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Based on the character created by bestselling author Tom Clancy, “Jack Ryan” is a global action thriller set in the present day. This original story follows a young Jack (Chris Pine) as he uncovers a financial terrorist plot. The story follows him from 9/11, through his tour of duty in Afghanistan, which scarred him forever, and into his early days in the Financial Intelligence Unit of the modern CIA where he becomes an analyst, under the guardianship of his handler, Harper (Kevin Costner). When Ryan believes he’s uncovered a Russian plot to collapse the United States economy, he goes from being an analyst to becoming a spy and must fight to save his own life and those of countless others, while also trying to protect the thing that's more important to him than anything, his relationship with his fiancée Cathy (Keira Knightley).
"Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" comes off as a reasonable facsimile, serviceable but not compelling, something that could pass for the real thing if you're not looking too hard.Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, 01.16.2014
Branagh brings no style to Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, and no heart.David Edelstein, NPR, 01.16.2014
The core essentials that made the previous Jack Ryan movies accessible and enjoyable remain intact in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, even if many of the individual pieces have changed.James Berardinelli, ReelViews, 01.16.2014
The dialogue is quick and sharp and there are flourishes to make a spy movie lover smile: sleight-of-hand work and the exchange of a brown envelope in a movie theatre showing 1948 black-and-white classic Sorry, Wrong Number.Linda Barnard, Toronto Star, 01.16.2014