The Hunt for Red October (1990) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
265 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
9/10
A submarine classic
FlickJunkie-228 August 2000
'Red October' did for modern submarine warfare what 'Das Boot' did for WWII. It took a concept that is inconceivable to most people (living in a boat underwater with people trying to blow you up) and brought it up close and personal. The resulting suspense and excitement for this type of film is always extremely entertaining and this film delivers nicely.

Tom Clancy's thrilling novel converts well to the big screen. Clancy is a master of making improbable tales of international intrigue seem plausible. This story of a Soviet sub commander who is trying to defect to the U.S. adds a unique twist to the suspense normally associated with submarine films.

John McTiernan, who is building an enormous reputation in the action/adventure genre did a fabulous job as director. This film focused less on the submarine and its crew than its cousin 'Das Boot', and more on the international intrigue angle. McTiernan is very effective in keeping up the pace and giving the viewer riveting suspense as smart torpedos chase subs through the murky deep.

As always, Sean Connery was powerful as the defecting captain, determined not to allow this first strike weapon to start a nuclear holocaust. Connery gave his character both a conscience and a ruthless commitment, stopping at nothing to reach his goal.

Alec Baldwin turns in one of his better performances as Jack Ryan. Unlike Harrison Ford who made Ryan into an action hero in other Tom Clancy adaptations, Baldwin seemed better cast as the CIA nerd who was thrust into a field situation without any real experience. In this way, I felt he was a better representation of the character as Clancy originally wrote him.

This is a highly entertaining and engrossing film that will keep most action and suspense viewers on the edge of their seats. I rated it a 9/10.
97 out of 108 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
8/10
Fasten Your Seat Belt, Comrade
Bill Slocum12 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Tom Clancy is a gearhead whose books I find nearly impossible to get into. So it's a surprise to find one of his novels, adapted on screen, is not only good but as enjoyable and riveting as is "The Hunt For Red October."

Sean Connery plays a Soviet sub skipper, Marko Ramius, who at the height of the Cold War is put at the helm of his navy's most advanced creation, the Red October, a nuclear-missile carrier with a propulsion system that enables it to elude sonar. After he puts out to sea, Ramius has a letter delivered to a senior Soviet official that sends the U.S.S.R. into panic mode. The U.S. wonders why. Has Ramius gone nuts? Will the U.S. be able to stop him before he has the ability to park his missiles along the Eastern Seaboard? Or is CIA analyst Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) correct in suggesting another reason for Ramius's aberrant behavior?

Some have speculated this story is not completely fictional. Watching this film, it's easy to understand why. "The Hunt For Red October," on screen, moves with uncommon verity for a spy yarn. With a zest for detail and the human equation, director John McTiernan examines the inner workings not only of the Red October but of the subs, ships, and helicopters chasing it as well as the corridors of power where the fate of the Red October and perhaps the world must be decided. You get the feeling at times you are not just watching an ace popcorn thriller but sitting in on some undocumented bit of history.

The movie's chief strengths are its moody lighting, its unrelenting pace, and especially its deep bench of acting talent. Connery suggests a note of uncertainty to Ramius that keeps the audience on its toes. For the longest time, we don't know what he's up to. Baldwin plays Ryan in a very realistic way that establishes his basically gentle, bookish nature but underscores the depths of his heroism as he pursues an increasingly dangerous path no one else believes in. Scott Glenn is terrific as a crusty U.S. sub commander, while Stellan Skarsgard glowers effectively in-between cigarette puffs as a cagey Soviet. Richard Jordan, in one of his last roles, steals every scene he's in as the National Security Adviser.

There's a nice bit of business between Ryan and Jordan's Jeffrey Pelt where Ryan sticks his neck out and Pelt pounces, telling the analyst that if he believes Ramius is defecting, he should go out there and try to collect him. Pelt's no humanitarian, understand, he just wants to keep his options open: "Listen, I'm a politician, which means I'm a cheat and a liar, and when I'm not kissing babies I'm stealing their lollipops." That's the best thing about the movie. Even as it ups the ante on what's at stake, and feeds you with outlandish moments of humor and drama, the motivations of the characters, and their reactions to increasingly hypertense situations, are kept grounded in reality.

