The Hunt For Red October

Like many such efforts, this leaden 1990 cold-war thriller, adapted from Tom Clancy’s best-selling novel, tries to make the CIA more competent and sophisticated than it is. Here CIA analyst Alec Baldwin tries to figure out why the Soviet nuclear submarine Red October, commanded by renegade Sean Connery, is approaching North America’s eastern seaboard without authorization. Adapted by Larry Ferguson and Donald Stewart and directed by John McTiernan (Predator, Die Hard), the film mechanically uses the crosscutting technique made famous by Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove without any of its wit or focused energy. With Scott Glenn, James Earl Jones, Sam Neill, Joss Ackland, Tim Curry, Peter Firth, and Courtney B. Vance. 135 min. (JR)

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