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on October 11, 2003
If only the ending could be just a tad different, this would be twice as popular as it ever got. The topnotch, passionately made film largely goes unsung, a bit like "The Siege," only because it threw away all the riveting plot twists when it reached its ho-hum finale (some may call it a great final twist).
Quibbles aside, this fast paced nail-biter may be one of the quickest 2 hours of cinema ever filmed. Costner plays a Navy commander assigned to a high level post in the DOD, where he, and the Secretary of Defense become embroiled in a murder/scandal. The bulk of the film chronicles the Departments Under Secretary's attempts to quash the problem. A high level Russian mole in the U.S. government is being pursued throughout the film. The chase keeps narrowing down more and more drawing the government officials closer and closer to the culprit. The tension became almost unbearable as the mole was about to be trapped.
Costner, for a change, is really convincing in his role, the tight dialog helping him immeasurably. Sean Young actually smiles in this movie and looks twice as good as all her other newer movies put together. Gene Hackman has the usual commanding screen presence.
All in all, a fabulous politically charged thriller you ought not to miss!
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"No Way Out" finally arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Shout! Factory. Unlike some catalog titles (I'm thinking of "Witness" here for example) we get a nice looking and sounding transfer AND some special features for those who like those things (yep, me).

This remake of "The Big Clock" (and this is the third film inspired by the novel with "Police Python 357" from 1976 being the second) holds together well something that can't be said of all thrillers from the same time frame as directors and writers often strained to create well made thrillers without violating the suspension of disbelief that was established with their audience.

You know the plot, right?

Well if not here we go--


Kevin Costner plays a Navy officer Tom Farrell recently assigned to the Pentagon. He's living the good life, found a wonderful girl (Sean Young) who's also sleeping with....his boss David Brice (Gene Hackman). When she's killed by his boss' men, he finds he's on the run because they know SOMEONE knew that they killed her. They plan on pinning it on a nonexistant Soviet mole and a damaged picture that has Farrell in it is found at the scene which puts him directly in the line of fire as being the "suspect" they are looking to pin the murder on.

As with a lot of thrillers of this type the performances can often reach operatic levels on screen but it fits the tension and feel of the film. There are a number of implausible moments but, heck, Hitchcock and other suspense directors always have elements of that in their films. It's a matter of whether or not you can suspend your disbelief during the run of the film. For me, it worked almost all of the time and that's a credit to Donaldson and his cast.

Costner projects just the right level of strength and vulnerability in his role. Hackman does what he always does best--chew just enough of the scenery to make his character believable as a man with a massive ego and power. The real star, though, is Will Patton who goes from controlled anger to hysteria that is required for the conclusion of the film


A couple of other points--if you somehow managed to miss this film when it was released, it's rated R for a very good reason so be aware of that.

Directed by Roger Donaldson, "No Way Out" may have stretches where the plot strains credibility but Donaldson makes the material work along with his actors due to the relentless pacing and performances. Donaldson, the writer and the actors sell this pretty well and some of the twists and turns are a bit unexpected along the way which makes for a good roller coaster ride for the audience.

The blu-ray looks quite nice with a solid A/V presentation of the film. The special features are limited but what we do get is pretty solid--a commentary by director Donaldson. A retrospective featurette on the film would have been welcome but, given Hackman's retirement from acting, it might have been too much to ask for although Patton, Young and Costner would have been available (the question is how much money they would have asked to participate and whether or not they had the budget for this). We get the theatrical trailer as well but I wouldn't watch it until after the film.

"No Way Out" remains an exceptional thriller that just skirts the edge of implausibility. If you can suspend your disbelief and buy into the premise, you'll enjoy the film. While the special features are limited, it's nice to have a commentary from the director for this release.

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on September 20, 2012
If you are looking for a film that truly manages to raise the level of tension time after time, this one is for you. It is easy to forget that at this time Costner was the hottest actor in the world and that would continue for a few years, when he churned out hit after hit. Those films, like Bull Durham and Dancing With Wolves are fine films, without question, but I feel that this one is his finest. He is a master of action and suspense, going through a range of emotions and it reminds me of what a quality actor Costner once was.

What I loved about it was the unexpected. I cannot recall a single film that so effectively fooled me. Sure, there are things that, if you look at logically, you question, but I didn't care at all at the time because I was so immersed in the story.

The supporting cast is filled with terrific actors, most especially Gene Hackman, who is one of the all-time greats, and Sean Young. It is also easy to forget how hot she was at this time and this movie showcases why.

Should be given a proper blu ray treatment with all the special features. It is a great great film, one of the best of the 80s.

By the way, I am reviewing the all region dvd. It has Korean writing on the case and that concerned me but all I had to do was turn those subtitles off. It does not have English subtitles, and I don't know if the CC works with this, so any deaf customers may want to know that.
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Back in the beginning of his cinema career, Kevin Costner made intelligent choices about the films he made, and NO WAY OUT -- to this day -- stands as perhaps his finest performance yet. This clever whodunnit very sparingly drops clues along the way for the most astute viewer, but, if you're watching closely, you begin to see things coming about for the Naval Intelligence Officer ... and, if you're really clever, you might guess the ending. A must-see for political thrill-seekers!
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on March 18, 2000
When I first watch this movie 12 years ago, I was expecting it as just another sexy flick. But I was totally unprepared to be blown away by the superb plot, intriguing dialogue and "who-can-beat-that" ending. Not to forget the most amazing cast. Will Patton should get an award for his role. Easily one of the best movies I have ever seen.
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on May 21, 2014
This was wonderful when I first saw in the movie house, and it holds up marvelously today. Here are Kevin Costner and Sean Young at their glittering zenith (a very brief zenith, in Young's case). And if this is not the classic Gene Hackman role, I don't know what is. I misremembered the aide to Hackman's secretary of defense as being played by Scott Glenn; it's actually Will Patton, as a devious, power-mad homosexual. Which raises the question: whatever became of Will Patton? Interesting small roles go to a young, fresh Brad Pitt and to George Dzundza as a wheelchair-bound intelligence boffin who seems to be based on a legendary real-life figure in the CIA of the 1960s. (Name escapes me, sorry!)
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on June 11, 2014
this was unbelievably thrilling and entertaining. The "Bad Guy" everyone was looking for was him and they didn't know it. BUT..he wasn't the bad guy!!! So he had to get proof of who did it before he got sent up the river or killed. Very good movie.
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on April 19, 2016
I saw this movie a million years ago in theatres when it came out and really liked it and decided to watch it again with my adult daughter. Not only did I still enjoy it, but my daughter did as well despite the slightly dated story line searching for a Russian spy. A fun ride.
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on April 16, 2016
I've been awaiting the Blu-ray release of this title for years.
The early 2016 release plays without issue and picture and sound are satisfactory.
Only "special features" are a director's commentary audio track and the trailer.
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on February 16, 2006
This is one of the benchmark for the movies based on political drama and corruption in government departments. The story is about a secretary in Pentagon, and his attempts to cover-up the accidental killing of his mistress. The corrupt officers will not stop at anything to save the secretary from loosing his position. The defence secretary put Tom Farrell (Kevin Costner) in charge of the murder investigation and later uses him for the cover up by falsely accusing him of a being a KGB spy. The world around Farrell changes, as the people he was supposed to trust turns out to be corrupt and partners with the defence secretary. Go for this movie if you like the conspiracy and political thriller because till date very few movies are made up to this mark.
0Comment|23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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