Patriot Games (1992) Poster

(1992)

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7/10
Good action flick
chadly8620 July 2001
If I were to make a quick summary of this movie, it would be "a good, but not great, action flick." I don't think this movie was intended to be innovative, to be great, to be memorable. What it was intended to be was entertaining, and it lived up to this expectation.

Harrison Ford is the master of remaining as low-key as possible. He has had so many films where he can over-emphasize, over-dramatize, and simply over-act. Ford has the maturity to keep this from happening, and he does so again in this film. Ford is supported quite well with such actors/actresses as James Earl Jones (reprising his role as Greer from The Hunt for Red October), Samuel L. Jackson, and Anne Archer. For an action flick, acting is much above average.

It was also suspenseful...thrilling. I thought the ending had a nice build-up and climax. I realize this is different from the book's ending...but remember, these are two different visions...not the same one. This brings up a big point in movie-watching: Comparing a movie to a book is the worst thing you can do. They are two completely different genres. More importantly, as I said before, they are two different visions.

I'm not a big action fan. I used to be, but anymore most stories are the same. To this end I would say Patriot Games is fairly mainstream. However, it was always fun to watch and sometimes thrilling to watch. I'm also not a big Tom Clancy fan, but I've given the movies based off his books a shot because again they are different visions. The result is (at least with Patriot Games) a good film to watch on a Saturday night with a bowl of popcorn. Don't expect great things, but don't expect to be disappointed, either.

Rating: 7/10
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Have to admit, I like this
Rachel-2024 November 2002
OK, so it has some plot holes, and I generally spend a good amount of time detailing for my husband the deviations from the novel (which are many, since Hollywood doesn't make many five-hour movies). And it's predictable and artless and has plenty of clichés. I make it a point not to read IMDB reviews for a movie until after I've written my own, but even so I can guess that this one has been torn apart on these points probably at least a dozen times. Now that that's over with, I'm going to admit that I like this movie. It feels like a tight thriller, good for those nights when I want entertainment with some minor complexity. I like to "go along for the ride", so to speak, even though I know how it ends. And going back to the first time I saw this, before I'd read the book, I remember being on the edge of my seat quite a bit.

Thora Birch does this film a lot of good. Her expressions and lines are quite well-acted, and she's cute without being syrupy. Harrison Ford is Harrison Ford; you either like him or you don't, and this movie isn't going to change your mind (I happen to like him).

Don't go renting this one if you want an artsy movie, or a beautiful movie, or a movie with a perfectly tight script. But if you can enjoy a film for simple entertainment value, and you like Harrison Ford ;), this is a good one for after the kids are in bed.
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7/10
Good guys are real good, and the bad guys are real bad.
hitchcockthelegend4 March 2008
Patriot Games is a more than serviceable thriller, perhaps a bit out of date when viewing it now, but still a very effective good against evil piece. The source material is so dense and intricate it was always going to be hard to condense that into a 2 hour movie but I feel the makers manage to keep it fleshy whilst making the respective characters interesting and watchable. The acting on show is more than adequate, Harrison Ford is great in the role of Jack Ryan, he manages to portray him as a sensitive family man who can step up to the plate when things get ugly, and Anne Archer is solid enough as the wife and mother caught up in the web of nastiness unfolding.

The baddies are led by the brooding Sean Bean who is a little under written, whilst Richard Harris is sadly underused, but the action set pieces make their mark and thankfully we get a riveting final reel that cements the steady ride we have under taken. It is formulaic to a degree, but that is OK if the combined efforts of all involved are spot on, and here they are, 7/10.
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10/10
A Super Thriller
ccthemovieman-120 March 2006
This is an outstanding thriller, a movie I have always enjoyed watching since it came out. Apparently a number of people also did since a few sequels followed featuring the main character ex-CIA analyst "Jack Ryan," played by Harrison Ford.

