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critics consensus

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. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Navy Lt. Tom Farrell (Kevin Costner) meets a young woman, Susan Atwell (Sean Young), and they share a passionate fling. Farrell then finds out that his superior, Defense Secretary David Brice (Gene Hackman), is also romantically involved with Atwell. When the young woman turns up dead, Farrell is put in charge of the murder investigation. He begins to uncover shocking clues about the case, but when details of his encounter with Susan surface, he becomes a suspect as well.

Cast & Crew

Kevin Costner
Lt. Cmdr. Tom Farrell
Gene Hackman
Defense Secretary David Brice
Sean Young
Susan Atwell
Will Patton
Scott Pritchard
Howard Duff
Senator William "Billy" Duvall
George Dzundza
Sam Hesselman
Jason Bernard
Major Donovan
Iman
Nina Beka
Fred Dalton Thompson
CIA Director Marshall
Robert Garland
Screenwriter
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News & Interviews for No Way Out

Critic Reviews for No Way Out

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for No Way Out

  • Jun 27, 2018
    An implausible thriller that requires suspension of belief quite often but is saved by the charm of its leading cast. Will Patton in particular works overtime to sell his part, Hackman (it needn't be repeated) is always solid, while Young and Costner find a way to exemplify young lust. This was not as good as I hoped, but better than I thought it would be. The twist at the end is worth one star all on its own.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • May 28, 2013
    This is a pretty damn good and entertaining suspense/thriller. This is one of those movies that keeps getting better is it goes along and it, most definitely, ends on a high note. If I had a problem with the film is that, until Susan's death, the romance between her and Tom was a little corny. The acting is strong all around, but I didn't find these parts particularly intriguing. Not bad, but not memorable either. When Susan is murdered, that's when the movie kicks into high gear. I found the mystery surrounding the investigation, even though everything, up until the twist, seems pretty cut and dried as to the events that happened. You get to see this story of this man, Will Patton, who's so loyal to David Brice that he's willing to do anything, and I do mean anything, to make sure that Brice is not implicated in the murder by using this cover story of a KGB agent that's infiltrated the Department of Defense. Since Will Patton's character is such a manipulator, and the brains, of the entire investigation, you never for a second doubt Tom's innocence. Which is where the twist comes in. I'm assuming anyone who reads this will be able to put two and two together, but I'm still not gonna spoil it as it would ruin most of the fun of the movie. The thing about the twist is that it's actually really very logical and fits in with the theme of the movie perfectly. The problem with most twists nowadays is that a lot of them are just done because it's shocking and not because it actually makes sense within the story you're telling. It's tremendous when you think about it because you really think that the twist itself is a red herring and something meant to throw you off what is actually happening. The twist in this movie is genius to be honest, it's surprising but completely logical within the story they're telling. And the movie is just really exciting and fun to watch once Susan dies. I must make mention of Will Patton, who is absolutely tremendous as the main villain. He's such a perfect prick, a man who will do anything to keep his position of power. He's also a highlight in the film. So all in all, this is a really entertaining thriller with a great twist. Great acting from all involved too, so I can't complain that much other than the really corny romance.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Dec 16, 2011
    Once again, highlighting the fact that political thrillers are one of my favorite genres may affect this high rating, but I'm pretty confident of delivering it and ready to defend those four stars on every front. The ending is either one of the most loved twists or one of the most hated twists in movie history, according, respectively, to people that understood the film and those who didn't. I'm confident that when you will go through the movie again, the ending will satisfy you. The cast was great, and the performance that captivated me most was Will Patton's, playing the secretary of defense's right hand man Scott Pritchard. The suspense keeps on mounting as every minute of the running time goes by, and is brilliantly handled by Roger Donaldson throughout. This is one of those movies you care so much for what's happening, and when the ending comes out, you feel like you just got slapped in the face. (in a good sense)
    Raja N Super Reviewer
  • Jul 03, 2010
    A quintessential 80s action flick. 82/100
    Simeon D Super Reviewer

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