
Robert Martin Robins...
as Zorkin's Interviewer
Lee Garlington
as Mary Pat Foley
Stefan Kalipha
as Arab Gravedigger
Maria Monakhova
as Zorkin's Aide
Francois Bryon
as CIA Wardrobe Guy
Pragna Desai
as Dr. Rita Russell
Michel Abou-Samah
as Olson's Translator
Edward Zinoviev
as Nemerov's Aide
Sheena Larkin
as Pam Lathrop
Frank Fontaine
as General Rand
Andre Cornellier
as Kremlin Photographer
Maxime Opadtchii
as Kremlin Photographer...
Mariusz Sibiga
as Nemerov's Translator
Michael Byrne
as Anatoli Grushkov
Norm Berketa
as American Scientist
Lev Prygunov
as General Saratkin
Mace Neufeld
as WHCA Dinner Chairman
Jennifer Seguin
as President's Aide
Josh Kimmel
as White House Mess Wai...
Evgeniy Lazarev
as General Dubinin
Heinar Piller
as Dressler's Associate
Arthur Holden
as Dressler's Associate
Marcel Sabourin
as Monsieur Monceau
Vie Nystrom
as Dressler's Secretary
Joel Bissonnette
as Jared Mason
Kwasi Songui
as Dockyard Navy Vetera...
Marina Lapina
as Nemerov's Wife
Victoria Reuter
as Russian Nurse
France Arbour
as Spassky's Mother
Valeri Koudriavtsev
as Ukrainian Guard
Victor Pedtchenko
as Ukrainian Guard
Willie Gault
as Sportscaster
Gary Gelfand
as Sportscaster
Arnold McCuller
as National Anthem Sing...
Craig Hosking
as Helicopter Pilot
John Eaves
as Secret Service Agent
J.J. Carle
as Hospital Physician
MSGT David Vazquez
as Marine Rescuer
Marie Matiko
as Captain Vicky Shiro
David Schaap
as US STRATCOM Colonel
LisaGay Hamilton
as Capt. Lorna Shiro
Kirk Taylor
as AFRAT Specialist Wes...
Jason Antoon
as AFRAT Specialist Stu...
Lisa Bronwyn Moore
as NAOC Hotline Operato...
Alexander Belyavsky
as Admiral Ivanov
Jason Winer
as Aircraft Carrier Pet...
Antonio David Lyons
as Aircraft Carrier Pet...
Lennie Loftin
as Aircraft Carrier Dut...
Mike McDougal
as Russian Pilot
Matt Holland
as Pickup Truck Owner
Roger Tonry
as F-16 Pilot
Oleg Belkin
as Russian Defense Mini...
Constantine Gregory
as General Bulgakov
Griffith Brewer
as Burn Victim
Jacklyn St. Pierre
as Baltimore Nurse
Mariah Inger
as Baltimore Nurse
Mark Antony Krupa
as US STRATCOM Captain
Joseph Antaki
as Arab Doctor
Marcel Jeanin
as Baltimore Cop
Gerry Wood
as AF Lt. Colonel
Conrad Pla
as Pentagon Security Gu...
Philip Akin
as General Wilkes
Henri Pardo
as Pentagon NCO
Irwin Dillion
as Pentagon Mo-Link Ope...
Real Auger
as Dubinin's Killer
Gilles Marsolais
as Dubinin's Killer
Eric Steibi
as Dressler's Aide
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Sum of All Fears

Critic Reviews for The Sum of All Fears

All Critics (184) | Top Critics (40)

An implausible apocalypse without depth or resonance, a cartoon of international politics presented with no James Bond-like playfulness and with all the superficial realism money can buy.

Full Review… | July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

[Ben Affleck's] Jack Ryan is simply impossible to take seriously, and that's something the film could probably never survive.

Full Review… | January 22, 2014
Antagony & Ecstasy

Generic action film not good for kids, or anyone.

Full Review… | January 1, 2011
Common Sense Media

A solid thriller with a great cast that tends to suffer from some faults...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Though this political adventure requires substantial suspension of disbelief, the witty script and mature approach keep the film on track. [Blu-Ray]

Full Review… | August 5, 2008
Groucho Reviews

... Entertaining and far more relevant than most other action/adventure movies.

