How to watch everything Jack Ryan in chronological order

Carolina

Carolina

Argentinian Carolina has an extensive movie background in the cinematic universe. She is our resident TV analyst and a seasoned expert in global streaming platforms. She showcases her comprehensive knowledge through her love for Netflix 'Originals', Frozen, The Good Place, and The Dragon Prince.

You’re probably familiar with Jack Ryan from the Amazon Prime Video series starring John Krasinski (The Office, A Quiet Place).

But what if I tell you that Krasinski is the fifth actor playing the character? And some classic films from the 90s belong to the Ryanverse? And yes, there’s a Ryanverse!

If you’re a casual viewer of the Prime Video series, or you don’t have much knowledge about this character and franchise, then this article is for you.

Let me show you what the Ryanverse is about and how you can watch everything in chronological order.

Who is Jack Ryan?

Let’s start with the basics. Jack Ryan is a character created by American best-selling author Tom Clancy.

Ryan has starred in over 30 novels, which all have been part of The New York Times best-selling ranks.

In this fictional universe of geo-political intrigues, Jack Ryan is a former U.S. Marine and stockbroker who later became a civilian history professor at the United States Naval Academy (USNA).

Ryan joins the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as an analyst and occasional field officer.

Through more than 40 years of stories, he has been involved in several American and international conflicts, saving his country from wars and other menaces. Also, his career grew from CIA analyst to President of the United States.

Who is Tom Clancy?

Tom Clancy was an American novelist famous for his espionage and military-science storylines set during and after the Cold War. More than half of his books have Jack Ryan as the main character.

His novels are characterised by the technical details described in the stories and the military dynamics.

Through his fiction, Clancy became a referent in geopolitics, sparking a lot of controversy among experts.

Clancy always was openly conservative with clearly Republican political views. Even some of his books were dedicated to US ex-president Ronald Reagan.

He co-wrote several of his books, mainly the ones that are non-fiction. Since his books were best sellers with a pace of almost a book per year, he had some ghostwriters to help him.

Since he died in 2013, four authors keep writing Jack Ryan novels with the authorization of the Clancy family estate.

Besides his political views, whether you can agree or not, Clancy is a great author. Keeping in mind that not all best-selling writers are synonymous with quality.

Books

Although by no means this article is about the books, I always say that if a TV series or a film sparks your curiosity to check the book in which it is based, then the mission is accomplished.

Here is the list of all Jack Ryan books, both in publishing order and chronological order. This can be useful to compare the film order too which we’ll get to soon.

Books in the order in which they were written

  • The Hunt for Red October (1984)
  • Patriot Games (1987)
  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988)
  • Clear and Present Danger (1989)
  • The Sum of All Fears (1991)
  • Without Remorse (1993)
  • Debt of Honor (1994)
  • Executive Orders (1996)
  • Rainbow Six (1998)
  • The Bear and the Dragon (2000)
  • Red Rabbit (2002)
  • The Teeth of the Tiger (2003)
  • Dead or Alive (2010, with Grant Blackwood)
  • Against All Enemies (2011, with Peter Telep)
  • Locked On (2011, with Mark Greaney)
  • Threat Vector (2012, with Mark Greaney)
  • Command Authority (2013, with Mark Greaney)
  • Support and Defend (2014, by Mark Greaney)
  • Full Force and Effect (2014, by Mark Greaney)
  • Under Fire (2015, by Grant Blackwood)
  • Commander in Chief (2015, by Mark Greaney)
  • Duty and Honor (2016, by Grant Blackwood)
  • True Faith and Allegiance (2016, by Mark Greaney)
  • Point of Contact (2017, by Mike Maden)
  • Power and Empire (2017, by Marc Cameron)
  • Line of Sight (2018, by Mike Maden)
  • Oath of Office (2018, by Marc Cameron)
  • Enemy Contact (2019, by Mike Maden)
  • Code of Honor (2019, by Marc Cameron)
  • Firing Point (2020, by Mike Maden)
  • Shadow of the Dragon (2020, by Marc Cameron)
  • Target Acquired (2021, by Don Bentley)
  • Chain of Command (2021, by Marc Cameron)
  • Zero Hour (2022, by Don Bentley)
  • Red Winter (2022, by Marc Cameron)
  • Flash Point (forthcoming 2023, by Don Bentley)
  • Weapons Grade (forthcoming 2023, by Don Bentley)
  • Command and Control (forthcoming 2023, by Marc Cameron)

