After a long, long wait for Season 3 of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, the wait for Season 4 is going to feel like nothing. The Amazon Prime Video thriller has already completed filming on its fourth and final season, so it should be smash-bang-punching its way back onto our screens before 2023 is up. But having less time to kill isn't the same as having no time to kill, and if you've finished Season 3, you might be looking for a similar show to fill the void.
John Krasinski's Jack Ryan may be approaching his last mission, but there are plenty of other shows and movies to watch that will give you that same patriotic feeling. Some even have John Krasinski in them! If you're looking for more political thrillers to watch while you wait for Season 4, take a look at the offerings below that feature action, political intrigue, or Krasinski being a badass.
This action-drama from Oscar winner Mark Boal, the writer of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, will surprise you. When a scientist (Jessica Ann Collins) is kidnapped in South America, her husband (Michiel Huisman) and brother (Luke Evans), both special ops soldiers, go on a mission to rescue her. The action sequences are superb; there's none of that polished Hollywood-ism to it, and it feels incredibly authentic. But Boal also injects a lot of artsiness into the series, which can clash with the adrenaline and lead to slow-moving scenes. It's a film major's Jack Ryan, like if Terrence Malick made an action movie, so you might not want to make it your first stop on this list if you're looking for more of Jack Ryan's usual thing. Still, worth a watch if you're looking for an elevated military action series.
Another entry in Prime Video's continually growing collection of military thrillers based on books found on dads' bedside tables is The Terminal List. Like Jack Ryan, it stars a former comedy actor who is making the move to mainstream action in Chris Pratt, who is very far from Parks and Recreation's soft and lovable Andy as James Reece, a Navy SEAL who goes on a revenge spree after the government covers up what really happened during a mission that went terribly wrong. Though The Terminal List goes deeper into conspiracies and its main character works against the government, you'll recognize the American hero doing what he thinks is right from Jack Ryan.
John Krasinski is a perfectly fine action hero who has added some bulk to Jim Halpert's frame, but he'd need to go into the gym for a few more decades to catch up to this crime-stopping Amazon star. Alan Ritchson and all his muscles play the titular role in Reacher, another dad book-to-television adaptation about a guy named Jack that's become a hit on Amazon. Based on Lee Child's novels, Reacher follows Jack Reacher, a former Army investigator, as he gets roped into solving a murder in a medium-sized Georgia town. In addition to cracking bones, Reacher is adept at cracking cases with his sharp observation and extensive knowledge that includes everything from the path of the moon to regional headbutting styles. While it doesn't have the global scale of Jack Ryan, Reacher is another fine procedural, which is becoming Amazon's specialty.
If it's more Krasinski you're looking for, you don't have to watch him ham it up on The Office for probably the millionth time in order to get your fix. No, like many formerly comedic actors, Krasinski is in his serious filmmaker era, which really took off with 2018's A Quiet Place. The film, which Krasinski stars in alongside his real-life wife Emily Blunt, is set in a dystopian future where monsters with an acute sense of hearing roam freely, meaning all human survivors have to be veeeeery quiet at all times. It's an exciting movie that combines horror and action with legitimate family drama, as Krasinski's Lee and his kids cope with grief all while trying to survive in such a terrifying world. The sound design is probably the coolest part: Most of the movie is done in silence, and it's fun to see a horror movie play around with conventions that are such touchstones to the genre. The best part is that if you dig A Quiet Place, you can check out its sequel, A Quiet Place II, which is also streaming on Paramount+. -Allison Picurro
Following the success of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, Amazon Prime Video scooped up the rights to Without Remorse, a new action film set in the Tom Clancy universe that was supposed to get a theatrical release, but came straight home because of the pandemic. All the better for you, who can watch Michael B. Jordan play John Kelly/John Clark, Clancy's most famous character not named Jack Ryan as he embarks on a rampage of revenge after Russian operatives kill his family while trying to take him out. Kelly's not the intellectual Ryan is, preferring physical action over calculation, which leads to more explosions and sweat. Is there a potential crossover brewing in the future? How can there not be?
