The Sum of All Fears


The Sum of All Fears

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 173


Audience Score

User Ratings: 89,457
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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.


Ben Affleck
as Jack Ryan
Morgan Freeman
as DCI William Cabot
James Cromwell
as President Robert Fowler
Liev Schreiber
as John Clark
Bridget Moynahan
as Dr. Cathy Muller
Alan Bates
as Dressler
Ciarán Hinds
as President Alexander Nemerov
Philip Baker Hall
as Defense Secretary Becker
Ron Rifkin
as Secretary of State Sidney Owens
Bruce McGill
as National Security Advisor Revell
Josef Sommer
as Senator Jessup
Ken Jenkins
as Admiral Pollack
Richard Marner
as President Zorkin
Ian Mongrain
as Syrian Radar Operator
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 Aide
Alison Darcy
as Fowler's Aide
Ostap Soroka
as Zorkin's Translator
Robert Martin Robinson
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's Assistant
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 Waiter
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 Veteran
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 Singer
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 Wesson
Jason Antoon
as AFRAT Specialist Stubbs
Lisa Bronwyn Moore
as NAOC Hotline Operator
Alexander Belyavsky
as Admiral Ivanov
Jason Winer
as Aircraft Carrier Petty Officer
Antonio David Lyons
as Aircraft Carrier Petty Officer
Lennie Loftin
as Aircraft Carrier Duty Officer
Mike McDougal
as Russian Pilot
Matt Holland
as Pickup Truck Owner
Roger Tonry
as F-16 Pilot
Oleg Belkin
as Russian Defense Minister
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 Guard
Philip Akin
as General Wilkes
Henri Pardo
as Pentagon NCO
Irwin Dillion
as Pentagon Mo-Link Operator
Real Auger
as Dubinin's Killer
Gilles Marsolais
as Dubinin's Killer
Eric Steibi
as Dressler's Aide
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Critic Reviews for The Sum of All Fears

All Critics (173) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (102) | 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.

    Jan 5, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Deals with a chillingly topical nuclear attack on Baltimore. But perhaps more disturbingly, it rehashes it into a Ben Affleck action romance.

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

    Laura Bushell
    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.

    Jul 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.

    Jun 13, 2002
  • Affleck merely creates an outline for a role he still needs to grow into, a role that Ford effortlessly filled with authority.

    Jun 10, 2002 | Rating: 1/5
  • A trite espionage thriller without the thrills but with a lingering measure of nausea.

    Jun 4, 2002

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 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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