Sum of All Fears [2002]

It's not easy replacing Harrison Ford as a beloved screen hero, but Ben Affleck brings fresh vitality to The Sum of All Fears, reviving Paramount's Tom Clancy franchise in the role Ford made famous. As CIA agent Jack Ryan, Affleck is a rookie in the covert ranks, unraveling a plot that lures Russian and American superpowers into a nuclear standoff, while a neofascist faction turns most of Baltimore into an atomic wasteland and holds the world in the grip of a terrorist nightmare. Affleck combines sharp intelligence with a new-guy's perspective, while a senior agent (Morgan Freeman) passes the torch of back-channel authority. The result is one of the best Clancy films to date, ably helmed by Phil Alden Robinson (whose comic thriller Sneakers was sorely underrated) with a stellar supporting cast, and adapted with abundant humor, humanity, and thrills by Donnie Brasco screenwriter Paul Attanasio and cowriter Daniel Pyne. Even the typically reticent Clancy would approve. --Jeff Shannon

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