Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a 2014 American action thriller spy film directed by Kenneth Branagh. Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Branagh, and Keira Knightley star in leading roles. The film features the fictional character Jack Ryan created by author Tom Clancy. It is the fifth film in the Jack Ryan series but is presented as a reboot that departs from the previous installments. Unlike its predecessors, it is not an adaptation of a particular Clancy novel, but rather an original story. Pine stars in the title role, becoming the fourth actor to play Ryan, following Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKenneth Branagh
Produced by
Written by
Based onCharacters created
by Tom Clancy
Music byPatrick Doyle
CinematographyHaris Zambarloukos
Edited byMartin Walsh
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • January 15, 2014 (2014-01-15) (Philippines)
  • January 17, 2014 (2014-01-17) (United States)
Running time
105 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States[2]
Budget$60 million[3]
Box office$135.5 million[3]

The original screenplay was written by Adam Cozand and David Koepp. The film was produced by Mace Neufeld, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, David Barron and Mark Vahradian, with David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Paul Schwake and Tommy Harper as executive producers.

The film score was composed by Patrick Doyle. The film was released on January 17, 2014, and grossed over $130 million in revenue at the box office. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit was met with mixed critical reviews. The film is dedicated to Clancy, who died on October 1, 2013.


After the 9/11 attacks, Jack Ryan (Pine), studying at the LSE (London School of Economics), becomes a U.S. Marine second lieutenant fighting in Afghanistan, where his spine is severely injured when his helicopter is shot down. During a lengthy recovery back in the United States, he attracts the attention of Cathy Muller (Knightley), a medical student helping him learn to walk again, and Thomas Harper (Costner), a CIA official who recruits him.

Ten years later, Ryan is working on Wall Street covertly for the CIA looking for suspicious financial transactions that would indicate terrorist activity. When the Russian Federation loses a key vote before the United Nations and the markets do not respond in the expected way, Ryan discovers that billions of dollars held by Russian organizations have disappeared. The majority of these funds are controlled by Russian tycoon Viktor Cherevin (Branagh).

Ryan's employer conducts business with Cherevin, so when Ryan finds certain accounts inaccessible to him as an auditor, he has reason to visit Moscow and investigate. After narrowly surviving a murder attempt by an assassin (Anozie) posing as his bodyguard, Ryan sends an SOS and is surprised to learn his backup is Harper. During their debrief at Staraya Square, Ryan explains how Cherevin's shadow investments could make the United States vulnerable to complete financial collapse following a staged terrorist attack, which would also weaken global markets.

At his meeting with Cherevin the next day, he is told that the problem company and all of its assets have been sold, thus preventing Ryan's audit. Meanwhile, Muller, now Ryan's fiancée, suspecting him of having an affair, secretly flies to Moscow to meet him. Against protocol for unmarried couples, Ryan reveals his CIA employment, to her great relief. Improvising on the situation, Harper has Muller agree to be included in a plan to infiltrate Cherevin's offices. Ryan and Muller meet Cherevin at an upscale restaurant across the street from Cherevin's office. Over dinner, Ryan causes a scene and purposely insults Muller. Excusing himself, he gains access to Cherevin's office where he downloads critical corruption files.

Ryan and the CIA discover Cherevin has secretly propped up the Chinese and Japanese economies for years, leaving the entire global economy vulnerable, as well as using a falsified death certificate to place his son, Aleksandr (Utgoff), in the US as a sleeper agent. Ryan uses his talent for pattern recognition to locate Aleksandr's hideout and intended target, Wall Street. Returning to New York City, he locates and pursues a fake police response vehicle driven by Aleksandr. After Ryan catches up and engages in a physical confrontation with Aleksandr, he discovers a bomb in the rear of the vehicle. Unable to defuse it, he hijacks the vehicle and crashes it into the East River while jumping out, as the bomb detonates, killing Aleksandr. Cherevin is executed by his co-conspirators in Russia. Ryan and Harper are called to the White House to brief the President.




After the financial success of their film The Sum of All Fears (2002), Paramount Pictures made attempts to continue the Jack Ryan film series, but nothing came to fruition.[9] In 2008, the company engaged director Sam Raimi to spearhead a revival of the series,[10] but he later dropped out due to his commitment to the Spider-Man film series.[11]

In October 2009, Paramount and co-financier Skydance Productions were negotiating with actor Chris Pine to portray Jack Ryan in a film based on Tom Clancy's character, but not on any of the books. At the time, producers Mace Neufeld and Lorenzo di Bonaventura were working with an original concept drafted by Hossein Amini, with David Ready serving as co-producer for di Bonaventura.[12][13] In August 2010, director Jack Bender was the frontrunner to direct the film, based on a script tentatively titled Moscow by Adam Cozad.[14] The following month, writer Anthony Peckham was brought on to perform rewrites,[15] and later Steve Zaillian, who wrote the screenplay for Clear and Present Danger (1994), was engaged to perform rewrites as well.[16] However, Zaillian withdrew after a few weeks and the film was put on hold by Paramount for Pine to reprise his role as James T. Kirk in Star Trek Into Darkness.[17] During this time, David Koepp was brought on to rewrite the script,[18] with shooting scheduled to begin in the second half of 2012.[19]

The film faced another setback in March 2012, when director Bender dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.[20] Paramount and Skydance Pictures quickly hired Kenneth Branagh to replace him, in order to start production after Pine was finished with Into Darkness around September 2012.[21] "This script arrived and was un-put-down-able and I knew the previous films, I'd read some of the books and, simple as that, it came out of the blue", said Branagh. "I was going to be making another movie, but it went away and this one came to me and I read it and responded very strongly and it's the kind of the film that I go to see".[22]


Pre-production for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit took place at the production offices of August Street Films Limited, based at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.[23] Months after signing on as director, Kenneth Branagh also made a deal with the studio to star as the film's villain.[24]

In early August 2012, Keira Knightley, Felicity Jones, and Evangeline Lilly were being considered for the female lead while Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel were approached but declined.[25] Days later, Knightley won the role.[26] That same month, Kevin Costner signed on to play Thomas Harper in a two-picture deal that will also see him play the character in a film adaptation of Clancy's Without Remorse.[27]


While images from the film's production in Manhattan surfaced in late August 2012,[28][29] Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions did not announce the start of principal photography on Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit until September 18, 2012.[30] At that time, filming took place in Liverpool city centre, which doubled as Moscow.[23][31] Filming in New York City had been completed earlier that month.[32] Other shooting locales included London and Moscow.[7] Later, reshoots were also done in New York City.[7]


The musical score of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit was composed by Patrick Doyle, who has collaborated on many of Kenneth Branagh's directorial efforts.[33] Writing the score took Doyle up to seven months, which is more than usual.[34] "In Jack Ryan, [Kenneth] wanted a piece of music for this scene and I had the theme the following day for it," said Doyle on his relationship with Branagh. "I actually wrote the main theme of the movie, just sitting there watching it. This is the expectation of a person you're very close to. There's no pressure in that you're so relaxed, especially someone like Kenneth. He brings out the best in you because he creates such a casual, relaxed, but hard-working environment at the same time."[35] A soundtrack album was released digitally by Varèse Sarabande on January 14, 2014 and in physical formats on February 4.[36][37]

Track listing
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – Music From the Motion Picture
Film score by
Patrick Doyle
ReleasedJanuary 14, 2014 (2014-01-14) (Digital)
February 4, 2013 (2013-02-04) (Physical)
LabelVarèse Sarabande
Jack Ryan soundtrack chronology
The Sum of All Fears
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – Music From the Motion Picture
Patrick Doyle chronology
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – Music From the Motion Picture
1."Flying Over Afghanistan"2:43
2."The United Nations"2:42
3."Shadow Accounts"2:54
4."The Window Reflection"1:51
5."Rooftop Call"1:52
6."Second Great Depression"3:19
7."Faith Of Our Fathers"4:00
8."Cherevin Meets Ryan"2:11
9."Plan In a Van"1:51
10."The Activation"2:19
12."The Engagement"2:24
13."Stealing The Data"7:59
14."Get Out"4:19
15."Moscow Car Chase"4:15
16."The Lightbulb"4:37
17."Unravelling The Data"4:37
18."CIA Recruitment"1:41
19."Chopper To NYC"1:40
20."Bike Chase"3:47
21."Jack And Aleksandr"3:15
22."Picking This Life"1:04
23."Ryan, Mr. President"3:28
24."Shadow Recruit"2:30
Total length:73:12


The film was originally scheduled to be released on December 25, 2013,[38] but was pushed back from its original release date to January 17, 2014, by Paramount Pictures to give the release date to Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street.[39] It then was slated for release on January 17, 2014, corresponding with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in the United States.[40] In August 2013, Paramount began rolling out a trailer for the film to test audiences bearing the title Jack Ryan: Shadow One.[41] On October 2, 2013, a day after the death of Tom Clancy, the first film poster was released, featuring the new title, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.[42] The first trailer for the film was released the same day.[43] In December 2014, Pine confirmed that there would not be a sequel to the film due to its lackluster box office performance.[44]

The film was later released in Video on Demand format for home media markets on May 20, 2014.[45] It was released on DVD and Blu-ray formats by Paramount Home Entertainment on June 10, 2014.[46]


Box office

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit earned $5.4 million on its opening day in North American markets.[47] and reached $17.2 million by the end of its opening weekend.[48] The film opened below all previous Jack Ryan films despite a wider theatre count.[49] Based on exit-polling service CinemaScore, more than a third of the film's opening weekend audience was over the age of 50. With only 15 percent of viewers under the age of 25, the film failed to attract younger viewers despite the casting of Chris Pine.[50][51] The film is the twenty-fourth highest grossing of 2014 and was the first film of the year to have reached over $100 million worldwide.[52] During its theatrical run, the film had grossed $50.6 million domestically and $85 million in foreign business, for a worldwide total of $135.6 million.[53]

Critical response

On critique aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film received 56% positive reviews with an average score of 5.7/10, based on 165 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "It doesn't reinvent the action-thriller wheel, but Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit offers a sleek, reasonably diverting reboot for a long-dormant franchise."[54] On Metacritic which assigns a weighted average out of 100 to critics' reviews, it holds a metascore of 57, based on 36 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[55] CinemaScore reported that audiences gave the film a "B" grade.[51]

The film is slow in getting started and once it's underway it's only intermittently involving. It's also occasionally far-fetched. Why is Jack the only person capable of facing the dangerous Cherevin? How does he overpower a hit man built like a refrigerator?

