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The Fourth Protocol

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United Kingdom · 1987
Rated R · 1h 59m
Director John Mackenzie
Starring Michael Caine, Pierce Brosnan, Ned Beatty, Joanna Cassidy
Genre Action, Thriller

Plan Aurora, led by Kim Philby is a plan that breaches the top-secret Fourth Protocol and turns the fears that shaped it into a living nightmare. A crack Soviet agent, placed under cover in a quiet English country town, begins to assemble a nuclear bomb, whilst MI5 agent John Preston attempts to prevent it's detonation.

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TV Guide Magazine by

A competent, if unremarkable, espionage thriller that is enjoyable while it lasts and forgotten moments after the credits roll.


Chicago Tribune by Dave Kehr

The Fourth Protocol was a great in-flight read, and it will probably be a great in-flight movie, too-though in a theater it looks a little pale and overextended. [28 Aug 1987, p.FC]


Washington Post by Desson Thomson

An absorbing, intelligent and suspense-filled film... It's streamlined and rich at the same time -- like the best of the James Bond films, but serious.


Chicago Tribune by Gene Siskel

The Fourth Protocol is full of seemingly inside information about the techniques of spies. And although the film rarely develops as much sustained tension as the adaptation of Forsyth's "The Day of the Jackal," The Fourth Protocol does have Caine as an anchor of credibility as well as solid performances as Russian agents by Joanna Cassidy and Brosnan, who looks here like he would have made a fine James Bond. [28 Aug 1987, p.A]


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

The Fourth Protocol is first-rate because it not only is a thriller, but it also pays attention to its characters and shows how their actions grow out of their personalities. Like Michael Caine's other recent British spy film, "The Whistle Blower," it is effective not simply because it's a thriller but also because for long stretches it simply is a very absorbing drama.


Los Angeles Times by Sheila Benson

As The Fourth Protocol begins at the outside and curls its way into the center of its wildly complex plot, it becomes almost a "Saturday Night Live" spy spoof. We're saturated with detail: Where will the nested Russian folk-art dolls, the visiting violinist's patent-leather shoes and the American Air Force officer's randy wife fit into the Greater Scheme of Things? Gradually, as our eyes glaze over, it becomes very hard to care--and even harder to suppress a giggle.

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