With Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse now available on Amazon Prime Video, it’s critical to at least see the previous Tom Clancy films to keep up with the Ryan Series. Jack Ryan is a fictional US marine and CIA operative created by Tom Clancy. He made his debut in the 1984 book The Hunt for Red October. He has featured in a number of books, all of which are set in the Ryanverse, as well as a television series and a number of feature films. In this article, we are bringing you all Jack Ryan movies in order, but we will also include other Tom Clancy movies and let you know how they are connected.
So far, Paramount Pictures has released six films centered on the character of Jack Ryan, as well as a spin-off film set in the Ryanverse. Continue reading as I go through each film and offer alternative viewing orders based on their release dates and chronological sequence.
Jack Ryan and other Tom Clancy movies in order by release date
Jack Ryan is a well-known fictional detective created by Tom Clancy. SIX films are based on Tom Clancy’s novels, and the following is a list of all Jack Ryan films in order of release:
- The Hunt for Red October (1990)
- Patriot Games (1992)
- Clear and Present Danger (1994)
- The Sum of All Fears (2002)
- Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
- Without Remorse (2021)
Jack Ryan and other Tom Clancy movies in Chronological order and how are they connected
The first three films are adaptations of Tom Clancy’s novels, whereas the fourth film is a reboot and the fifth book is an original tale. Thus, the first three films are linked by the character and narrative of Jack Ryan, while the last three films are stand-alone. Thus, viewing in chronological order will provide this outcome:
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) is a prequel film that chronicles Jack Ryan’s early years. There is little distinction between the series’ chronological and release order. If you want to follow the chronological order, below is a list of all Jack Ryan films in chronological order.
1. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
After the 9/11 attacks, Jack Ryan (Pine) becomes a US Marine officer in Afghanistan, where his spine is badly damaged when his helicopter is shot down. Cathy Muller (Knightley), a medical student who assists him in relearning to walk, and Thomas Harper (Costner), a CIA officer who recruits him, come to his notice during his long recuperation in the United States.
Ten years later, Ryan is working undercover for the CIA on Wall Street, searching for unusual financial transactions indicative of terrorist activities. When Russia loses a critical vote at the United Nations and the markets do not react as anticipated, Ryan learns that Russian organizations have lost control of billions of dollars. Viktor Cherevin, a Russian billionaire, owns the majority of these funds (Branagh).
Because Ryan’s company does business with Cherevin, he has the motivation to visit Moscow and investigate when he discovers some accounts are unavailable to him as an auditor. Ryan sends an SOS after barely escaping a murder attempt by an assassin (Anozie) masquerading as his bodyguard. He is shocked to find that his backup is Harper. Ryan reveals during their debriefing at Staraya Square how Cherevin’s shadow investments might expose the United States to total financial collapse in the aftermath of a manufactured terrorist strike.
The next day, at his appointment with Cherevin, he is informed that the issue business and all of its assets have been sold, thus precluding Ryan’s audit. Meanwhile, Muller, now Ryan’s fiancée, discreetly travels to Moscow to see him, accusing him of having an affair. Ryan, much to her relief, violates the norm for unmarried couples by revealing his CIA job.
Harper, improvising the situation, convinces Muller to join a plot to enter Cherevin’s headquarters. Ryan and Muller meet Cherevin across the street from Cherevin’s office at an expensive restaurant. Ryan creates a commotion at dinner by purposefully insulting Muller. He gets access to Cherevin’s office via an excused absence and downloads crucial corruption files.
Ryan and the CIA find Cherevin has been covertly supporting the Chinese and Japanese industries for years, leaving the US economy vulnerable, as well as using a forged death certificate to put his son, Aleksandr (Utgoff), in the United States as a sleeper agent. Ryan uses his pattern recognition abilities to track out Aleksandr’s hiding place and planned target, Wall Street. Returning to New York City, he tracks down and chases Aleksandr’s phony police response car.
After Ryan catches up with Aleksandr and engages in a physical altercation with him, he finds a bomb in the vehicle’s back compartment. Incapable of defusing it, he hijacks the car and drives it into the East River, leaping out just before the bomb explodes, killing Aleksandr. Cherevin is executed in Russia by his co-conspirators for his failure. Following that, Ryan and Harper are summoned to the White House to brief the President.
2. The Hunt for Red October (1990)
The “Red October” submarine is a novel design from the Soviet Union. When Americans are shown pictures of it, they are enthralled as to why it is so unique. C.I.A. analyst Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) talks with a buddy, who deduces that it is fitted with a new engine capable of running almost silently and that they may position themselves on the outskirts of any coastal city and fire their missiles without alerting their target.
Captain Marko Ramius (Sir Sean Connery) assassinates their political officer when they open their instructions, which essentially require them to perform regular exercises. He assassinates him and then destroys and changes their orders. He then informs the crew that they would be testing their new engine by establishing a position off the coast of New York City and conducting missile exercises. Ryan is then summoned to a briefing on the Red October by his supervisor, Admiral James Greer (James Earl Jones).
They learn during this briefing that Ramius wrote a letter to a high-ranking Soviet official, who upon receiving it proceeded to meet with the Soviet Premier, and it was soon after that meeting that the Soviet Navy was sent to locate and destroy the Red October. Everyone thinks Ramius has gone rogue, save Ryan, who previously conducted a study on Ramius and believes he may be attempting to defect.
While everyone rejects him, National Security Adviser Jeffrey Pelt (Richard Jordan) orders Ryan to go out and ascertain for himself if he is correct since once Ramius is in a position to launch his missiles, they must eliminate him. Ryan unwillingly travels since he is used to outdoor labor and is having difficulty adjusting to the water. Simultaneously, someone on the Red October team is aware that Ramius has strayed from his mission and is trying everything possible to stop him.
3. Patriot Games (1992)
Jack Ryan (Ford) is in London with his family on a “working holiday.” He retired from the CIA and now teaches at the United States Naval Academy. Jack delivers a lecture at the Royal Naval Academy before exiting to see his wife Cathy and daughter Sally.
While on vacation in England with his family, he sees an explosion near Buckingham Palace. It is revealed that some individuals are attempting to kidnap a member of the Royal Family, but Jack intervenes, murdering one and capturing the other, thus putting an end to the plot. He later discovers they are Irish rebels and that the two guys are brothers. The one who is still alive swears to avenge Jack at his court appearance, but is punished, and that seems to be the end of it. However, the guy gets freed during the journey.
Jack hears about this but is unconcerned, but when he is in the Naval Academy, someone attempts to assassinate him. He discovers that they are also pursuing his family and hurries to locate them: safe but also the victims of a botched assassination. This is when Jack re-joins the CIA, and they seek to apprehend the guy before he makes another attempt.
Ryan’s hard investigation led him to believe Miller has sought shelter in one of Libya’s many training camps. He also deduces that a recent new arrival to the camp may be Dennis Cooley, who eluded the London police after discovering they were spying on his book shop. Ryan also establishes, through an IRA spokesperson, Paddy O’Neil (Richard Harris), that the lady with long red hair he saw in London and at the Annapolis Naval Academy is the same woman who works for O’Donnell and is now incarcerated in one of the Libyan camps.
Ryan offers suggestions to his CIA superiors. Greer allows Jack to see a live stream of an SAS strike unit assaulting the camp. Everyone in the camp is killed, but unknown to the CIA and Ryan, Miller and his friends have already left the camp and are making their way to the United States in preparation for their next assault on Lord Holmes.
