Critics Mixed on Latest Jack Ryan Flick

Reviews mixed, but mostly it passes

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 17, 2014 12:25 PM CST

(Newser) – Reviews are mixed for action thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Just the latest actor to play Tom Clancy's popular character, Chris Pine has tough competition in previous Jacks as he uncovers a terrorist plot with Keira Knightley along for the ride. What critics are saying:

  • "When Pine gets to actually do something—like fight for his unlikely survival early on in this film—he’s effective enough," writes Tom Long at the Detroit News. But the whole movie package "feels awfully familiar. And Ryan—well, Jack, we still hardly know you."
  • Stephen Whitty at the Star-Ledger sums it up like this: "Take five parts violence to one part sex. Garnish with quips." Apparently that's not a bad thing for Whitty, who calls the movie "a promising start to a probable new franchise, and an early bright spot" on the late winter film calendar.
  • Kyle Smith at the New York Post likes it, too. It's "soundly structured, smart and fast, with a plausible central scenario, several gripping moments, and well-wrought dialogue." Plus, director Kenneth Branagh, who also plays the film's bad guy, "looks like a reliable hand at le cinema du popcorn."
  • Who's not a fan? Kenneth Turan. Though Branagh's acting is "excellent" and Pine is "acceptable," the flick "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," he writes for the Los Angeles Times. "Mild diversion but nothing more."

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Chris Pine in "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit."   (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Larry Horricks)
Keira Knightley, right, and Chris Pine in "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit."   (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Larry Horricks)
Kenneth Branagh, right, as Viktor Cherevin in "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit."   (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Larry Horricks)
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A trailer for the film, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.   (YouTube)

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