Sean Bean was excellent as the revenge-obsessed villain, a member of a "splinter group," as its labeled not really an IRA extremist, but one too out-of- control for any group. Ford is the man best able to stop him and the film is very interesting start-to-finish and smart enough not to overdo the violence. Suspenseful is probably the best word to describe the movie as Bean goes after Ford's family.

Anne Archer, as Ford's wife, along with the rest of the cast, actors such as Patrick Bergen, James Earl Jones, James Fox, Richard Harris and a young Thora Birch make this a well- acted movie.

This is simply one of the best thrillers I've ever seen and almost every scene is interesting.
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7/10
Tense and Fast-Moving Thriller
JamesHitchcock26 February 2008
A faction of the IRA attempt to kidnap Lord William Holmes, a member of the British Royal Family who also happens to be a Government minister, but the crime is thwarted by the courageous actions of Jack Ryan, an American tourist in London with his family. During the ensuing scuffle, Ryan shoots dead one of the terrorists, Patrick Miller. Miller's elder brother Sean is jailed for his part in the attack, but is rescued by his comrades, and vows vengeance on Ryan, who is a former marine and CIA operative. When Ryan realises that Sean Miller is targeting his family he returns to work for the CIA to help with the fight against terrorism.

There are a number of fairly obvious goofs and plot holes. No member of the British Royal Family could serve as a Government minister, as they are constitutionally obliged to remain politically neutral. If a foreign citizen were being made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (one of the highest awards in the British honours system) he would be invited to a formal ceremony in Buckingham Palace to be knighted by the Queen in person. He would not be presented with the decoration in his own home by a junior member of the Royal Family. It seems unlikely that any Irish republican terror group would carry out an attack on American citizens on American soil, as to do so would risk losing the support their cause has long enjoyed among sections of the Irish-American community. As others have pointed out, it seems illogical for Ryan to take his family to their isolated summer home to get them away from Miller; doubtless the CIA could have found a safer location for them.

The film lacks the political implications of "Clear and Present Danger", Philip Noyce's next attempt to film a Tom Clancy thriller which involved Watergate-type misconduct by the President and his closest aides. (That film also starred Harrison Ford as Ryan). Despite the involvement of the IRA, "Patriot Games" makes no attempt to analyse the complexities of the Northern Ireland situation. The film also lacks any detailed characterisation. The moral divisions are straightforward- Ryan, his wife Cathy and his CIA colleagues are good and Miller and his gang are bad.

The film does, however, have a strong hero in Harrison Ford. Ford has always been good in the thriller genre, and gives another good performance here as Ryan, combining decency with a strong sense of intelligence. Anne Archer and Sean Bean are also good as Cathy and the villainous Miller. There is a good cameo from Polly Walker as Miller's glamorous but ruthless female associate Annette. Despite the occasional implausibilities of the plot, this is a tense and fast-moving thriller with some good action sequences. It is not Ford's best thriller (that must be either "Witness" or "The Fugitive"), but it is nevertheless a good one. 7/10
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8/10
Harrison Ford kicks....
Peach-219 January 1999
Harrison Ford kicks some major butt in this film and proves again that he is the leading action star of his generation. Ford's action movie's never really seem silly, they always seem real. Alec Baldwin should have never let the character of Jack Ryan go, because Ford now personifies the super agent. Nice direction from Phillip Noyce and a great score from James Horner make this a very good action film.
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8/10
Harrison Ford is the coolest.
Peach-22 November 1998
Patriot Games is a very well done action movie. I didn't feel dumbed down by the plot and everyone took their role seriously. Harrison Ford is the best action star of his generation and this movie is a brillant example of how Hollywood can sometimes make a good action picture. The film is well cast and the direction by Phillip Noyce is top notch. Patriot Games is well worth your while, especially if you like smart action pictures and Harrison Ford.
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7/10
Popcorn political thrills...
Anonymous_Maxine20 February 2008
First of all, I'm not a Tom Clancy fan, only because for whatever reason I've never gotten around to reading any of his books. I would say it's because so many of them are so huge, but I've always been a voracious reader. I've read almost all of Stephen King's novels, which are also pretty huge, and I'm usually reading three or four at a time. At any rate, I have nothing to offer as far as how closely the movie follows the source material, although I really think this is incredibly important when adapting books to movies.