Jack Ryan uses Amazon's deep pockets to deliver some of the best action sequences in foreign locations on TV, but few shows eclipse the action in Cinemax's Strike Back. The series, which ran for eight seasons from 2010 to 2020, underwent several facelifts with different stars -- including The Walking Dead's Andrew Lincoln and Blindspot's Sullivan Stapleton -- but always kept things basic: members of Britain's super-secret Section 20 team go on dangerous missions and blow things up. That meat-and-potatoes formula works well for the true draw of the series, which is letting the guns do the talking. If you like Jack Ryan but prefer Action Jack rather than Desk Jockey Jack, Strike Back is waiting.
"High octane thrills" is one of those buzz phrases thrown around to get a quote on a DVD box, but I'll be damned if Netflix's Bodyguard doesn't live up to that hype. The 2018 British series was a massive hit across the pond, big enough to send ripples to our shores in the form of a Golden Globe win (Best Actor, Richard Madden) and an Emmy nomination for Best Drama, yet it's still one of those overlooked gems for anyone looking for action-packed political intrigue. Madden — previously known as Game of Thrones' Robb Stark — plays a war vet assigned to protect England's Home Secretary (Keeley Hawes), resulting in some of the tensest shootouts and pursuits on TV in a long time. Bodyguard was created by Line of Duty's Jed Mercurio, who dials the intensity up to one billion -- just watch the opening scene to see it in action. And at a tidy six episodes, Bodyguard is an easy weekend binge... but it's so addictive you will probably finish it in one sitting.
Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan is filled with political turbulence and insurgent groups threatening the stability of the globe, as well as America's interests -- both good and bad -- in foreign territories. If that kind of political quagmire is what you're looking for more of, Showtime's Homeland will be perfect for you. Claire Danes stars as Carrie Mathison, a CIA agent specializing in squashing terrorism. But whereas Jack Ryan is calm, cool, and collected, Carrie's history with bipolar disorder interferes with her incredible talent and ability to make appropriate decisions, making Homeland much more of a character drama, especially in the first three seasons in which she's involved with a potential prisoner-of-war-turned-terrorist played by Damian Lewis. Later seasons mellow out and focus more on the CIA business, making it much more like the Jack Ryan you recognize, especially Season 1's involvement in the Middle East.
Like most shows about U.S. government, Jack Ryan is unabashedly pro-American in its stance while also recognizing the messiness (understatement) of our current political wasteland. At the end of each season, though, you can rest assured that you'll be able to wave your Stars and Stripes proudly while singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the good guys win, keeping America's moral compass squeaky clean. Designated Survivor, which ran on ABC and Netflix from 2016 to 2019, throws Kiefer Sutherland's Tom Kirkman right into that mix when he's promoted from Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to POTUS after the rest of the government officials are blown up in a terrorist attack. Kirkman, a self-described independent, must then keep both sides of the aisle from killing each other as a centrist president for the people who always does the right thing even when it's a tough call. like Jack Ryan, it's a show about complicated politics without being too political, and it won't talk down to you.
If you think John Krasinski makes a better muscly action hero than a smirking office drone, then don't miss him in 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, a 2016 action film from discharge daddy Michael Bay. Before he shattered our mold of him in Jack Ryan and A Quiet Place, Krasinski flushed his good-guy Jim Halpert image down the toilet and bulked up as a private military contractor who defended the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, against local militants. There's lots of shooting and lots of explosions.
Maybe you liked most of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, but you especially liked the parts of Season 2 that followed the black ops trouncing through the Venezuelan jungle and could have done with less of the political maneuvering and jibber-jabber. Roll with Six, History Channel's military drama that ran for two seasons from 2017 to 2018. The highly serialized series follows the day-to-day lives of SEAL Team Six as they track down a former member of the team who was captured by terrorists in Nigeria, and stars Walton Goggins, Barry Sloane, and Olivia Munn.