Patriot Games is a 1992 film based on the novel of the same name by Tom Clancy. It was released on June 5, 1992 and directed by Phillip Noyce. In the movie, Jack Ryan was played by Harrison Ford, Jack's wife, Dr. Cathy Ryan, by Anne Archer and the vengeful Irish terrorist, Sean Miller, is played by Sean Bean. After its release the film grossed $178,051,587 worldwide. The soundtrack for the film was done by James Horner.
Jack Ryan (Ford) is on a "working vacation" in London with his family, after having retired from the CIA. Here they witness a terrorist attack on Lord William Holmes, British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and a distant member of the British Royal Family. Ryan intervenes and kills one of the attackers, Patrick Miller, while his older brother Sean looks on. The remaining terrorists flee and leave Miller to be apprehended by the police. Ryan is wounded in the process but testifies in court against Sean Miller, who is part of the Ulster Liberation Army—a breakaway group of the Provisional IRA. Ryan is awarded a knighthood—a KCVO: Knight Commander of the Victorian Order—and eventually returns to the United States.
While being transferred to Albany Prison on the Isle of Wight, Miller's escort convoy is ambushed by his ULA comrades who kill the police officers, and he escapes from custody. Miller and his companions flee Britain for North Africa to plan their next kidnapping attempt on Lord Holmes. Miller however, cannot shake his anger towards Ryan for killing his younger brother and persuades several members of his entourage to accompany him to the United States to murder Ryan and his family. Ryan survives as he is attacked just outside of the United States Naval Academy. Miller attacks Ryan's wife and daughter on the highway, and they subsequently crash and are severely injured. Enraged over the near-loss of his family, Ryan decides to go back to work for the CIA, having earlier rejected the appeal of his former superior, Admiral James Greer. Ryan's tireless work leads him to conclude that Miller has taken refuge in a training camp run by a North African warlord. A SAS strike team attacks and kills everyone in the camp while Ryan looks on through a live satellite feed. Unbeknownst to Ryan, Miller and his companions had already fled the camp and were on their way to the US to stage their next attack on Lord Holmes.
Lord Holmes decides to visit Ryan at his home to present his KCVO. With the aid of Lord Holmes' traitorous assistant, Miller's group tracks Holmes to this location, gets past the security (provided by the Diplomatic Security Service and Maryland State Police), and attempts once more to kidnap Lord Holmes. Ryan leads Holmes and his family to safety while he attempts to lure Miller and his companions away from his home. The FBI is called in with their Hostage Rescue Teams, who pick up Holmes. Upon realizing that Ryan is leading them away from Holmes, Miller's companions try to persuade Miller to turn around, but an enraged and deranged Miller kills his terrorist companions and continues pursuit of Ryan. Ryan and Miller fight hand to hand, and Miller is killed when he falls backward onto a boat anchor and his body is destroyed in the explosion.
Credits roll just after Cathy Ryan learns the gender of the child she is going to have, and before she tells Jack and Sally.
The film has earned a 74% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 42 reviews. The site's consensus states: "Patriot Games doesn't win many points for verisimilitude, but some entertaining set pieces -- and Harrison Ford in the central role -- more than compensate for its flaws."
Roger Ebert gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of four, stating "I haven't read Clancy's Patriot Games, and for all I know this movie is faithful to his book, but on the basis of The Hunt for Red October, which I have read, I expected this one to be a little more cerebral and without the Indiana Jones ending."
The movie was criticized by Clancy for deviating too much from the source material, stating that "I don't like eating dirt, and I won't eat any from these guys." "There is only one, maybe two, scenes in the shooting script that correspond to a scene in the book," Clancy later added. "They have a movie called Patriot Games that uses my characters—but it's not my story." He eventually asked for his name to be removed from the film's promotional materials, and in an apparent countermove, entered negotiations with the same team at Paramount Pictures to sell the rights to his other novel The Sum of All Fears (1991).
- Author Tom Clancy distanced himself from the movie because of a number of plot changes. Most significantly, the Prince of Wales became "Lord Holmes", the Queen Mother's cousin; and Sean Miller is killed at the end.
- The movie was filmed in England and in the Washington DC area including Annapolis, Maryland. However, skyscrapers shown in Annapolis are fictitious. During the highway chase, Jack tells Cathy to meet him at the state police barracks on Houston Street. There is no such street in Annapolis or its suburbs.
- Harrison Ford accidentally hit Sean Bean with a boat hook while shooting the final scene; Bean has a scar over his eye as a result. (In Bean's subsequent Sharpe series, this would be emphasized with makeup to add credibility to his character.)
- Ryan and his wife drink Perrier-Jouët champagne.
- The actors who played Jack and Cathy in The Hunt for Red October, Alec Baldwin and Gates McFadden, were unavailable due to other commitments. At the time, Baldwin was performing A Midsummer Night's Dream on Broadway and McFadden had become a regular on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Despite the film's plot and setting, Richard Harris, Patrick Bergin and Jonathan Ryan, are the only Irish actors to appear in the film.