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No Way Out

No Way Out

3.7 4
Director: Roger Donaldson

Cast: Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, Sean Young


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No Way Out is told in flashback as Naval officer Tom Farrell (Kevin Costner) is grilled by his superiors regarding a recent "unpleasantness." While at a Washington party, Tom meets Susan Atwel (Sean Young), and they're soon sharing a steamy love scene in the back of a limo (marvelously parodied in 1993's Hot Shots! Part Deux). Several months pass before


No Way Out is told in flashback as Naval officer Tom Farrell (Kevin Costner) is grilled by his superiors regarding a recent "unpleasantness." While at a Washington party, Tom meets Susan Atwel (Sean Young), and they're soon sharing a steamy love scene in the back of a limo (marvelously parodied in 1993's Hot Shots! Part Deux). Several months pass before Tom meets Susan again; he discovers she's the mistress of the US Secretary of Defense David Brice (Gene Hackman). When Susan is murdered by Brice, his loyal aide (Will Patton) dutifully destroys the evidence and invents the fallacious theory that a KGB mole was responsible. Tom is assigned to locate that mole -- a perilous situation, since Tom knows that no such mole exists, but must go along with the charade since he was the last person who was seen with Susan.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
No Way Out generated lots of buzz during its 1987 theatrical release because of the steamy seduction scene that finds Kevin Costner and Sean Young grappling in the back of a limo. It is the nail-biting suspense subsequently generated by this taut thriller, though, that keeps fans coming back relish the film years later. It seems that Gene Hackman, playing the Secretary of Defense (to whom Costner's character is CIA liaison), has been carrying on a clandestine affair with Young for some time. When she turns up dead, Costner is detailed to find her murderer -- knowing that the surviving evidence could point to him. Director Roger Donaldson milks this intense situation cleverly along the way, allowing audiences a peak into the labyrinthine workings of top-secret government agencies. The script, which loosely reworks John Farrow's 1948 film noir classic The Big Clock, features more story twists in one reel than most thrillers put together, and Costner is thoroughly convincing as the loyal operative who races against time to protect his reputation...and possibly his life. Densely plotted and superbly acted, No Way Out keeps viewers riveted from the first frame to the last.
All Movie Guide
This suspense thriller lulls the viewer into a deceptive slumber for its first half but when the plot thickens it jumps to life and plays reasoanbly well. Despite mid-80s cut-rate production values, the plot is tightly woven and makes for pretty good suspense. Set in Washington, D.C., the world's conspiracy capital, this Kevin Costner vehicle relies heavily on political intrigue and a phony spy hunt, but its import is compromised by a contrived and '80s time-locked plot, a suspect cast, and dialogue that is just plain laughable in places. Costner's performance is characteristically bland and Sean Young is typically flighty, but Gene Hackman pulls off a solid supporting role. The film is almost completely devoid of subtext save a few Big Brother references. However, it benefits from a stellar build-up in suspense that nicely shatters any sense of pristine complacency, as well as the use of classic tilted framing technique just prior to the climactic scene. Additionally, Roger Donaldson's understated direction does make for a couple of very memorable scenes. Certainly, there are better films within the suspense genre but this one quite possibly paved the way for the John Grisham screen adaptations of the early-to-mid-90s and helped propel Kevin Costner into super-stardom.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kevin Costner Lt. Cmdr. Tom Farrell
Gene Hackman David Brice, Secretary of Defense
Sean Young Susan Atwell
Will Patton Scott Pritchard
Howard Duff Sen. Willy Duvall
George Dzundza Dr. Sam Hesselman, Computer Dept. H
Iman Nina Beka
Fred Dalton Thompson Marshall, CIA Director
Leon Russom Kevin O'Brien, CIA Official
Dennis Burkley Mate
Marshall Bell Contra
Michael Shillo Schiller
Nicholas Worth Cup Breaker
Leo Geter Ensign Fox
Matthew Barry Bellboy
Chris D. Contra
Secretary of Defense Actor
LeNoel Gregory/Quartermaster
Charles Middleton Airport Cop
Jason Bernard Maj. Donovan
Peter Bell Seaman Dufor
Tony Webster Helmsman
Mathew Evans J.O.D.
David Paymer Technician
Charles Walker Technician
Eugene Robert Glazer C.I.D. Man
Darryl Henriques C.I.D. Man
John Hostetter C.I.D. Man
Michael Hungerford C.I.D. Man
Robert Kerman C.I.D. Man
Joan McMurtrey Programmer
Jay Arlen Jones Marine Guard
Rob Sullivan Marine Guard
Edith Fields Lorraine, Secretary to the Secretary of Defe
Frederick Allen Enlisted Man
Scott Freeman M.P.
Noel Manchan Computer Clerk
June Chandler Margaret Brice
Lee Shael Band Singer
Jeffrey Sudzin Man with Lighter
Gordon Needham Limo Driver
Austin Kelly Cab Driver
Stephen R. Asinas Filipino Urchin
Terence Cooper N.Z. Ambassador
Dorothy Parke TV Reporter
Jill Clark Maori Dancer
John D'Aquino Lt. John Chadway
Julia Migenes Singer

Technical Credits
Roger Donaldson Director
Michael Adams Stunts
Henry Alberti Set Decoration/Design
John Alcott Cinematographer
Peter Bell Stunts
Alun Bollinger Cinematographer
Anthony Brockliss Art Director
Mel Dellar Production Manager
Dallas Dornan Costumes/Costume Designer
Ken Durey Special Effects
Donna Evans Stunts
Richard Diamond Farnsworth Stunts
Terry Frazee Special Effects
Robert Garland Original Story,Producer,Screenwriter
Bruce Gibeson Set Decoration/Design
Gregory Goodell Screenwriter
Michael Hancock Makeup
Kal Hawkins Production Designer
William Hoy Editor
Maurice Jarre Score Composer
Steve Kelso Stunts
Michael McDonald Songwriter
Richard McKenzie Set Decoration/Design
Jack Monroe Special Effects
Jack D. Moore Special Effects
Glenn Neufeld Associate Producer
Mace Neufeld Executive Producer
Kathy O'Rear Costumes/Costume Designer
Jack Solomon Sound/Sound Designer
Ilene Starger Casting
Neil Travis Editor
Dennis Washington Production Designer
Laura Ziskin Producer


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No Way Out 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't know if this movie is best viewed thinking Kostner's part is that of a U.S. naval hero or a Russian arch spy. Every plot complication magically fits both scenarios. I won't say more. Even though a lot of fine actors are in this film Kostner's part is required in just about every scene. Good story, good acting, good pacing. Washington powerbrokers at work. Those who have only seen this movie on TV are missing out on some full noodle frontity.
Guest More than 1 year ago
''No Way Out'' is a film to see twice as the second time it is an entirely different film than the first. Subtle hints and clues stand out as a plotline that was minor the first time suddenly becomes the major plotline. This is a wonderful film for this reason and for the dark moodiness of it. The characters are far more complex than they appear at first glance. Solid performances. Similarity to ''The Big Clock'', the 1948 film upon which this is supposed to be based, is actually quite faint. One can see the inspiration of one to the other, but ''No Way Out'' is an entirely new and fresh movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After viewing ''Bull Durham'' and the sex appeal of Kevin Costner, I was compelled to backtrack and rent this superb film. I soon found out that this generation's Gary Cooper was more than just a pretty face. Sometimes underated, Mr. Costner gives a bravo performance with the help of Gene Hackman and a terrific supporting cast. The opening scenes are sure fire heart stirrers if you are looking to boost the evening with the one you love. Doesn't hurt to have a great plot to boot!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago