Terrorists blow up Baltimore and that doesn't sit well with C.I.A. agent Jack Ryan in this cinematic miracle of bad timing.

(Available on 10-29)

CAST: Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Live Schreiber, James Cromwell, Philip Baker Hall, Bruce McGill, Alan Bates, Bridget Moynahan, Josef Sommer, Colm Feore, Ciaran Hinds

DIRECTOR: Phil Alden Robinson

"This is the latest in the series of super-productions devoted to Tom Clancy's fictional C.I.A. agent Jack Ryan, and it features such familiar sights as mockups of the White House Situation Room and the Kremlin reception halls; an editing scheme that hurls us back and forth across the globe; nuclear missiles rising for takeoff; and an international cast of grimly serious actors speaking in foreign languages and dragging their subtitles from room to room...I'm afraid it's no longer possible to enjoy world-crisis thrillers like 'The Sum of All Fears' as amusingly alarmist entertainment. Watching the brilliant intelligence agents doing their stuff, the audience may reflect that some of the actual men charged with protecting us from danger have not yet learned that two plus two might equal four."--David Denby, The New Yorker

"At the packed Loews Astor Plaza where I saw 'The Sum of All Fears' last week, the blast sequence was followed by a silence I don't remember ever experiencing at an action film. The usual buzz that follows a sudden jolt in a movie was absolutely, eerily missing... It was as if we were all crowded around a TV set on the morning of 9/11, repulsed by what we were seeing but unable to look away... with the escalating warnings about potential terrorism, with tunnels and bridges being shut down as precautions against presumably authentic threats, with the Middle East about to blow, with India and Pakistan threatening to lob nukes at each other any day, with the last girder being hauled from Ground Zero this week, and with documentary replays of 9/11 airing on TV ... well, watching Baltimore get blown up on a cool Super Bowl Sunday may not be the entertainment we all crave." --Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News

"... a blistering thriller about terrorism in which a nuclear device blows up the city of Baltimore...The movie may seem absurd, but maybe Tom Clancy knows something about why we deserve to have our nerves fried. Just when you're convinced a nuclear bomb could never arrive undetected in a port like Baltimore, technical advisors in Washington assure us that six million crates arrive on U.S. docks by cargo ship each year, and that only 2 percent of the containers are ever inspected. Holy hydrogen, it's always something." --Rex Reed, The New York Observer

"It's a striking measure of the nervousness of the country right now that a movie so full of holes should be as gripping as it is, at least for its first two-thirds, after which it collapses into a swamp of sentimental mush... Its far-fetched scenario, updated to the present by the director Phil Alden Robinson and the screenwriters Paul Attanasio and Daniel Pyne, seems at once old hat, insufficient and foolish."--Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"One understands why the C.I.A. lent its assistance to the film: The running joke about the agency knowing everything about everybody is invaluable P.R. at a time when people are asking embarrassing questions about who knew what before 9/11...When the carnage is over, 9/11 looks like a tea party. Frankly, I was impressed by how many tit-for-tat retaliatory responses the filmmakers allow before pulling the plug on the conspirators and averting an American-Russian Armageddon. You have to see it to believe it."--Andrew Sarris, The New York Observer

"'The Sum of All Fears' could hardly be more timely or frightening in its depiction of the world's vulnerability to weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists. This crackling, if overly complicated, version of the Tom Clancy action-political thriller imagines what could happen if a nuclear warhead threatened an American city--a scenario that seems less like fiction every day...'The Sum of All Fears' has vast scope, unflagging energy, a rousing Jerry Goldsmith score and a horrendous disaster sequence that conveys much in discreet fashion in keeping with post-Sept. 11 sensibilities yet is needlessly evasive in telling us the precise extent of its magnitude... a little clarity would have gone a long way." --Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times