I have read a lot of criticisms of Patriot Games (and even more of the sequel, Clear and Present Danger), and while I agree with mostly all of it, I still think Patriot Games is a good couple hours of good clean cinematic fun. But maybe that's just because I love Harrison Ford.

Ebert makes the obvious complaint that Jack Ryan, when he finds himself in danger, sends his family to a remote cabin rather than a secure bunker at CIA headquarters, and it's true that this detracts from the movie, but you have to have a movie somehow, and that's a situation where making the smart, real life decision would cancel out the rest of the movie. If everyone in movies made the smart decision all the time, we wouldn't even have a horror genre, for example.

Jack Ryan is described in Clancy's novels as having "undistinguished features," which makes Harrison Ford seem to me like the perfect choice to play him, since I've always thought that, even though he's a brilliant and tremendously loved actor, he can't really act with his face very well. Consider one of my favorite examples of this, the close up shot of his face when he sends that kid into surgery in The Fugitive. You can literally see the effort he's putting into making his face do something moving, and it's just not happening. But the thing it, the shot still works. I don't get it, it's a mystery, as Philip Henslowe might say.

Harrison Ford has played more complex characters (and less complex, of course), and Jack Ryan gets better than this, but Patriot Games is a fun introduction of Ford playing the role, and is especially a must see for Clancy fans.
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Terrific!, the best of the Tom Clancy adaptations!
Idocamstuf2 December 2002
I have wanted to see this film for quite a while now. Ive seen The Hunt For Red October(1990), and Clear and Present Danger(1994), and Patriot Games is much better than them. Patriot Games is a great thinking man's thriller, although its much less difficult to follow than "Clear and Present Danger". It has plenty of suspense and action, and Ford's acting is terrific. I am so surprised that Patriot Games is often considered the worst Clancy film, and "The Hunt For Red October" considered the best, but I think it should be the other way around. Overall a great suspenseful movie. 9 out of 10
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8/10
Even Better than Its Predecessor with a New and Improved Jack Ryan,
lesleyharris3010 May 2014
Patriot Games is a great movie with a very well developed storyline and a very talented cast.This movie is the second Jack Ryan film,the first being the Hunt for Red October,but don't worry about having to watch the other one first,these movies are similar to James Bond,where you don't have to watch one before the other,because they all connect.The first movie had Jack Ryan being played by Alec Baldwin,who I didn't think was clever casting and did not suit the character,which is why I was so delighted that they got Harrison Ford to replace him,he suits the role so much more and is clearly much more experienced in playing characters like this.Patriot Games is action packed and very enjoyable and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good action or drama.

When Jack Ryan accidentally gets tangled up in an attempted IRA assassination,they are now on the hunt for Ryan and his family.

Best Performance: Harrison Ford
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2/10
Rescued only by great cast
bgaiv17 August 2020
It's just ridiculous.

The lead villain's anger over Ryan killing his young brother-- during a terrorist attack-- is plausible, but this IRA member pulling off multiple attacks in the USA against Ryan and his family -- including right outside a naval base-- are just ridiculous. His compatriots pay lip service to this difficulty and its worth, but no, I don't excuse the production for this bs.

A nice bow on this stupidity is the fat bald antique book store owner, being caught by British Intelligence-- escaping then fleeing to a North African terrorist camp... really??

This is by far the worst of the three early Clancy adaptations.
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5/10
A Fairly Good Movie Despite Its Silly beginning
murray_johnc21 February 2011
A retired CIA operative takes his family on a relaxing vacation to London England and hey presto, he finds himself in exactly the right place at exactly the right time to thwart an IRA attempt to kidnap a member of the British royal family. Yeah right, a totally believable story line - NOT! The odds must be in the billions. A film like Die Hard can get away with this sort of nonsense because it is a "semi tongue-in-cheek" action movie; Patriot Games takes itself far too seriously for it to get away with such a ridiculous plot contrivance. Clear and Present Danger had a far better script because Jack Ryan was propelled into the thick of things due to his being an active field operative
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6/10
Fair game, but not great
Samiam319 June 2009
I can't say that I know much about Tom Clancy's novels or the character of Jack Ryan. Whether this is a honorable adaptation of the book I cannot say either, but as a thriller, Patriot Games struck me as weak. There are good performances from a sensational cast, a fair level of emotion to the story, and a nice score from James Horner, but the most obvious problem with Patriot Games, is that nothing much happens here.

While on holiday in England with his wife and daughter, Jack Ryan foils an IRA assassination attempt on one of the royal family. needless to say, Ryan becomes an automatic hero of Brittan, but shortly after returning home to Maryland, He is targeted by IRA terrorist Sean Miller for assassination, wanting revenge for the death of his brother. Can Ryan protect his family?

Harrison Ford plays a great Jack Ryan, no doubt there, but the movie is not as strong as he is. The story doesn't penetrate you in the way that a good thriller should. It is neither dramatic nor clever and is only mildly exciting. To say it is a bad film would be a huge over statement, it just needs work.
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8/10
An action packed movie that conveys a man's love for his family and a moral consciousness of right from wrong for his fellow human beings.
l-k-bell6 August 2004
I have read all of the Tom Clancy fiction books and the first time I saw the Patriot Games I was very disappointed that the movie didn't follow the book more closely. I feel that the incident in England, the way it happened in the book is much more exciting and entertaining than the movie and it carries over to the gathering at the Ryan's home later in the movie and the ending in the book is even more dramatic. But, after watching the movie a few more times and reading the book several more times I realized that because there is so much that happens in the book, there is no way to fit it in the movie. I have come to the conclusion that the story line in the movie has captured the basic tale involved showing the type of person Jack Ryan is and the principals that he stands for throughout all of Tom Clancy's books.
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5/10
Oh Good , A Film Where The IRA Are Bad Guys ....
Theo Robertson21 November 2002
...... Oh hold on they`re not the peace loving pacifists of the provisional IRA they`re a mad mental IRA splinter group that this film is at pains to point out have nothing to do with the " nice terrorists " who murdered over 1800 people in the 70s 80s and 90s . To be fair to the film adaption of PATRIOT GAMES the source novel suffers even worse from this objectionable point where the bad guys are not the IRA but a distinct breakaway organisation called the Ulster Liberation Army . But this is still a naive film . As far as I know the SAS don`t go around illegally wiping out terrorist training camps ( If only they did ) and once again we see an IRA terrorist played by an uberhunk . This happens with disturbing regularity in movies: Sean Bean , Pierce Brosnan , Richard Gere , Brad Pitt all have played Irish terrorists . Listen next time someone makes a film about the IRA ( Which I hope will be never ) can we see a short balding actor like Danny Devito or Joe Pesci take on the role ?

Politics aside I still don`t think much of PATRIOT GAMES . It`s just one of those average generic revenge thrillers that doesn`t have to feature IRA terrorists , or terrorists of any ilk. If the hero was walking past a bank and stopped an armed robbery , or walked past a drugs bust and shot one of the drug dealers you could have a film with more or less the same plot and structure - and a lot more credibility

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. It`s also a poor excuse of an action film
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5/10
Gimme a break!
rotc11 January 2005
Does anyone remember the scene where the IRA busted their fellow terrorist out of the back of that police truck? Well here's my question.

Why on earth would the police have been transporting a dangerous criminal who tried to kill members of the royal family in front of Buckinham Palace.....UNARMED. The police had no weapons. Not even a can of mace.

I still remember that line. The terrorists says "throw down your weapons" and the cop goes "we are unarmed".

