Dorian's Movie Reviews

Is it worth seeing? Reviews are presented with no cynicism, no comparisons, no biased standards, no pretentiousness - every movie is reviewed on its individual entertainment value including technical presentation.  
Scale 1 - 5
The Sum Of All Fears
2002, Paramount
Directed by Phil Alden Robinson
Screenplay by Paul Attanasio and Daniel Pyne
From a novel by Tom Clancy

The Sum Of All Fears is a good thriller, although for me there were no surprises as this taut thriller moved predictably toward nuclear confrontation. It would have been a better movie 10 to 20 years ago when US/Soviet relations were tense, nuclear, and unpredictable, with high stakes for us all. It is a is timely movie for today view of the Pakistan/India confrontation is tense, nuclear, and unpredictable, with high stakes for us all.

The romantic relationship of the (protagonist) seemed almost as if it was derived from a plot formula. But today's audience, I think, wants something that is fresh, cutting edge, and has surprises.

(Replace The Sum Of All Fears with title of the movie)

For multiple reviews, see:

I give this one four spotlights out of a possible five for the writing, acting, directing, production design, casting, editing, music, costume design, coreography, cinematography, casting, and entertainment value. It carries a PG-13 rating for some terror, and some sexuality and language. Enjoy!

My comments below attempt to draw attention to things that make a movie good, especially if they made major contributions, and for professional judgments on these various arts, the reader should consult professionals in these arts, and realize that these notes are not part of the overall rating for entertainment value.

  • Writing - great characterization (appropriate for a farce), great interaction with the set, unique car chase, and very visually presented. Four spotlights.
  • Acting - good acting in good parts. Four spotlights.
  • Casting - Nicely chosen in the main parts. Four spotlights.
  • Directing - the scenes flowed well, the story was cohesive, the drama was told visually, and good production. Four spotlights.
  • Production design - the set was well integrated with the action, and made a major contribution to making the entire production very visual. Five spotlights.
  • Special effects - ?.
  • Editing - the action flowed smoothly, captured good action and character reactions, and put together a coherent story.
  • Music - seamless, and complimented the action.
  • Costume design - ?.
  • Choreography of the fight and car chase scenes - appropriate to the picture and the characters. Excellent car chase. Five spotlights.
  • Cinematography - well executed and told the story visually. Four spotlights.

- Dorian


  • 5 Spotlights: The best of movie making, well worth seeing (rarely given)
  • 4 Spotlights: Good movie for the genre; may have minor technical or story problems but they hardly harm the enjoyment; clearly worth seeing; (most movies)
  • 3 Spotlights: Not bad, but has problems - worth seeing
  • 2 Spotlights: Caution - a "B" movie, probably will appeal only to some
  • 1 Spotlight: Caution - not recommended for any audience (will probably never be given)

Note: No half spotlights are given.

My reviews are not based much on my personal taste, or any standard besides entertainment value. I try to be as objective as possible, keeping in mind that entertainment value is very subjective and individualized. If I'm not interested in a movie I usually don't go see it, so it doesn't get reviewed. Each character, and each position in the production company might be highlighted if the contribution affected the enjoyment of the story as either outstanding or dismal and I noticed it, keeping in mind that many contributions are singularly distinguished by their seamless integration with the story, not calling attention to themselves and thereby escaping attention.

- Dorian Scott Cole

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