A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
There are some individual killings as well as disaster images.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The Superbowl figures largely in the plot.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some drinking and smoking
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a fairly typical blow-'em-up movie. Characters drink, smoke, curse, kill one another, and commit espionage and acts of terrorism. The film addresses the worst case scenario for a missing nuclear weapon, which has fallen into the hands of a terrorist group based in the Middle East. The film's representation of Middle Eastern people and culture is two-dimensional. The destruction and violence depicted in the movie may be upsetting to younger viewers, and the film's political themes will likely confuse them. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Filled with explosions and espionage, The Sum of All Fears is a typical big budget action film in most regards. It attempts to be thought-provoking, but manages only to be alarmist. The acting is nothing to write home about. As Jack Ryan, Ben Affleck does his best, which isn't saying much. Bridget Moynahan in the role of Dr. Cathy Muller, Morgan Freeman is consistent as Ryan's supervisor, DCI William Cabot. Similarly bland, the special effects in the film consist, unsurprisingly, of a series of explosions and shootings.
This isn't a terrible movie, but it's just middle-of-the-road action. The film's treatment of global politics is over-simplified. While the scenario outlined in the movie might be conceivable, it's highly unlikely. The film is too violent to make sense as family entertainment, and the political agenda means that the time it takes to watch the film might be better spent reading the newspaper.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate