The Fourth Protocol (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Fourth Protocol (1987)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Fourth Protocol Photos

Movie Info

Scripted by Frederick Forsyth from his own novel, The Fourth Protocol is a fact-based spy thriller. The titular protocol is a secret agreement between America, Britain and Russia to cease smuggling nuclear weapons into their respective countries. This figures into the schemes of several rogue spies, who hope to destroy NATO by embarking on just such a smuggling endeavor. Russian agent Valeri Petrofsky (Pierce Brosnan) is ordered to stage a nuclear accident in England, then arrange the evidence to point to the Americans. British intelligence agent John Preston (Michael Caine) begins wondering why such nuclear-weapon components like lithium are showing up in the unlikeliest places. Ignored by his superiors, who figure that Preston is merely an old-line anti-Commie paranoic, Preston gathers the clues that will enable him to find out who's behind the potential breaking of The Fourth Protocol.


Michael Caine
as John Preston
Pierce Brosnan
as Valeri Petrofsky/James Edward Ross
Ned Beatty
as Borisov/Pavel Petrovic
Betsy Brantley
as Eileen MacWhirter
Peter Cartwright
as Jan Marais
Sean Chapman
as Capt. Lyndhurst
Matt Frewer
as Tom MacWhirter
Julian Glover
as Brian Harcourt-Smith
Michael Gough
as Sir Bernard Hemmings
Roy Alon
as Russian Seaman
Jerry Harte
as Prof. Krilov
John Horsley
as Sir Anthony Plumb
Michael J. Jackson
as Maj. Pavlov
Philip Jackson
as Harry Burkinshaw
Ray McAnally
as Gen. Karpov
Matthew Marsh
as Barry Banks
Alan North
as Gen. Govorshin
James Older
as Timmy Preston
Ronald Pickup
as Dr. Wynne-Evans
George Phillips
as Jerry Adrian
Ian Richardson
as Sir Nigel Irvine
Anton Rodgers
as George Berenson
Jirí Stanislav
as Ivan Timoshenko/Winkler
Aaron Swartz
as Gregoriev
Octavia Verdin
as Jill Dunkley
Julia Verdin
as Jill Dunkley
Rosy Clayton
as Mrs. Adrian
Cyril Conway
as Military Figure
Nancy Crane
as Natasha, Karpov's Secretary
Sarah Bullen
as Dorothy
Joanna Dickens
as Woman Shopper
Sam Douglas
as Russian Soldier
Mick Ford
as Sgt. Bilbow
Steve Halliwell
as Plastercast Courier
Gordon Honeycombe
as TV Announcer
Boris Isarov
as Dresser
Julian Jacobson
as Conductor
Alexei Jawdokimov
as Aeroflot Pilot
Clare Kelly
as Landlady
Sally Kinghorne
as Girlfriend
Ronnie Laughlin
as Driver at Scene
Renos Liondaris
as Greek Cafe Owner
George Zenios
as Greek Cafe Owner
Peter Manning
as Violinist
Sally Kinghorn
as Girlfriend
John Murtagh
as Scottish Policeman
Stephen Persaud
as Black Kid
Neville Phillips
as Man in Overcoat
Chris Walker
as Skinhead
Mark Rolston
as Russian Decoder
Patsy Smart
as Preston's Housekeeper
Phil Smeeton
as Boyfriend
Juanita Waterman
as Black Girl on Underground Train
Tariq Yunus
as Imigration Officer
Caroline Blakiston
as Angela Berenson
Joseph Brady
as Carmichael
Johnny Allan
as Night Porter
Michael Bilton
as Kim Philby
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News & Interviews for The Fourth Protocol

Critic Reviews for The Fourth Protocol

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (5)

What is missing is any real tension or psychological detail that might lend plausibility to all the hocus-pocus about East-West political and military intrigue.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

''The Fourth Protocol'' is an entertaining, better-than-average variation on a format that has long since stopped offering anything new.

May 20, 2003

An engrossing and thoroughly enjoyable adaptation of the bestselling spy thriller by Frederick Forsyth. n engrossing and thoroughly enjoyable adaptation of the bestselling spy thriller by Frederick Forsyth.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

"Protocol" is espionage as exhilarating as the better Bond but with less of the winky camp. This is deadly stuff: We see just how easy atomic terrorism would be.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

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.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Caine, as always, is a joy to watch, whether grimly tracking his man, telling off his supercilious boss, or, sloshed on New Year's Eve, blowing a wall safe in a posh London pad.

November 5, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Fourth Protocol

A lot more action orientated than the Frederick Forsyth novel that it was based on and Michael Caine's character is, equally, far more of an action hero. Whilst it may have been deemed necessary to beef up the action to make a more exciting film, it loses some on the book's logic, depth and flow.

The  Shrewlord
The Shrewlord

Super Reviewer

ome comments on this film have stated that there are unnecessary killings of agents or witnesses, this is done to show the politics of the film and how there must be no trace back to those who planned the operation, whilst also portraying that petrofsky is a lethal killer, and as Caine says in the film "the best". A great story, and very believable, spies that remain hidden from each other and no excruciating scene where the bad guy reveals his plot to the good guy. Would have been interesting to see what would have happened if the operation had turned out differently, or the ending for that matter! Of course one of the best things about this film is the acting as previously stated by other people. Caine brings his character to life and is very believable in the role of John Preston, the agent who cares, and will "bend" the rules to make sure things get down. Brosnan is similarly good, his character will stop at nothing to complete his mission, he is a stone cold killer and this is portrayed well, he doesn't let anything get in the way of the mission. All in all a very good little film, much better than some of the tripe we get from Hollywood and with one of the finest British casts i've seen in some time.

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

Brilliant cold war thriller with the very young Brosnan acting as a baddy russian spy.....Quality.

Barry Lappin
Barry Lappin

Super Reviewer

The Fourth Protocol Quotes

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