Uh, yeah. Chalk one up for British security.
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9/10
Quite the Thriller!
g-bodyl11 June 2011
Patriot Games is a very suspenseful movie with great acting. This is the second Tom Clancy novel adapted to the big screen after the Hunt for Red October. I think that this movie is better than Red October. However, I heard Clancy didn't think so.

In this film, Jack Ryan and his family are in London. Ryan happens to be in the area where Irish terrorists attempt to kill the Lord Holmes. After Ryan saves Holmes, he makes himself and his family targets to the Irish. Will Ryan be able to protect his family?

The acting is very good. It's great they were able to get Harrison Ford. He's a fantastic actor. Sean Bean plays a wonderful villain. I was happy to see Richard Harris and Samuel L. Jackson.

Overall, this is a fun, thrilling movie. I rate this film 9/10.
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6/10
This was no game
view_and_review6 September 2018
An older retired Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) is in England for a symposium of some nature. While there he witnesses an attempt on the life of a royal by some heavily armed terrorists. Jack goes into superspy mode, even at his advanced age, and takes out two terrorists while holding another at gunpoint.

This action of his makes him a hero in England but he becomes enemy number one to Sean Miller (Sean Bean), an extremist IRA member whose brother was killed by Jack Ryan. Anyone familiar with Sean Bean's cinematic history can figure out what happened to him.

I wasn't feeling this movie for two reasons and two reasons only:

1.) The sheer improbability of an aged, unarmed Jack Ryan getting involved in a terrorist shootout on foreign soil. Especially when his reasoning was "it just pissed me off." It pissed you off? You're a trained C.I.A. agent and former Marine but you can still be motivated to put your life in danger because it pissed you off.

2.) The sheer improbability of Sean Miller and friends being able to have the dearth of resources to commit a terrorist act in England and then safely get to America where they'd have the same resources to track down Jack Ryan and family. Is there no place they can't go?

Outside of these two crater sized pock marks the movie was good. It was a mix of investigative acumen, military technology, and combat skill. The movie was suspenseful as each side tried to stay one move ahead of the other like a high stakes chess match. There was a lot of maneuvering but it definitely was no game.
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8/10
Harrison Ford at his best!
kristynbrown13 October 2005
Whether you're Irish, English, American, or just a big fan of Harrison Ford or Sean Bean, this film is a must-see! Harrison was a perfect fit for this family man, reluctant hero role. He's no super-action hero or martyr, just a man in the wrong place at the wrong time trying to protect his family and prevent the slaughter of innocents. But when the terrorists seek revenge by targeting his family, Jack Ryan is forced to use any means necessary to keep his loved ones safe. Sean Bean plays a convincing villain as usual, donning a convincing Irish accent and his signature sinister expression. His performance was one of his best to date and kudos to Mr. Bean for creating a villain with whom we can sympathize. Anne Archer's character is weak however, typical damsel-in-distress wife and mother relying completely on her husband for protection and having no self-defense skills whatsoever. Thora Birch is adorable in her pre-pubescent innocence. Samuel Jackson as usual does little to step out of his smooth-talking, sarcastic typecast and again plays the same character he plays in every film to date. The film bounces between edge-of-your-seat thriller and slow-moving CIA analysis, but the scenes of action and the superb acting of Harrison Ford more than make up for any slow parts.
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6/10
Average action movie
butchfilms9 January 2009
"Patriot Games" is an action movie like so many we have seen before, it's not a bad movie, it's an average one. I think it deserves 6.5 stars mainly because of the first half of the movie, which is interesting, but after that its quality diminish a lot.

The performances are OK, they are just what the film needed, the idea of the plot is interesting, but the biggest problem is that the movie last 15 minutes longer of what it was necessary.This movie would have been much better if it had only been a crime and thriller movie and not an action one.

The plot is about an ex CIA man Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) whose family is chased by a terrorist because Jack killed the terrorist's brother to save the life of an important British person.

"Patriot Games" is useful for killing time during one boring afternoon.
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A great credit to Clancy that one if his books was made into a movie that almost lived up to the book
krillin1233 October 2004
I think this film's greatness (it is indeed great) is a credit more to Clancy than the film makers, because writing is the most crucial part of any film. Unfortunately, a novel adapted to a film will almost never be as good as the book because there just isn't enough time or money to include everything and make everything look as good as it reads. This is evident here. Having said that they certainly didn't leave it to the story to support itself. Impressive heroics from Ford and a superb bad guy performance from Sean Bean (strikingly similar to his performance in the James Bond film Golden Eye) turned Clancy's classy classic book into a classy film. I was also impressed to discover that the director was none other than Australia's Phillip Noyce. As is also sadly common among films made from books, the plot was a little hard to follow due to the audience having to fill in the gaps that were left by the film makers not having time or money to include it all.
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5/10
Run of the mill
Alex P9 May 1999
A fairly ordinary film. There's nothing much remarkable about it, except for the bizarre way the Irish and British are portrayed (almost amusing at times - for example how a member of the Royal family is also the Northern Ireland minister!!). There is a lot of action, and Ford has always been good at that stuff. However, the real stars are Sean Bean and Richard Harris, who rise above the poor script - also true for the ever-excellent James Earl Jones.
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8/10
Hair-gripping suspense is one of Ford's finest.
emm22 January 1999
PATRIOT GAMES isn't so much of an action film, that is until you're waiting for the big thunderous conclusion to come around. Harrison Ford has played heroic characters before, and it proves that he, too, can handle the role of the "hunted" instead of the "hunter". The suspense surrounding terrorism is really the main ingredient we're looking for, as the royal family of Jack Ryan falls victim to this horrifying ordeal. The acting performances are generally powerful and compelling in a big way that it makes this ultimately satisfying to resist. Only one scene should have been cut: a lady terrorist member in sexy attire killing her lover in bed, which was fairly senseless to the movie. Still, this is hair-gripping entertainment thanks to some brilliant directing by Phillip Noyce.
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9/10
Out of the Tom Clancy movie adaptations I have seen, this is my favorite.
Aaron137510 January 2010
Let me say that I have only seen this one, "The Hunt for Red October", and "Clear and Present Danger". I enjoyed this one and Red October a good bit. Was not really crazy for "Clear and Present Danger", I just for some reason found it rather boring compared to the other two movies. I do not know why this one is my favorite, but it just seemed to work for me in a way the next movie would not. Harrison Ford in the role trying to protect his wife and daughter from the revenge minded IRA terrorist had more of an emotional impact and really got you going whereas Present Danger just was missing that and basically banished Ryan's wife (the character Harrison Ford plays) to nothing more than a guest appearance or cameo. This one is about Jack Ryan who I think works for the CIA, he is over in England and spots in the nick of time a couple of IRA guys about to do some bad stuff. Well he basically thwarts them killing one of them and getting himself injured in the process. Well the other guy ends up going for revenge as the other guy killed was his brother. Some good action scenes and drama in this one and it has a really nice concluding scene. As an added bonus Richard Harris is also in it it in a fine supporting role and Sean Bean is great as the IRA terrorist. Of the three Clancy movies this one to me really hooks you in and has the best plot.
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7/10
A Superb Watch!
namashi_128 June 2010
Phillip Noyce's 'Patriot Games' is a superb film. Based on the novel of the same name by Tom Clancy, comes out a absorbing thriller that lives up-to it's mark in those 115 minutes. The adventures of Jack Ryan were widely appreciated.

'Patriot Games' is about a Ryan and his family... and of course the baddies. The film has a powerful protagonist, which makes us 'The Viewers' secure and confident. It offers solid entertainment from start to end!

Phillip Noyce's direction is flawless. He has a Superb job! Donald M. McAlpine's Cinematography is eye-catching. In the acting department, Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan is fantastic. Ford, a legend, delivers one of the best performances of his career. Anne Archer has done a good job. Sean Bean as the menace, is menacing and absolutely amazing. Richard Harris, well.. he stands out, as always.

'Patriot Games' is a must watch. Two Thumbs Up!
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