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The Sum of All Fears Reviews

Robert Koehler
Variety
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July 22, 2008
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
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June 24, 2006
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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| Original Score: B

August 9, 2002
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
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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 Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

July 20, 2002
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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I'm not saying Affleck is in way over his head, but a scuba tank and swim fins might come in handy.

June 13, 2002
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Affleck merely creates an outline for a role he still needs to grow into, a role that Ford effortlessly filled with authority.

| Original Score: 1/5

June 10, 2002
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
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A trite espionage thriller without the thrills but with a lingering measure of nausea.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

June 4, 2002
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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The Sum of All Fears is almost impossible to follow -- and there's something cringe-inducing about seeing an American football stadium nuked as pop entertainment.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

June 3, 2002
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine
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Phil Alden Robinson, who directed from a script by Paul Attanasio and Daniel Pyne, is an accomplished craftsman, but his movie has been upstaged by the sum of our fears.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine

June 2, 2002

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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June 1, 2002
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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It's a smartly directed, grown-up film of ideas.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

June 1, 2002
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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Has something to disappoint nearly every constituency to which it appeals.

| Original Score: 2/5

May 31, 2002
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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One that bombs literally and figuratively.

| Original Score: 1.5/5

May 31, 2002
Erik Lundegaard
Seattle Times
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Subtract the slickness, and Sum adds up to a smart thriller.

| Original Score: 3/4

May 31, 2002
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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It's a movie that, frankly, I could not recommend to a friend, and yet I find no fault in the filmmaking.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

May 31, 2002
Charles Taylor
Salon.com
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The Sum of All Fears pretends to be a serious exploration of nuclear terrorism, but it's really nothing more than warmed-over Cold War paranoia.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

May 31, 2002
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
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Watching this film, we can't shake our fears that we may be witnessing a version of our own previously unthinkable future.

| Original Score: 4/5

May 31, 2002
Jan Stuart
Newsday
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This engrossing, characteristically complex Tom Clancy thriller is shifty in the manner in which it addresses current terrorism anxieties and sidesteps them at the same time.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 31, 2002
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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It's a testament to how effective The Sum of All Fears really is that it sends you home feeling more scared than you were before.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

May 31, 2002
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
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Toward the end Sum of All Fears morphs into a mundane '70s disaster flick.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: C+

May 31, 2002
Susan Stark
Detroit News
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Bold, imaginative, rational and persuasive an account of the lethally dangerous world we live in, The Sum of All Fears is an international spy drama with visceral impact.

| Original Score: 3/4

May 31, 2002
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
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The explosion essentially ruined -- or, rather, overpowered -- the fiction of the movie for me.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 31, 2002
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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All that moviemaking money, plus all those gadgets, plus Ben Affleck: It doesn't add up to very much.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2/4

May 31, 2002
Mike Clark
USA Today
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A mediocre terrorist melodrama turned even punier by real-life events.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2/4

May 31, 2002
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Plays like a cheesy '80s TV movie.

| Original Score: 1/4

May 31, 2002
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Director Phil Alden Robinson and his writers, Paul Attanasio and Daniel Pyne, do a spellbinding job of cranking up the tension.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 31, 2002
Renee Graham
Boston Globe
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There's nothing ambiguous here -- no twisty plot lines, no out-of-left-field jolts. Just lots of angry boys with big angry toys designed to wipe out the whole ever-lovin' lot of us.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

May 31, 2002
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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The most exciting [two hours] I've spent on any would-be summer blockbuster in a long, long time.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 4/4

May 30, 2002
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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I am still scratching my head at the callowness of the film's hero and at the haziness of the terrorist objective.

| Original Score: 2/4

May 30, 2002
Stephen Holden
New York Times
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It's a striking measure of the nervousness of the country right now that a movie so full of holes should be as gripping as it is, at least for its first two-thirds, after which it collapses into a swamp of sentimental mush.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2/5

May 30, 2002
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
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Absorbing and disturbing -- perhaps more disturbing than originally intended -- but a little clarity would have gone a long way.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 30, 2002
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
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A slick, well-oiled machine, exquisitely polished and upholstered.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B

May 30, 2002
Paul Clinton (CNN.com)
CNN.com
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The nonstop action takes you all over the planet, and you'll find yourself totally caught up in this exhilarating adventure.

Full Review Source: CNN.com

May 30, 2002
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
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In terms of escapist fun, this one ranks right up there with a newsreel tour of ground zero in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 1.5/4

May 30, 2002
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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An exciting action blockbuster.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

May 30, 2002
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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I was impressed by how many tit-for-tat retaliatory responses the filmmakers allow before pulling the plug on the conspirators and averting an American-Russian Armageddon.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

May 30, 2002
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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The Sum of All Fears may not be super-smart, but it's rock-solid.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: B

May 30, 2002
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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Ben Affleck is more than a stand-in for Harrison Ford.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B-

May 30, 2002
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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The movie does what all good thrillers should do -- provide enough shocks and surprises to keep us guessing, and never lets up on the suspense until the end credits arrive.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

May 29, 2002
David Hunter
Hollywood Reporter
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Vigorously directed by Phil Alden Robinson and tautly scripted by Paul Attanasio and Daniel Pyne.

May 28, 2002
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