The ending comes off a bit pat, and the behavior of Capt. Ramius and his officers seems at times questionable, but the film doesn't slip in any discernible way, unless you're Russian and notice Connery's Lithuanian "brogue." In fact, it's a rare techno-thriller that not only holds up with repeat viewings, but manages to be even more exciting the more one understands what is going on.

McTiernan is making a guy film here, but he does a nice job providing some brain food, too. Notice how the transition on having the Soviet characters speak Russian to English turns on the word "Armageddon," or the clever interplay between Ramius and his questioning crew. There's a lot going on here, and it makes the film worth treasuring.
50 out of 54 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
10/10
The action-thriller to end all action-thrillers
RogueSix_8520 January 2006
After seeing this movie, you'll wonder how Hollywood manages to turn out so many junk-action movies, now that they've figured out the right formula. To be fair, the vast majority of action movies don't have the benefit of Tom Clancy's greatest novel (granted, 'Sum of All Fears' was a very, very close second, for me). High tension and realistic (emphasis on that last word) depictions of modern warfare make for an excellent story.

Nonetheless, there are a few key qualities that shouldn't go unnoticed to today's directors. First (again) is the basis of a good plot that actually captures your attention, makes you think, and puts you on the edge of your seat. Second is the high caliber of actors: James Earl Jones, Alec Baldwin (I'm a Harrison Ford fan, but I still think Baldwin was far better for the role), and - last but certainly not least - Sean Connery. I'm sure this wasn't cheap, but when you look at the product produced by three of the best professional actors, it's worth every penny. Third, is the great music; nothing too over the top, but well-orchestrated, and featuring a great set of pieces by a Russian men's choir (hard to go wrong!). Lastly, the great use of special effects, from which George Lucas himself could use a clue or two: it smoothly supports, and doesn't take the place of or interfere with, the development of the plot.

This is my #2 favorite movie of all-time, but you don't have to take my word for it. See it yourself! You'll be glad you did.
68 out of 75 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
10/10
A thinking man's James Bond - One of the best films I've ever seen.
Fred M. Hung24 February 1999
It's almost 10 years now but I am still awed by the caliber of the film. McTiernan has made a moderately good book by Clancy into an outstanding political thriller.

The complexity of the film is particularly challenging. Clancy plots are notorious for beginning with several different threads that interweave somewhere in the book. Screenwriter Larry Ferguson takes apart those threads and models a film based on dual protagonists, Connery and Baldwin. The myriad of supporting actors (including current TN Sen. Fred Thompson) that appear on screen subsequently all have distinct but nonetheless crucial roles to the plot.

Baldwin, in what is and will probably be his career best role ever, shines as the intelligent and patriotic Jack Ryan, a thinking man's hero. Connery lends incredible presence, as usual, to his interpretation of Ramius.

A pure masterpiece.
112 out of 138 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
The captain of all submarine movies
Walter Frith22 January 2005
Because of the intrigue this film offers, the circumstances involved tie up neatly in a very convincing way. Needing all of the variables to fall into place if his defection hopes to be successful, Soviet (although Lithuanian by birth) submarine Captain Ramius (Sean Connery) is a very worthy submarine captain. Never cracking under pressure and carrying out his duty professionally, Ramius is the perfect ally to the west in keeping the balance between the super powers in their military endeavours.

Alec Baldwin is good as Jack Ryan. I wish he had stayed on as this character in 'Patriot Games' and 'Clear and Present Danger', because although I like Harrison Ford better as a movie star/actor, Baldwin just seemed better for this role. Too bad he left.

Director John McTiernan uses a smooth pace and lets the screenplay speak louder than his role as the man in charge of it all and the film's photography is tense along with the editing and sound. An Oscar winner for sound effects editing, 'The Hunt for Red October' will put a submarine in your living room if you have the DVD 5.1. surround sound. It's positively realistic!
75 out of 91 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
Best Film of Tom Clancy
BillKinder6 July 2002
This movie never fails to entertain me. Smartly directed, well written, and acted it always brings a fresh newness no matter how many times I've seen it. It could have been the beginning of a franchise for Alec Baldwin. He is very much centered and controlled. Sean Connery is also standout.

