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The Sum of All Fears This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Starring Morgan Freeman and Ben Affleck, "The Sum of All Fears" is an intense film created with the intent of displaying the suspense that can build when countries are on the verge of nuclear war. It also helps the viewer realize how easily countries can misunderstand each other and then how easily those misconceptions can escalate into turmoil. In the real world, nations lead their people to believe that they share a huge amount of trust with the people of other nations, but this film says otherwise.

The greatest accomplishment of "Sum" is how nuclear tension between two powerful countries is portrayed. It is impossible to anticipate what the United States or Russia's next move will be. It also shows that aside from a few bitter psychotic individuals, the important government figures want to, as much as possible, prevent war. They only consider a deadly attack when their own nation is severely threatened. This is a lot like the real world.

"The Sum of All Fears" can also be praised for its camera work and set design. The scenes of disaster, turmoil and destruction are believable, especially after September 11. They are not overly graphic nor unbelievably fake.

This film constantly provides its audience with a sense of suspense and uncertainty. It is not a traditional movie in which the good guy always wins.

One weak aspect is the lack of background that the audience is given about the villains. It is almost unrealistic for a group this well orchestrated to have gone undetected by so many government agencies. For example, they contract Russian nuclear scientists completely unknown to Russia. It is unclear how they succeed in their attack. There is an accomplice in the U.S. who helps, but it is hard to determine what his role is and how he helps in their overall plan and how the nuclear bomb is shipped across seas undetected.

"The Sum of All Fears" is an excellent movie mainly because of how it portrays conflict between two countries. The actors are all superior, really getting into their roles. This is a very tasteful, well-directed film that deserves an infinite amount of credit.



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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