No Way Out

Lt. Commander Tom Farrell (Costner) is a career Navy man, whose heroic rescue of a colleague aboard a stricken ship earns him a position at the Pentagon, working for Secretary of Defense David Brice (Hackman).

At a presidential dinner he meets Susan Atwell (Young) and they begin an affair. It is only when love has blossomed that he discovers that Susan is also the mistress of his boss, Brice.

When Brice discovers that Susan is seeing someone else, he flies into a jealous rage. During the ensuing struggle, Susan falls to her death.

To cover his tracks, Brice and his "devoted" aide (Will Patton) create a cover story and appoint Farrell to head up the hunt for the man who Susan had been seeing, who he labels a suspected KGB 'mole'.

This, of course puts Farrell in a terrible situation - he needs to work on uncovering the 'mole', whilst hiding all traces of his feelings for Susan and his grief at her death. Indeed, you'd think that his situation couldn't get any worse... And then a damaged Polaroid negative is found by the CIA investigators in Susan's apartment. They believe that computer enhancement will reveal the face of the KGB fugitive. Farrell knows that sooner or later, it's his face that will be revealed on the negative!

So begins a race against time for Farrell. There is "no way out" other than to expose one of the most powerful men in Washington as a murderer. Whilst the CIA get closer to Farrell, Farrell gets closer and closer to the truth about Susan's death.

And all the time in the lab, the computer enhancement of "his" photo gets less and less blurred...


This is a very tense thriller. I first saw this movie in 1988, whilst on my honeymoon waiting for a flight. It's one of those movies that slowly draws you in and then you find you have to carry on till the surprisingly effective end.

Costner is good in this, probably because he didn't direct it. Hackman is excellent as always and Young is her usual OK self. The highlight is the strong cast of minor actors, who combine to create a very real backdrop to the main action.

Notice any mistakes? Review

Strengths: Actually very believable. Strong performances and tense throughout.

Weaknesses? A little dated now, but still solidly played.

Our rating: 9.0 out of 10

Review Written by Paul Shrimpton:  Contact  |  More Reviews by Paul Shrimpton
No Way Out