Could recommend this to anyone without hesitation. On DVD it's a visual feast. Just a great looking movie. Wish that all the other Clancy books had been adapted so well.
31 out of 36 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
The Best of the Jack Ryan Films...
MovieAddict201618 May 2003
"The Hunt for Red October" is taken off of military-expert Tom Clancy's gripping novel. Tom Clancy has a knack for the inner-psyche of our fears. He doesn't openly thrill us, but rather opens our minds to the potential hazards in the US government. Most government/military thrillers skim the surface and gather us a few good things to make us go, "Whoo," but Tom Clancy's books make us fall over in amazement. The man has an incredible knowledge of the government and its subsidaries, and his novels show this.

His film adaptations normally make good. All four are at least good, and one of them, "The Hunt for Red October," is taut, tense, and powerfully moving. The plot of the film is fictional, but it is right out of the headlines.

It is about a submarine, a Russian, and an American. It sounds like the setup for a bar-joke, but it's not. The Russian man is named Ramius (Sean Connery), who, along with his crew, takes a Soviet submarine out to the North Atlantic ocean. The sub is the best-of-the-best, with an all-new propolsion system (it's faster than other submarines), and uses advanced techniques to literally disappear off radar.

After a few days out at sea, the submarine vanishes off radar, and the Russians, frantic, tell the American government that Ramius has taken the sub to America's mainland to launch a missile attack. However, CIA Analyst Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) thinks otherwise. He believes Ramius is defecting to the States along with his crew. Further, he believes the Russians don't want to admit this for fear of losing their best submarine.

The film is directed by John McTiernan, who brought us "Predator," "Die Hard," "The Thomas Crown Affair" (remake) and "Die Hard with a Vengeance." All of the preceding films are very good, most of them great, and "The Hunt for Red October" qualifies as "very good."

Sean Connery gives a commanding performance as the leading character, Ramius. His second-hand-man is played by Sam Neil, faking a Russian accent very badly. But Neil is lovable in his role, despite having the worst Russian accent ever. Tim Curry joins along for the ride on the misfortuned sub as well, and Alec Baldwin gives his best performance as Jack Ryan.

As much as I don't like to admit it, Harrison Ford isn't the ideal Jack Ryan for me. He differs too much from the character in the novel. Neither Ben Affleck nor Alec Baldwin take the cake, either. But if you look past the book persona, you will enjoy the performances in all the films much more.

I don't tend to like military thrillers most of the time. Most likely because they are put together sloppily on the whole. But "The Hunt for Red October" isn't sloppy, careless, nor boring. It's thrilling, exciting, and entertaining.

But the book is better.

4/5 stars -

John Ulmer
43 out of 55 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
Classy and very solid in all departments
bob the moo1 May 2002
Warning: Spoilers
A Russian submarine, rigged with a stealth drive to hide the noise of the screws, has slipped silently away from it's planned course. The Captain, Ramius, has left a note indicating that he intends to defect to the US. Desperate to stop the US acquiring the stealth technology Russia inform the US of Ramius' plan to attack the US and engage their help in stopping him. However CIA analysist Jack Ryan suspects Ramius may really be defecting and sets out to help him. An underwater game of cat and mouse ensues.

The first of the ‘Jack Ryan' films is almost the best. Not only do we do without Ford's rather dull and workmanlike performances, but also has a good story and sense of time. The story is solid – it isn't flashy, but it delivers well. The only time it seems weak is when it goes away from the action to try and give a character background, eg Ryan with his family etc, then it is cheesy and forced. However when it is with the action it manages to be tense without being really exciting. The story never plods but at times it does move slow, however this is well played as tension and makes it more enjoyable.

However the film's main asset is simply put – Connery. Despite playing a Russian with a Scottish accent, Connery is magnificent and dominates the screen no matter who he shares it with. He manages to make us care more about him than any of the American characters. Baldwin is good, he wasn't a star at this point but he makes a better Ryan than Ford did. The rest of the cast is deep in quality – in both big roles and small roles. Sam Neill, James Earl Jones, Joss Ackland, Richard Jordan, Tim Curry, Courtney Vance, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeffrey Jones etc (even a small role for McTiernan's dad). The deep cast helps add a touch of class to proceedings.

