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How To Watch The Jack Ryan Movies In Order


The release order of the Jack Ryan movies is as follows: 

  • John McTiernan’s “The Hunt for Red October” (1990)
  • Phillip Noyce’s “Patriot Games” (1992)
  • Phillip Noyce’s “Clear and Present Danger” (1994)
  • Phil Alden Robinson’s “The Sum of All Fears” (2002)
  • Kenneth Branagh’s “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” (2014)
  • “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” (TV series, 2018 – 2023)

As mentioned, Alec Baldwin played Jack Ryan in “October,” while Harrison Ford took over the role for “Patriot” and “Danger.” These are handsome, lithe actors, but it’s notable that they’re not 21-year-old, over-muscled action stars. The point of Jack Ryan, at least in the first three films, is that he’s a pencil pusher, one of the military’s best nerds. He could handle himself in a fight, but didn’t find himself in positions where he needed to very often. 

“The Sum of All Fears” de-aged Jack Ryan into Ben Affleck, and he was just as capable of playing a nerdy CIA spook. “Fears” wasn’t quite as big a hit at the box office as its predecessors, however, mostly because of bad timing. “Fears” is a thriller about terrorists blowing up American cities, and American audiences weren’t in the mood for that kind of thriller in the wake of 9/11. “Fears,” however, is slick and excellent and certainly worth rediscovery. 

“Shadow Recruit” was a lackluster film. Branagh cast himself as the film’s Russian villain, facing off against Chris Pine’s Jack Ryan, and he made the villain more interesting than the hero. “Recruit” made even less than “Fears.”

The TV series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” cast John Krasinski as the nerdy hero, only this time, he was more of a typical action star. The series ran for four seasons on Prime, concluding in July 2023.

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