—Claudia Puig, writing for USA Today[56]

Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film a positive review, saying, "Under taut direction from Kenneth Branagh (who also plays the Russian heavy), Pine is convincing as a character who is pushing papers one day and dodging assassins in Moscow the next." Hartlaub added, "Even with its thrifty set pieces and smaller ambitions, this attempt to reboot the series based on Tom Clancy characters does the most important thing right: It almost always feels like a Jack Ryan movie."[57] Kyle Smith of the New York Post also gave the film a positive review. Smith said, "Despite the occasional hard-to-believe moment, the reboot of the 1990s franchise is soundly structured, smart and fast, with a plausible central scenario, several gripping moments and well-wrought dialogue. If it isn't quite as gritty or intelligent as the Bourne movies, it is ... close enough."[58]

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone was less enthusiastic about the film, saying it "has no personality of its own." Travers added, "It's a product constructed out of spare parts and assembled with computerized precision. It's hard to care when Jack turns operational and becomes a CIA robocop. The movie feels untouched by human hands."[59] Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter also gave the film a negative review, saying, "While [the film] benefits from an attractive cast, the perennial allure of the spy game and the exoticism of the contemporary Moscow setting, the biggest problem afflicting this modest diversion is that it's the sort of film in which computers get to the bottom of every problem that comes up in about five seconds."[60]

See also


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  2. Adams, Mark (January 14, 2014). "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit". Screen Daily. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
  3. "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)". Box Office Mojo (Internet Movie Database). Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  4. White, James (October 4, 2013). "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Trailer Jumps In". Empire. Retrieved 2014-01-06.
  5. Weiner, David (October 3, 2013). "New Trailer: 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit'". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 2014-01-06.
  6. McNary, Davie (October 22, 2010). "Paymer spies 'Jack Ryan' role". Variety. Retrieved 2012-12-30.
  7. Lovece, Frank (January 8, 2014). "Will Kenneth Branagh's 'Shadow Recruit' live up to past Jack Ryan movies?". Newsday. Retrieved 2014-01-12. ... at the beginnings of both his career and his relationship with future wife Cathy (Keira Knightley). ... Mikhail Baryshnikov has an uncredited role as a Russian government official
  8. Hanlon, Tim (21 May 2019). "Skyfall actor 'murdered with chemsex drug' during plot 'to steal from gay men'". Daily Star. Express Newspapers. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  9. Goldberg, Matt (December 13, 2009). "Producer Mace Neufeld Talks Next Jack Ryan Film Starring Chris Pine". Collider.com. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  10. Fleming, Michael (March 18, 2008). "Raimi, Paramount revive Jack Ryan". Variety. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  11. Carroll, Larry (October 22, 2008). "Sam Raimi Says Goodbye To Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan Franchise, Chooses 'Spider-Man' Instead". MTV. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  12. Ready, David. "Chernin Ent. Promotes Jenno Topping to President of Film". Deadline Hollywood. Deadline Team. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
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  14. Fleming, Jr., Mike (August 2, 2010). "'Lost's Jack Bender Is Jack Ryan Frontrunner". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  15. Kit, Boris (September 19, 2010). "Toronto: Paramount taps 'Sherlock Holmes' scribe for Jack Ryan spy thriller (exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 22, 2010.
  16. Fleming, Jr., Mike (February 2, 2011). "Steve Zaillian On To Rewrite Jack Ryan". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  17. Fleming, Jr., Mike (March 28, 2011). "Script Delays Puts 'Star Trek' Sequel Before Jack Ryan For Chris Pine And Paramount". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  18. Fleming, Mike, Jr. (April 28, 2011). "Jack Ryan Getting David Koepp Rewrite". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
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  24. Sneider, Jeff (July 19, 2012). "Jack Ryan helmer Branagh also in talks to star". Variety. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  25. Fleming, Jr., Mike (August 1, 2012). "Jack Ryan: Female Lead Between Keira Knightley, Felicity Jones, Evangeline Lilly". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  26. Siegel, Tatiana; Borys Kit (August 10, 2012). "Keira Knightley Wins Female Lead in 'Jack Ryan' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  27. Fleming, Jr., Mike (August 20, 2012). "Paramount Lands Kevin Costner To Rev Jack Ryan And 'Without Remorse' Pics". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  28. Labrecque, Jeff (August 31, 2012). "Chris Pine takes a spin as Jack Ryan – First Photo". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  29. Kellogg, Jane (September 1, 2012). "New Images of Kevin Costner and Chris Pine in 'Jack Ryan' Released (Photos)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
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  34. "Interview mit Patrick Doyle". Owley.ch. October 13, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
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