Overall this isn't a fantastic thriller, however it is classy and very solid in all departments. It may lack a certain spark but it is solidly entertaining throughout.
29 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
9/10
A surprisingly action filled submarine movie.
Boba_Fett113812 March 2005
Yes, it sounds like a weird combination. A submarine movie with exciting action. Still "The Hunt for Red October" is a movie filled with some superb underwater action sequence's that were brilliantly directed by action movie veteran John McTiernan. The underwater finale is really 'edge-of-your-seat' stuff!

With this movie McTiernan shows once more that he is the best action movie director alive, along with James Cameron. Still the movie has more to offer than just action. The story is also what makes this an excellent political thriller, making this movie perfectly watchable for both the action movie lovers and those of political thrillers. Of all the Tom Clancy novel movies this is my personal favorite and best so far.

The cast consists out of some big names. Connery is great as Russian submarine captain who talks Russian with a Scotish accent. Alec Baldwin is a wonderful Jack Ryan. Other actors that stood out to me were; Sam Neill, Tim Curry, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeffrey Jones and Scott Glenn. Only too bad about the Beaumont character, that was just annoying and unnecessary.

The phenomenal cinematography was done by Jan de Bont. The likewise phenomenal music was composed by Basil Poledouris who's name I can't still spell right without having to look it up. Poledouris truly is a criminally underrated composer and with this movie he once again delivers a true masterpiece.

It's the combination of all these great things that make "The Hunt for Red October" a brilliant and tad underrated movie, that is perfectly watchable for a wide range of people.

9/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/
22 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
10/10
Edge of your seat suspense from a master storyteller.
huttfam513 March 2000
Tom Clancy's tour-de-force turned into a great movie, with a great cast. Sean Connery IS Marko Ramius--he steals every scene he's in. Alec Baldwin is solid as Jack Ryan. And the supporting cast led by James Earl Jones, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill, Fred Dalton Thompson, and the late Richard Jordan is supurb. This is a suspensful thriller from the word go. The action is almost non-stop. The combat footage--both above and below the water are excellent. Hitchcock would have loved this one!
24 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
10/10
This movie was filmed on my submarine.....
mmel__9828 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I was attached to the USS Portsmouth when this movie was made here in San Diego, at the Point Loma Submarine Base; some of my closest friends were cast as Soviet sailors in the movie. This movie is amazingly accurate on many levels (granted, there are goofs here and there...but nothing that a non-submarine sailor would be likely to catch). I actually had the pleasure of serving onboard two of the subs featured in this movie; the second one was the USS Blueback (SS 581), which was the last diesel submarine in our navy. The scene where the submarine flies out of the water is actually the Blueback, during an emergency surface; a little scary the first time I did it, but incredibly fun every other time I did it. This movie brings back so many memories, and I hope that everyone enjoyed it as much as I have.
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
A great submarine movie
dalesh9 February 2003
Fortuneately, this movie is not entirely true to Tom Clancy's vision and book. Tom Clancy is an American superpatriot and nationalist. He loves to gush about the superiority of the American military establishment and its high technology. This movie puts a more sympathetic face on the Russians and the commoner's point of view. Sean Connery plays a very likable Russian Submarine Commander. Of course, Sean Connery is always going to steal the show in any movie. He's kind of like the John Wayne of the last twenty five years. But the supporting actors are also engaging as well. Scott Glenn, Fred Thompson, and James Earl Jones all do very well at commanding our attention. These actors always give strong, interesting, and dynamic performances. With all the high technology and military hardware in this movie it is interesting to note how a simple seaman(an enlisted man at that!) solves the great technical puzzle in this movie. All the officers, admirals, computers, aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and what have you are clearly stumped. But, Jonesy, with simple reasoning and a keen intuition, solves the riddle that is the Red October. Yes, he uses a computer to help him, but most importantly, he uses his mind! The strength of this movie is that with all the gadgetry and high technology, the human element is not lost but is always on top. Plus, it does not degrade into pro-American propaganda. Because of this, I think that people who know nothing about the military or who don't even like war movies will find this movie enjoyable.
54 out of 87 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
10/10
Seen it 8 times -- and it never gets old
A_Different_Drummer2 March 2015
Let's talk about some of the things that make a movie a classic.