In chronological order

  1. Without Remorse
  2. Patriot Games
  3. Red Rabbit
  4. The Hunt for Red October
  5. The Cardinal of the Kremlin
  6. Clear and Present Danger
  7. The Sum of All Fears
  8. Debt of Honor
  9. Executive Orders
  10. Rainbow Six
  11. The Bear and the Dragon
  12. The Teeth of the Tiger
  13. Dead or Alive
  14. Against All Enemies
  15. Locked On
  16. Threat Vector
  17. Command Authority
  18. Support and Defend
  19. Full Force and Effect
  20. Under Fire
  21. Commander in Chief
  22. Duty and Honor
  23. True Faith and Allegiance
  24. Point of Contact.
  25. Power and Empire
  26. Line of Sight
  27. Oath of Office
  28. Enemy Contact
  29. Code of Honor
  30. Firing Point
  31. Shadow of the Dragon
  32. Target Acquired
  33. Chain of Command
  34. Zero Hour
  35. Flash Point
  36. Weapons Grade
  37. Command and Control

Actors who have played Jack Ryan

There have been a total of five actors who portrayed Jack Ryan through the years. And there will probably be more in the future.

Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, Chris Pine, and John Krasinski have been Jack Ryan.

Chris Pine at the premier of the Jack Ryan movie.

Chris Pine

Maybe you’re wondering why so many different men have played the character. When Tom Clancy’s novels began to be adapted into films, Hollywood didn’t think of sagas or sequels as they think now. They just adapt the books.

Also, Jack Ryan wasn’t an established character as may be James Bond, who also has been played by several actors.

The first change from Baldwin to Ford was due to Baldwin being busy working in a Broadway play when Patriot Games started production.

And the change from Ford to Affleck was because eight years passed between the films. Something similar happened with Affleck and Pine. Although, in Chris Pine’s case, it was intended to be a reboot for the character that didn’t work.

John Krasinski plays a new Jack Ryan adapted to the current times.

John Krasinski

John Krasinski

Of course, it’s inspired by the books, keeping the essence of the character. But Amazon Prime Video’s series went for a new audience, and the way to reach it was by bringing the character to this time with current political issues.

Film series

The film series can be divided into three parts. The first three films are directly connected as sequels to each other.

The Sum of All Fears, although a sequel to Clear and Present Danger, also works as a reboot.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is another reboot attempt with a film telling an original story instead of being based on Clancy’s novel.

Without Remorse is a prequel focusing on another character from the Ryanverse.

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

Action, Adventure, Suspense – 135 min.

Directed by John McTiernan (Die Hard, Predator), The Hunt for Red October is the first film from the Ryanverse.

This movie adapts the first novel written by Tom Clancy. With a stellar cast of Sean Connery, James Earl Jones, Sam Neill, and Alec Baldwin in the role of Jack Ryan. This film paved the path for Baldwin in getting stronger and more central roles in his career.

In general terms, the film is faithful to Clancy’s novel. The story follows Soviet submarine captain Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) who commands the Red October, a new Typhoon-class ballistic missile submarine which is undetectable to passive sonar.

When Ramius wants to defect to the United States with his officers and the crew of the Red October, Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst, deduces Ramius’ reasons and now must prove his theory before it’s too late.

The film received mostly positive reviews, retaining high ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb.

In his review, the late Roger Ebert summarises very well what a great film it is, “The Hunt for Red October is a skilful, efficient film that involves us in the clever and deceptive game being played by Ramius and in the best efforts of those on both sides to figure out what he plans to do with his submarine – and how he plans to do it.”

Patriot Games (1992)

Action, Suspense – 117 min.

Two years after the success of The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games was adapted for the big screen with a new director and a new Jack Ryan.

Phillip Noyce (The Bone Collector, Above Suspicion) directed the film with Harrison Ford in the role of Ryan. James Earl Jones reprised his role as Admiral James Greer, and Anne Archer, Sean Bean, Patrick Bergin, Thora Birch, Samuel L. Jackson, James Fox, and Richard Harris joined the cast.

Jack Ryan is now a history professor at the United States Naval Academy. While he’s in London with his family, he witnesses a terrorist kidnapping attempt on a Royal family member and the British Minister of State for Northern Ireland.

Ryan intervenes in the attack, ending up wounded but fatally shooting two of the terrorists and disarming the other.

All of the terrorists belong to an IRA splinter cell. The surviving one, Sean Miller (Sean Bean), is tried and convicted. However, one of the terrorists killed by Ryan is Miller’s younger brother.

When Miller receives help to escape from prison, Ryan’s family becomes the target of a revengeful plot.

Although the film received generally positive reviews, there were some controversies at the time. Tom Clancy’s lawsuit to retain Jack Ryan’s rights and the complaint that the film wasn’t so faithful to the book.

Janet Maslin from The New York Times said in her review, “Patriot Games delivers the best possible version of a tale that boils down to nothing but gamesmanship, as its title implies.”