Full Review… | January 7, 2004
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Audience Reviews for The Sum of All Fears

The Jack Ryan books by Tom Clancy have been very popular among readers of techno thrillers, and I've read plenty of Clancy's books. They are well written, complex, engaging and thrilling, action packed and memorable. There has been three based on Clancy's work featuring Jack Ryan and each were better than the last one. With that being Sid, The Sum of all Fears is a good effort, much better than my first initial viewing, but the biggest problem with the film is that Affleck was cast in the lead role of Ryan, and this was made when Affleck's career was pretty sketchy. Here, he's good, but I felt he wasn't quite right for the part, and that a better choice should have been made in picking an actor who could have made a significant impact in the role of Tom Clancy's iconic character. With that being said, at least the cast aside from Affleck is strong, and the story is quite good, and the film is an action thrill ride. However compared to other films featuring Jack Ryan such Clear and Present Danger and Patriot Games, The Sum of all Fears lacks a bit and isn't as good as previous Jack Ryan efforts. Nonetheless, I preferred this film much more with a second viewing, and it's one of those films that you need to really view a second time to let it grow on you. Affleck may be miscast, but he does manage to give a worthy performance, and considering that this was made when he was getting critically vilified by bad films like Daredevil and Gigli, this is one of his better films of this period in his acting career. In a way, it does a side to him that he would solidify years later acting in his films The Town and Argo. With a good script, tense, pulse pounding moments and terrific action, The Sum of All Fears is a good action Thriller that is worth seeing if you're a fan of Clancy's work, or you enjoyed the previous films featuring Jack Ryan. Not a perfect film, but this is one that like I said, is much better with a second viewing.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

27,000 Nuclear Weapons. One Is Missing.

Saw it again! Good Film! Sum of All Fears is an enjoyable thriller and the type of movie the Hollywood studios have always been good at making. It's slick, expensive-looking, well-acted and two hours of far-fetched fun. Ben Affleck plays CIA Agent and superman Jack Ryan PhD. Ryan is a former marine, linguist and all-round polymath who saves the world from impending disaster. Affleck is youthful and convincing as Ryan and makes him seem fallible and likable. Ryan becomes a confidant of the wise and sensible CIA Director Bill Cabot (Morgan Freeman) and acquires a beautiful and successful girlfriend (Bridget Moynahan) who believes he's a historian.

The plot is complicated and involves a new Russian leader (Ciaran Hands) who spouts anti-U.S. rhetoric. A Russian chemical attack on Chechnya increases the tension between the two countries. An Israeli atomic bomb is found in the Egyption desert,a relic of the 1973 Arab-Israeli conflict. Neo-Nazi terrorists (led by Alan Bates) want to provoke a nuclear conflict between America and Russia. They acquire the bomb from a South African arms dealer and explode it in Baltimore. The U.S. blames the Russians and the two countries are about to commence all-out nuclear war until Ryan works out what is happening and it all ends happily. The message is that the new Russian leaders are reasonable men signifying that the world has moved on from the Commie bashing flicks of the 1980s.

The idea of a terrorist nuclear attack is topical, but unfortunately the Neo-Nazi villains seem very 1970s. The film has good character actors in supporting roles (e.g., Liev Schrieber, James Cromwell). I much prefer Afflek's Ryan to that of the 52 year-old Harrison Ford who by 1994's Clear and Present Danger seemed too old and surly for the role. Go see it!

When the president of Russia suddenly dies, a man whose politics are virtually unknown succeeds him. The change in political leaders sparks paranoia among American CIA officials, so CIA director Bill Cabot recruits a young analyst to supply insight and advice on the situation. Then the unthinkable happens: a nuclear bomb explodes in a U.S. city, and America is quick to blame the Russians.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

A conspiracy to ignite total war between Russia and America is met by a new screen Jack Ryan played by Ben Affleck in an attempt to invest new life into the popular series. The effect is not bad, not bad at all. The idea underlying the whole film is the real draw though, shot before 9/11, about how do we, the world, respond to the aggressive acts of a radical minority. Worth a look.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

The Sum of All Fears Quotes

– Submitted by Spacelibrarian E (4 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Sum of All Fears on our Movie forum!