4. Clear and Present Danger (1994)
An enraged first-term President tacitly (“What I would suggest I cannot suggest”) orders a covert military invasion into Columbia after the murder of a close friend by individuals associated with Ernesto Escobedo, the Cali Cartel’s head. Jack Ryan, who was temporarily elevated to Deputy Director of Intelligence at the CIA after Jim Greer’s cancer diagnosis, becomes inadvertently entangled in the plot. He was charged with obtaining money for the operation from Congress, particularly stating that no soldiers would be deployed, despite the fact that this was the whole purpose of the mission (unbeknownst to Ryan).
At first, the military operation is effective, destroying drug refining facilities and shooting down drug trafficking planes. After the President orders the seizure of a large sum of laundered drug money, Felix Cortez, a former Castro official working as an intelligence officer for Escobedo, retaliates by assassinating a Presidential aide sent to Columbia to discuss the seized funds with the Columbian government (from which Ryan narrowly escapes). Following that, the operation is intensified and US soldiers are directed to begin assassinating cartel leaders, who had gathered to allay their own fears that each other is responsible for the US military attacks and avoid a gang war.
Cortez responds by identifying American soldiers working in Columbia and negotiating their defection with the President’s National Security Advisor (Cutter), who organized the illegal operation.
Meanwhile, Ryan is aware that something is amiss and learns the essence of the operation by hacking into a colleague’s CIA office computer. He arrives too late to prevent the treachery of US troops in Columbia, who are arrested after Cortez is given their precise position and all air support and communications with them are cut off. Ryan goes to Columbia personally to arrange a rescue mission, which he cobbles together with the assistance of a furious CIA agent who was engaged in the military operation.
Ryan goes to Washington, DC, to inform Congress of every aspect of the operation, despite the President’s personal efforts to bribe him to stay silent with future favors.
5. The Sum of All Fears (2002)
The tale begins during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Egypt’s and Syria’s armies are poised to defeat Israel. A nuclear-armed A-4 Skyhawk is fired as a last-ditch preventative effort to guarantee that Israeli ground troops are not totally overwhelmed. A Syrian surface-to-air missile battery engages and shoots down the fighter aircraft. Among the widely dispersed wreckage that litters the desolate desert below is an undamaged nuclear weapon that has burrowed deep into the hole created by the falling debris.
Fast-forward To 2002, 29 years. US President J. Robert Fowler (James Cromwell) and his national security staff are conducting a nuclear war exercise in Mt. Weather, Virginia. Following the exercise, the President assigns CIA Director William Cabot (Morgan Freeman) to conduct an inspection visit of Russian nuclear facilities in accordance with the START weapons treaty’s provisions.
At the CIA’s Langley, Virginia headquarters, young analyst Jack Ryan (Ben Affleck) is part of a group watching current footage of Russian President Zorkin and making snarky remarks about his recent weight gain. Simultaneously, in Vienna, a clandestine Neo-Nazi organization meets. Their leader, Richard Dressler (Alan Bates), laments contemporary Europe’s powerlessness in the face of US and Russian global domination.
An Arab scrap metal trader is digging the location of a 1973 Israeli aircraft crash on the Golan Heights. He comes upon a hard item a few feet below the earth and immediately recognizes it as a bomb. Considerating it precious, he and his assistant carefully finish uncovering the weapon and load it into their truck using a hoist.
The next morning, while lounging in bed with lover Dr. Cathy Muller (Bridget Moynihan), Jack Ryan gets an emergency phone call calling him to Langley. President Zorkin died unexpectedly of a heart attack and was swiftly replaced by Alexander Nemerov (Ciaran Hinds).
While Ryan rushes to dress, his girlfriend muses aloud on what constitutes an “emergency” for a “historian.” When Ryan arrives at the CIA’s headquarters, he is seized by Director Cabot and dragged into a conference. Ryan had previously produced an intelligence assessment on Nemerov as part of his analyst work. Cabot suddenly requests that Ryan join him in Russia.
Olson (Colm Feore), an international weapons trader, meets the Arab scrap metal merchant in the desert and immediately identifies the kind of bomb in front of him. He informs the Arab that the bomb is useless, but gives him $400 for it in light of the man’s son’s death in the battle. Olson approaches Dressler after he has custody of the weapon and offers to sell it to him for $50 million.
Ryan and Talbot visit a Russian nuclear facility after a short meeting in Moscow with Nemerov. Ryan astutely observes that three of the facility’s top nuclear experts are missing. When Ryan presses the Russian host, he responds with a trite and unsatisfying answer. Cabot observes that if someone wanted to construct a covert nuclear weapon, the three missing experts are just what they would need.
6. Without Remorse (2021)
A team of US Navy SEALs led by Senior Chief John Kelly rescues a CIA agent held prisoner by a suspected pro-Assad paramilitary organization in Aleppo. As the SEALs learn that their kidnappers are really Russian soldiers, the situation deteriorates. Three months later, three members of the crew are assassinated secretly by Russian FSB agents in apparent retribution for their participation in the operation. Pam, Kelly’s pregnant wife, is assassinated by the Russians who storm into their home. Kelly dispatches all but one of the assailants before being taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Meanwhile, Lt. Commander Karen Greer, Kelly’s SEAL squad commander and friend, meets with CIA official Robert Ritter and Secretary of Defense Thomas Clay in Washington, D.C., to discuss how the FSB learned the SEALs’ identities and to evaluate their reaction options. The leak of information about Russia’s unprecedented assault on American territory has exacerbated the already fragile relationship between the two countries, potentially precipitating a new cold war. Greer is motivated to give sensitive information to Kelly when the CIA refuses to launch an inquiry into the killings.
Kelly hunts down the Russian ambassador who provided the passports to the FSB agents and coerces him into divulging the identity of the remaining assassin before murdering him. Sentenced to jail for murder, Kelly negotiates his release by disclosing the fugitive is Victor Rykov, a former Spetznaz officer hiding in Murmansk, Russia. Greer advises Clay against allowing Kelly to assist in Rykov’s capture, but Clay agrees on the condition that Kelly serves his term after the operation.
Kelly travels to Murmansk, Russia, with Greer and a CIA black operations team, with the intention of performing a Halo jump into Russia. Their aircraft is shot down by a Russian fighter and crashes into the Barents Sea. Kelly dives through the debris in search of vital equipment, which includes a zodiac boat. When the crew gets in Murmansk, they discover Ritter, whom Kelly accuses of being responsible for the information leaks.
Ritter affirms his innocence and directs the squad to Rykov. Kelly deviates from his objective to face Rykov, who is dressed in a suicide vest and claims to be a deep cover CIA agent. Rykov blows himself up with the vest when the squad is pinned down by sniper fire. As the police arrive, the squad learns the operation was staged in order to murder American troops on Russian territory in order to spark a conflict.
Kelly offers to cover the team’s escape; as a convicted killer, his death might possibly be denied. Kelly buys the crew time to reach safety but suffers serious injuries in the process. He then steals a police uniform and hijacks an ambulance to flee. Kelly and the other members of the squad flee the nation via boat. Ritter formally declares Kelly dead, freeing him to pursue the traitor.
Kelly approaches Clay in D.C. and pushes him into his vehicle. Kelly admits to being behind the information leaks and engineering the war between the US and Russia after threatening Clay’s family. Clay wanted to initiate hostilities with Russia in order to stimulate the economy and unify the American people against a common foe.
Do you need to watch all Tom Clancy movies in order?
While it is not necessary to see Tom Clancy films in sequence, it is beneficial to acquaint yourself with the character and his narrative. There are three methods to watch the Jack Ryan films: chronologically, in a sequence of release, or by seeing the first three films in order and the final three as standalone. Because Tom Clancy’s films are not as complicated as others, such as the Fast and Furious films, you will not go wrong if you choose one of the three options I have recommended.
Will there be more Jack Ryan movies?
Currently, there are no official words about the next Jack Ryan movie. Still, Jack Ryan is still a strong franchise and there will almost certainly be more movies in the future.