Clear and Present Danger (1994)

Action, Crime, Drama – 141 min.

This film is a sequel to Patriot Games, with Phillip Noyce directing again and Harrison Ford, Anne Archer, and James Earl Jones reprising their roles. This is also the last film in the Ryan franchise they’re part of.

Ryan is now a recently appointed CIA Acting Deputy Director and discovers a covert illegal war against a Colombian drug cartel, apparently approved by the President.

Ryan also discovers a corruption web inside the CIA, where the funds meant to help Colombians to fight drug cartels without US military intervention are, in fact, used to support an undercover war.

The cast is completed with Willem Dafoe, Joaquim de Almeida, Henry Czerny, and Benjamin Bratt, among others.

The film was a success at the box office and received mostly positive reviews.

Rita Kempley from The Washington Post said in her review, “More a cerebral dilemma than an action-packed adventure, the film explodes from time to time, but mostly takes place in offices. It is probably also the first espionage thriller to climax in a mouse-to-mouse cyber-feud.”

The Sum of All Fears (2002)

Action, Drama, Suspense – 128 min.

Eight years after Clear and Present Danger came The Sum of All Fears, with Ben Affleck playing Jack Ryan in an attempt to reboot the franchise.

This younger Ryan must stop an imminent nuclear war when a Neo-Nazi plans to start a war between the US and Russia to establish a fascist superstate in Europe.

A secret nuclear weapon was built in Baltimore by the Neo-Nazi and detonated, blaming Russia with the help of a rogue soldier.

However, Ryan is the only one who realizes that the Baltimore incident was a black market weapon, and now he must run against time to stop a war between the world’s most powerful countries.

Although the film was a success at the box-office, it received mixed reviews from the critics.

Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian showed no mercy on his review when he gave just one star to the film and said, “An evil of unimaginable proportions has been unleashed. The mind struggles to grasp it. But it’s happened. A film has been released that is even more stupid than Pearl Harbor, and Ben Affleck is even worse in it than he was in Pearl Harbor.”

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)

Action, Drama, Suspense – 105 min.

This is the second attempt at rebooting the franchise starring Chris Pine as the titular character, and it’s the first film telling an original story instead of adapting a Tom Clancy’s film.

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars with Kevin Costner and Keira Knightley, the film follows a young Jack Ryan who is studying at the London School of Economics, then he becomes a US Marine serving in Afghanistan.

When he gets his spine injured, he returns to the US where he meets Cathy Muller (Knightley), a medical student who helps him with his recovery. Then, he meets Thomas Harper (Costner), a veteran CIA agent who recruits him.

Ten years later, Jack Ryan is working on Wall Street as a cover agent for the CIA, looking for suspicious transactions that can be tied to terrorists. That’s when he discovers a Russian plot to destroy the American economy through a terrorist attack.

As you can see, although this film is not based on any Jack Ryan’s novels, this easily can work as a prequel or origin story for the character.

The film wasn’t an impressive success at the box-office, neither can be considered a flop. It failed in attracting younger generations to the movies, even with Chris Pine in the main role.

Mark Kermode from The Guardian explained it on his review, “It was assumed that Pine would bring viewers too young to remember The Hunt for Red October or Patriot Games into the Ryan fold, but in America this series reboot has “skewed old”, with more than a third of its opening weekend audience aged over 50.”

With mixed reviews from the critics, where some praise Pine’s performance and Branagh’s direction, while others like The Shelf Staff said that “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit has some decent moments or action and a solid lead in Chris Pine, but it’s far too inconsistent and formulaic to be a good film.”

Without Remorse (2021)

Action, Suspense, War – 109 min.

Based on the 1993 novel of the same name by Tom Clancy, Without Remorse is set in the Ryanverse but without Jack Ryan. The film follows John Kelly, portrayed by Michael B. Jordan, a U.S. Navy SEAL who goes for revenge after his pregnant wife is killed by Russian hitmen.

Without Remorse was originally scheduled to be released on September 18, 2020, by Paramount Pictures, but as you know, the COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot of plans. So, the film went directly to streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Although with a strong performance by Jordan, the film received mixed reviews from the critics.

Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian gave it only two stars out of five and said that “(…) it is a by-the-numbers macho adventure not unlike something from the era of VHS rental, Rambo and tough-guy military mavericks being sold down the river by the pointy-headed creeps in suits back in Washington DC or Langley, home of the CIA.”

Currently, there is a sequel in production, Rainbow Six, with Michael B. Jordan reprising his role.

TV series

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

Action, Drama, Suspense – 4 seasons – 30 episodes

The success Jack Ryan deserved came in the shape of a web series produced by Amazon Prime Video with John Krasinski playing the titular character.