Acting? Check. Just look at the stars.

Script? Check. Based on book by Clancy back when people read books (and dinosaurs walked) and Clancy OWNED his niche.

Cinematography? Direction? That it takes place on a sub means it is distinctive and memorable from the getgo. Something about the claustrophobia of a submarine reflected in the claustrophobia of a movie theatre.

Most of important of all is the pacing. There are few films that I have seen this many times and the reason is that the story builds so beautifully. With such a great payoff. Story telling at its finest. So tricks, so attempt to sucker punch the viewer, not even any pretty girls to distract from the weak scenes. Because there are none.

A classic. And under-rated.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
4/10
Cold war simplicity
C-Roorda8 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is entertaining alright, but when you look at it more closely, the story is superficial, unrealistic and dull. For one thing, it is clear almost from the beginning that Ramius does not intend to nuke the United States but is trying to defect. So much for keeping the viewers in suspense. Then the National Security Adviser, who can't be at all sure about this, accepts the risk of nuclear Armageddon on the off-chance that he will have the opportunity of inspecting a state of the art Soviet submarine. I think that any US administration would simply decide to blow the submarine out of the water at the very first occasion.

The world depicted in this movie is a nice place to live. Somehow all the key figures are flawless geniuses: Ramius, who knows how to perfectly deliver his submarine into American hands; Ryan, the academic who used to dislike flying but somehow manages to survive a helicopter flight, then drops into the ice cold water of the Atlantic, helps navigating a submarine with no experience whatsoever, and finally wins a gunfight with a Soviet saboteur; Mancuso, commanding the USS Dallas with admirable ease and taking the unlikely ideas of Ryan as well as those of his sonar-man seriously; and finally, Jones the sonar-man who happens to have the best ears of the Western Hemisphere. All five of them are brilliant and do not make a single mistake. Quoting Avon (Blake's Seven): "Suddenly we are hip-deep in heroes."

To make up for this all Soviet officials are stupid, cruel or unpleasant in general. With the exception of Captain Ramius – but then he is not Russian, is he? He is from Lithuania.
22 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
Cold War hokum, but hey, it's Hollywood...
dilbert-229 October 1998
It's been argued that "any viewer knowing anything about navies, the Cold War or the Russian language" will be disappointed by this movie. Well, that's rather like saying that anyone who knows anything about the fine-details of cartoon animation or the biology of rodents will be disappointed by 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit'.'Red October', an emaciated version of a chunky Clancy novel, is a tight, sweaty thriller supported by a sterling cast;I mean, with the exception of maybe 'Beetlejuice' where else can you watch Alec Baldwin without wanting to slap his fat mug? McTiernan cuts all the flab from the base novel to present a lean little movie, and who in their right mind can possibly reprimand Connery for his accent? The man's played a British spy, an Irish cop, an Eygptian immortal and a Russian submarine captain all with the same brogue- who cares? He still portrays the role with all the nobility and world-weariness the part deserves.
68 out of 117 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
8/10
Great Memorable Film of 1990!
SonicStuart27 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Rated PG

Genre: Action/Adventure/Thriller

Star Rating: ****1/2 out of 5

Red October is a new Soviet Submarine. When the Americans are given photographs of it, they are extremely curious as to why is it so special. Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin), a CIA analyst, consults with a friend, who deduces that it's equipped with a new engine that can make it run virtually silent and with such a device, they can position themselves on the outskirts of any coastal city and launch their missiles and not give their target any warning. Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) the sub's captain kills their political officer after they open their orders which basically has them conducting routine maneuvers but he kills him and burns their orders and replaces it. He then tells the crew that they are going to test their new engine by positioning themselves by New York and run missile drills. Ryan is then called by his boss to attend a briefing that concerns Red October. It is at this briefing that they discover that Ramius sent a letter to high ranking Soviet official, who after reading the letter went to meet with the Soviet Premier and it was shortly after that meeting that the Soviet navy was deployed to find Red October and sink it. Everyone assumes that Ramius has turned rogue but Ryan who once did research on Ramius assumes that he might be trying to defect. While everyone dismisses him, the National Security Adviser tells Ryan to go out there and find out for sure if he is right cause once Ramius is in position to fire his missiles they have take him out. Ryan reluctantly goes and is not use to fieldwork, is having a hard time coping with the sea. At the same time someone in the Red October crew knows that Ramius has deviated from his assignment and is doing what he can to stop him! Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery do a great job together in this movie! This movie got Oscar Award for Best Effects and Sound Effects Editing. I think this movie should of won an Oscar award for best picture and have Sean Connery for best actor and Alec Baldwin for supporting actor. I highly recommend this movie!

BOTTOM LINE: FANTASTIC!
11 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
3/10
Totally implausible
Tony-21628 September 1999
I can't believe that there is only one negative comment for this film. Anyone with a deeper knowledge of the subject will point out to you that the movie is greatly flawed, and at times hilarious at its portrayal of Russians. For example, singing the soviet national anthem on a sub is pure Hollywood. The political officer is not the second in command. The crew would not be so quick to cooperate with the captain. Plus if you knew some real history you'd know that something like this happened in 1975 only with a ship, and the captain wound up being shot by a firing squad. The guy wishing to live in Montana is simply ridiculous. Next we get the numerous technical problems, like there is no way a sub could do a turn in several seconds. Have you any idea how big these things are? It would take several seconds just to start its propellers rolling. I won't even get into the "caterpillar" drive's ridiculousness. Lets just say that even if it did exist it would not be any quieter then a propeller. Finally for a movie that seems to aim for accuracy, the Russian pronunciations in it are simply horrible. I know it might not matter much to most of you, but they should have at least tried to make it believable. This could go on forever, but I'll spare you. If you want a good believable sub movie, watch Das Boot.
33 out of 54 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
2/10
The real hero is the cook
breslik1-129 June 2007
Poor taste and naive patriotism. Imagine American officer who is trying to defect and heroic cook who is trying his best to maintain military dignity and real patriotism. Imagine showing dumb American sailors. Just reverse every figure and you will find that this movie contains nothing. Primitive attempt to squeeze some adrenaline and some sympathy for a man who lost his dear wife. Tough American cowboys in uniforms and A. Baldwin as a sympathetic figure. Now tell me what is great about this movie except political correctness and cute poses of the leading actors. "I wanna go to Montana". this is exactly the thought that comes to mind instead of watching this cartoon of course. The only heroic figure is the cook, who fought to the end.
28 out of 47 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
10/10
awesome
dave-69119 September 1999
I love Red October. Sean Connery does an excellent job as the captain of the sub, despite his accent. I can watch it all the time and it will never get boring. A truly great movie that is suspenseful, and casts stars before they were really big (Sam Neill in Jurassic Park, and Alec Baldwin).
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
8/10
The Face That's Put On The Outcome
bkoganbing17 May 2008
The first novel and the first screen adaption of a Tom Clancy novel is the thrilling and fast paced The Hunt For Red October about a Soviet submarine and her captain and Clancy's intrepid hero Jack Ryan.

That particular submarine is a stealth submarine equipped with a new technology that will allow to creep up to the USA shoreline without barely a trace of sonar contact. It can only be used, it's only purpose is as an offensive weapon.

Which troubles her captain Sean Connery who with his officers decides to take it to the USA and defect. You might ask why Connery is command of the vessel. He's not Russian, he's Lithuanian and very simply he's the best they've got, a kind of Soviet Hyman Rickover.

But Clancy had the foresight to see the breakup of the Soviet Union with its various nationalities forming real Republics. The book was written beforehand, but the movie came out just when this was happening.

The action proceeds on two levels, a cat and mouse diplomatic game involving the Russians through their ambassador Joss Ackland disseminating a lot of disinformation about Sean Connery. The second level is the military one with Admirals James Earl Jones and Fred Dalton Thompson trying to divine Connery's intentions and Alec Baldwin as Jack Ryan offering an alternative view. Later on Baldwin is transported on a rough sea to an American submarine captained by Scott Glenn whom he also has to sell.

Baldwin is truer to Tom Clancy's conception of Jack Ryan who he creates as a policy wonk for the Central Intelligence Agency. It's a different Jack Ryan than Harrison Ford's or later Ben Affleck.

