Below is my ranking of the five movies featuring the C.I.A. character Jack Ryan, created by Tom Clancy. Four of these movies were adaptations of Clancy’s novels:
MY RANKING OF THE JACK RYAN MOVIES
1. “Clear and Present Danger” (1994) – In this adaptation of Clancy’s 1989 novel, C.I.A. analyst-turned-Acting Deputy Director Jack Ryan finds himself drawn into an illegal and secret war by the U.S. government against a Colombian drug cartel. Directed by Philip Noyce, Harrison Ford starred for the second time as Ryan.
2. “The Hunt For Red October” (1990) – John McTiernan directed this adaptation of Clancy’s 1984 novel, Ryan figures out that a rogue Soviet Navy submarine commander is planning to defect and scrambles to find a way to help the defection to happen without the Soviet Union’s knowledge. The movie starred Alec Baldwin as Ryan and Sean Connery.
3. “The Sum of All Fears” (2002) – In this loose adaptation of Clancy’s 1990 novel, Ryan stumbles across a neo-Nazi plan to use a catastrophic event to start a conflict between the United States and Russia. Directed by Phil Alden Robinson, the movie starred Ben Affleck as Ryan.
4. “Patriot Games” (1992) – This adaptation of Clancy’s 1987 novel featured Ryan facing the consequences of his decision to interfere with the assassination of a minor member of the British Royal Family by an extremist faction of the I.R.A. Directed by Philip Royce, this movie featured Harrison Ford’s first turn as Ryan.
5. “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” (2014) – This original story featured Ryan uncovering a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack, during his early years as a C.I.A. analyst. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the movie starred Chris Pine as Ryan.