The series doesn’t adapt any Tom Clancy’s novel in particular, but it takes the character’s background, main features and events and updates them to the current geo-political times.

This smart move that failed in the last two movies, proved to be successful for the series that was planned with short seasons between eight and six episodes.

Jack Ryan is a CIA analyst who is involved in a mission after discovering a communication pattern by terrorists. The action combined with all the suspense, espionage, and intricate plots, all classical features from Clancy’s books, have made this series one of the best in the past years.

John Krasinski gives the character the balance between charisma, office nerd, and action hero.

The series has been nominated for several awards, and have received the praise of the critics and audiences alike.

Zaki Hasan from The Wrap said in his review, “A lot has changed in both politics and pop culture since the ’80s, making it all the more remarkable how well the Amazon series and star/executive producer Krasinski have managed to foreground the character’s continued uniqueness and utility in an increasingly fractured geopolitical landscape.”

How to watch everything related to Jack Ryan in chronological order

With the exception of Shadow Recruit, the rest of the films are based on Tom Clancy’s novels.

However, I decided to include Shadow Recruit in this list as some sort of prequel, because the film portrays a young Jack Ryan in the beginning of his career with some elements of his background that were taken from the books.

Without Remorse is also included here, even though Ryan is not part of the story, but John Kelly is an important character in the Ryanverse making appearances in all other films.

The Amazon Prime Video TV series is left out of this list because it is a retelling in its own fashion of the character, and it’s not based in any specific book.

So, if you want to watch the six films in chronological order, you must follows this list:

  • Without Remorse (2021)
  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
  • Patriot Games (1992)
  • The Hunt for Red October (1990)
  • Clear and Present Danger (1994)
  • The Sum of All Fears (2002)

What you may find odd about this film series, besides the change of actors, is the technological difference between them. That’s because there have been several years between the films.

Interesting facts about the Ryanverse

John Clark aka John Kelly is Jack Ryan’s best friend

John Kelly, who later changed his name to John Clark, is Jack Ryan’s best friend in the books.

Sadly, this relationship hasn’t been explored in the films, where both are only introduced to each other and nothing more.

With the attention put on Clark’s character in Without Remorse, fans expected to see a crossover between Micheal B. Jordan’s Clark and John Krasinski’s Jack Ryan. But this never happened.

Jack Ryan is far from being an action hero

Although his films are action packed and Jack always ends up involved in dangerous situations, he’s not an action hero. Ryan is more an intellectual, a nerd, whose talent resides on his knowledge and how well he can deduct and solve situations.

Michael B. Jordan is the third actor playing John Clark

Michael B Jordan

Michael B Jordan

Jack Ryan isn’t the only one who has had different faces. John Clark went through three different actors through the years.

Willem Dafoe played the character in Clear and Present Danger and Liev Schreiber in The Sum of All Fears.

Michel B. Jordan is the first one in portraying John Clark following the origin story for the character and with a film series in production.

Jack Ryan was President of the US

In the novels, Jack Ryan’s career is impressive. He went from working in Wall Street, then being a history professor, being recruited as an analyst to the CIA.

He became CIA deputy director, and then after several events, he ran for the US presidency and he won. Currently, in the latest novels, Ryan is a senior citizen, and his son has gained relevance.

Where to watch Jack Ryan films

Depending on where you live, you can find these films on different streaming services. However probably you won’t find them in your country.

In this case, you’ll need the help of an app called VPN that will allow you to access services in other countries that apply geo-restrictions to their content.

The Hunt for the Red October is available for streaming only in two countries. In Australia, you can find it on Binge and Stan. In the UK, it’s available on Paramount+.

You can watch Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of all Fears on Stan. and Binge in Australia, Paramount+ in Canada and the UK, and Prime Video in the US.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is available on Netflix in Latin America; Binge, Stan. and Paramount+ in Australia; Paramount+ UK, and Prime Video in the US.

You can watch Without Remorse and the TV series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan on Prime Video worldwide.

If you happen to live in a different country where the films are available you may check our guides on our website to understand how to access these streaming services from where you’re.

Summary

Jack Ryan has become popular lately thanks to the excellent TV series produced by Amazon streaming on Prime Video.

But the character has been lurking on our screens for a long time, with different actors giving their faces to portray him.

In this article I gathered all the films with Jack Ryan as the star and carried out research about the chronological order in case you’re curious to know the timeline.

Also, I provide information about where you can find these films and how to watch them.

I hope you enjoy this article as much as I enjoyed writing it, and please let me know which Jack Ryan version is your favourite of all by dropping some lines in the message section below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts