The Sum of All Fears 2002

The Sum of All Fears

Critics Consensus

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

60%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 176

49%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 89,500

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Movie Info

Based on Tom Clancy's novel, this espionage thriller tracks a sinister plot to draw the United States and Russia into World War III. When the Russian president (Ciarán Hinds) suddenly dies, world tension escalates. Coupled with missing nuclear scientists and the threat of a nuclear detonation on United States soil, young CIA analyst Jack Ryan (Ben Affleck) must uncover who is behind the conspiracy.

Cast & Crew

Morgan Freeman
William Cabot
James Cromwell
President Fowler
Bridget Moynahan
Dr. Kathy Muller
Alan Bates
Richard Dressler
Ciarán Hinds
President Nemerov
Philip Baker Hall
Defense Secretary Becker
Ron Rifkin
Secretary of State Owens
Bruce McGill
National Security Advisor Revell
Tom Clancy
Executive Producer
Stratton Leopold
Executive Producer
Tom Clancy
Writer (Novel)
John Lindley
Director of Photography
Jeannine Oppewall
Production Designer
Neil Travis
Film Editor
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Critic Reviews for The Sum of All Fears

All Critics (176) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (105) | Rotten (71)

  • In this Bush-Ashcroft age, we do not especially need more strictures on civil liberties, but after this despicable film perhaps the great minds of Movieland could be persuaded to agree on a ground rule: films about nuclear terror must not be risible.

    January 5, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    August 9, 2002 | Rating: B
  • Deals with a chillingly topical nuclear attack on Baltimore. But perhaps more disturbingly, it rehashes it into a Ben Affleck action romance.

    August 5, 2002 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Laura Bushell

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    July 20, 2002 | Rating: 2/4
  • 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
  • Affleck merely creates an outline for a role he still needs to grow into, a role that Ford effortlessly filled with authority.

    June 10, 2002 | Rating: 1/5

Audience Reviews for The Sum of All Fears

  • Dec 05, 2013
    Even Morgan Freeman kind of sucked at the end. One could imagine that Harrison Ford would do a much better job at getting people to listen to him - unfortunately Ben Affleck makes Ryan out to be a wimpier professor. The plot, while feasible, lacks feasibility in the sequence of events.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 02, 2013
    Decent but horribly confusing. Hollywood has always been terrible at adapting Tom Clancy's books. Yes, they still end up being decent, and even good, films, but they're not even close to the book. Only the characters and the most basic form of the plot is the same. Normally this is enough, but they did a half-assed reboot here for some reason....it doesn't make any sense. Ryan and Clark, the mainstays of Clancy's writing, are both older men, with tons of experience in their fields. Here however, they're played by actors in their 20s. How does that make any sense? And the main problem Ryan faces in this movie is his credibility--everyone keeps saying that he has no experience, and that no one knows who he is. It's as if Red October never happened (or Patriot Games, or Clear and Present Danger for that matter). But by this time in the book series, Jack Ryan is the deputy director of the CIA, regularly briefing the president with Cabot. So this just gets extremely confusing throughout the book. Shitty adaptation, decent movie.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2013
    The Jack Ryan series gets rebooted in the action packed thriller The Sum of All Fears as Ben Affleck steps into the role. In this story a young CIA analyst named Jack Ryan must discover the origin of a rogue nuclear attack before the United States and Russia go to war. Unfortunately the story is weakened by post 9/11 politics, but the spirit of Tom Clancy's novel remains intact. The casting is impressive, and includes Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Bridget Moynahan, Liev Schreiber and James Cromwell. The directing is also pretty good, and is able to enhance the intensity and suspense of the film. Additionally, Jerry Goldsmith's score is exceptional and does a good job at creating a tense atmosphere. The Sum of All Fears has some poor writing, but it delivers the thrills and adventure that has come to be expected from this series.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 27, 2013
    Its interesting if only because its one of the last pre-9/11(in its narrative and villains) political/spy thrillers to be made. In terms of the actual film, well the bomb sequence is terrifying but everything else is a bit of a dud.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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