The Falcon and the Snowman (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Falcon and the Snowman1985

The Falcon and the Snowman (1985)




Critic Consensus: Stranger than fiction and improbably entertaining, The Falcon and the Snowman shows how easily idealism can be twisted into treason.

The Falcon and the Snowman Videos

The Falcon and the Snowman Photos

Movie Info

Offering a relatively objective look at an explosive issue, Falcon and the Snowman is a powerful fact-based drama about two Southern California boyhood friends who, even though they are comfortably wealthy, decide to sell government secrets to the Soviet Union in the mid '70s.

Watch it now


Timothy Hutton
as Christopher Boyce
Sean Penn
as Daulton Lee
Pat Hingle
as Mr. Charlie Boyce
Joyce Van Patten
as Mrs. Boyce
Macon McCalman
as Larry Rogers
Sam Ingraffia
as Kenny Kahn
Rob Reed
as Boyce Child
Karen West
as Boyce Child
Arturo Comacho
as Boyce Child
Chris Makepeace
as David Lee
Rob Newell
as Boyce Child
Annie Kozuch
as Boyce Child
Philip Carey
as Pan Am Clerk
Jerry Hardin
as Tony Owens
Boris Leskin
as Mikhael
Stanley Grover
as NSA Inspector
Tom Nolan
as Undercover Cop
James Hardie
as Police Interrogator
Burke Byrnes
as US Customs
Vic Polizos
as FBI Interrogator
Bob Nelson
as FBI Agent
Arthur Taxier
as FBI Agent
Philip Corey
as Pan Am Clerk
Herbie Wallace
as Pet Shop Owner
Steven Miller
as Newscaster
Jeff Seyfried
as Pool Man
Carlos Romano
as Inspector Estevez
Valerie Wildman
as US Embassy Official
George Belanger
as US Consul
Leopoldo Francés
as Nigerian Diplomat
Abel Franco
as Interrogator
Raul Martinez
as Police Sergeant
Guillermo Ríos
as Drug Dealer
Drew Snyder
as FBI Interrogator
View All

News & Interviews for The Falcon and the Snowman

Critic Reviews for The Falcon and the Snowman

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (4)

Thank heavens these spies come in from the cold -- it's frozen their brains.

January 3, 2018 | Full Review…

Hutton succumbs firstly to a thin role, and secondly to the film's lack of any strong viewpoint about its leading men. As usual Schlesinger is more than half in love with what he might be satirising.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

It is not a thriller in any routine sense of the word. It's just the meticulously observant record of how naiveté, inexperience, misplaced idealism and greed led to one of the most peculiar cases of treason in American history.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

A very curious though effective entertainment, a scathing social satire in the form of an outrageously clumsy spy story told with a completely straight face.

August 30, 2004

Not exactly a fun watch, but a fascinating one for sure.

September 23, 2020 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

It's a powerfully rich character study and a cautionary tale about jumping too far ahead if it looks too good to be true.

April 20, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Falcon and the Snowman

The Falcon and the snowman is fairly good thriller. The story surrounds two friends who sell U.S government secrets to the Soviet Union. The Falcon and the Snowman has a good mix of drama thrown into it's real life thrilling story. The acting by Sean Penn and Timothy Hutton is very good. But by today's stndards with the Cold War over, the film looks dated of course. However there's something still appealing, and interesting about this story. The film is not perfect by any means, and does look a little cheap, but for what it is, The Falcon and the Snowman is a thriller worth watching. For the espionage buff and the cold war buffs out there, The Falcon and the Snowman is a very interesting film and will definitely appeal to them. There are of course better thrillers out there, but this is still a very engaging film with tense moments But considering that this was made in the 80's, what do you expect? A good, entertaining thriller, but it's nothing truly groundbreaking or really memorable. I've seen a lot better. I wasn't disappointed in the film, as I knew what to expect, but what is a little irritating is how much praise the film has gotten. I view it as an average good thriller with good acting. But some critiques of the film have gone overboard and prtaising it and saying it was a pulse pounding film. It was, but it lacked also enough fire in it's belly to make this truly a remarkable film.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Badly dated, but still a mostly solid political thriller with sure-handed direction by John Schlesinger. Zaillian's screenplay isn't perfect, but it moves at an effective pace and works well for the most part. Features great acting from Timothy Hutton and a young Sean Penn.

Mike T.
Mike T.

Super Reviewer


This movie looks and "feels" outdated, really "80ish". At times I felt like I was watching a TV show from that era. That aside, the story is a bit slow, but Daulton Lee's character (played by Sean Penn) is too captivating to resist this movie. As he ups the stakes of the game, he manages to continue weaseling his way out of binds with his smooth-talking, savvy, rhetorical tactics. In an "Informant" kind of way, this has plenty of entertainment value. Schlesinger really seals the deal with a finely directed and edited climax that helps this story come full circle and sheds light on the ways the characters come to term with their actions.

Richard Franzen
Richard Franzen

Super Reviewer

The Falcon and the Snowman Quotes

News & Features