Action fans will love the final confrontation with American and Soviet submarines and the outcome and the face that's put on that outcome.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
The last good movie Connery and Alec ever made.
happywaffle31 March 2003
I know I talk about them like they're dead, but seriously - each actor gave a tour de force performance in this film and then lost his respective ability to pick scripts. Alec was by far the best Jack Ryan with his affable persona - Harrison was dull dull dull, and Ben Affleck was just a little too frat-boy. The screenwriter took an excellent 500-page book and almost miraculously condensed it into a coherent two-hour story that was just as taut. This one makes my own personal top-fifty list.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
2/10
uninteresting and unreal
rowe-44 September 2000
I agree with imdb-user anatoly that at least another negative review is needed of this movie. I found the movie uninteresting until the end (say, the last 30 minutes), even then, it was just another war-type movie with the usual setup. My main problem, though, was with the u-boat style dialogue ("Pull the main thrusts!" "The main thrusts are jammed, sir!" "Go weapons hot!" "Bullseye!" etc.). I don't think military people in real life doing their job really sound like little kids playing a video game, with really cocky-sounding intonation. These men would have been scared to death, but you couldn't tell that by their voices. Mundane tasks should be accompanied by matter-of-fact intonation, and dangerous tasks should show nervousness and tension. I guess it's mostly a movie for war-movie aficionados.
16 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
8/10
An action-thriller in a league of its own
jacobhunt624 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The Hunt for Red October certainly redefines the action-thriller - it's a movie that tests the political and moral compasses of its viewers, and features a star-studded cast in some of the best performances of their careers. Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Stellan Skarsgard and Sam Neill are some of the incredible cast that make up this intense cinematic experience, and each of them is at their scintillating best. The film is gripping from start to finish and accurately portrays the political and militaristic tension of the Cold War period. However, this film is the very definition of the "misuse of foreign languages in films" issue. Starting the film in Russian, then moving to English for no apparent reason, before switching back to Russian with no subtitles, and then back to English again, it is frustrating that the film couldn't settle on either nationalistic accuracy or acceptance of a universal language for the film. Nonetheless, despite a few flaws in the plot and some indecisiveness from writers, The Hunt for Red October is an action-thriller that truly defines its genre and era.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
8/10
Very, very good submarine movie
TheLittleSongbird6 February 2009
Don't get me wrong, this is actually a very good movie. And this is coming from a 16 year old schoolgirl! It is fast paced, not too long, and while the story is a bit confusing sometimes, it is one of the few movies that maintains our attention all the way through. Director John McTiernon ensures that the tension rarely slips, and is fairly faithful to the novel, which needs a great deal of understanding especially in the descriptions of the submarines. Though some of the characters especially Dr Petrov have a more significant role in the book. Speaking of the character, many said that 43-year old Tim Curry of Clue fame, looked young and that it was insane casting. He was only in 15 minutes of the movie, but he is so important, and I was impressed by the depth of Curry's performance, it's different to any other role he's played, and how the character turned out in general. As well as the submarine and the odd visuals, the music was phenomenal as well as the look of the film and the sound, with a conveniently Russian feel to it. It was also very musical with what was going on. The acting is what holds the film together, with a charismatic performance from Sean Connery,(in one of his best post-Bond roles) and a career best from Alec Baldwin. Sam Neill also gives a moving performance, as well as the ever-excellent James Earl Jones, who is in my sister's favourite film the Lion King. I recommend this movie highly, if you're a fan of Tom Clancy. I'm not, but I enjoyed it, because I like films that are tense and I like a lot of the actors in the film. 8.5/10. Bethany Cox
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
9/10
Very few submarine movies could equal this masterpiece
Agent101 June 2002
The best among all of the Tom Clancy movies still stands up despite the fact the Cold War is long gone and Russia isn't a viable military threat. Virtually everyone who was casted in this movie was excellent, from the likes of Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Sam Neill, Tim Currie, Stellan Skarsgard, Joss Ackland and Scott Glenn. The pacing, the cinematography and the general suspense of this film made this a classic in my mind, setting itself apart from the typical action driven big budget film. Hopefully, a special edition DVD will come out for this film, simply because a great number of the stars in this film have had success after this film and are generally respected as solid actors. One of the best submarine movies ever.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
Report this | Copied to clipboardCopy link
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed