Paramount Pictures | Release Date: March 2, 1990 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
Mixed or average reviews based on 17 Critics
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Hunt is coldly clinical rather than emotionally resonant; so is the measured ensemble work of a super cast. [2 Mar 1990, Life, p.1D]
McTiernan does not fall too much in love with any scene, character or gadget. He has judged his material (and our attention spans) very well. His alternation of menace and human interest, technological wizardry and action sequences is subtly calibrated, ultimately hypnotic in its effect. [5 Mar 1990, p.70]
The production is as clean and effective as Red October herself; there's not one dial or glowing radar screen too many; the underwater hits and near-misses are clearly choreographed and the undersea intensity is captured perfectly by Jan De Bont's camera work. [2 Mar 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
Even when it's hard to follow, it looks good. The undersea action is visually convincing, and Ramius' submarine, with all its rooms and compartments, is always believable. The moonlit photography in the picture's final scene is stunning. [2 Mar 1990, Daily Datebook, p.E1]
An idealized, dreamy fantasy of life in the business world-harmless as airplane reading, a bit dull on the big screen. [2 Mar 1990, Friday, p.C]
Little in [Connery's] character is explored or colored. It's not a highly complex role, but the man has qualities that could make him interesting; after all, it's his aberrant action that initiates the whole naval plot. Connery merely fulfills his contractual obligations to the producer-no depth in him at all. [26 Mar 1990, p.26]
Like the nuclear sub it's named after, the picture is big, shiny, and expensive. It's also cold, hard, and cumbersome, and lacking the barest hint of emotional or psychological depth. [9 Mar 1990, Arts, p.10]