[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/no-way-out_5123.jpg]]

-->''Is it a crime of passion, or an act of treason?''
-->''{{Tagline}}''

''No Way Out'' (1987) is a thriller starring Creator/KevinCostner, Gene Hackman and Creator/SeanYoung, about a U.S. Naval officer who is falsely accused of murder. The supporting cast includes Will Patton, Howard Duff, George Dzundza, Jason Bernard, Fred Thompson, Iman and BradPitt in his first film role.

Lt. Cmdr Tom Farrell (Costner) is on a Pentagon tour after some at-sea heroics bring him to the attention of Defense Secretary David Brice (Hackman), who shows an interest in grooming the up-and-coming officer for things political. His mistress, Susan Atwell (Young), is attracted to Farrell in other ways. When Brice discovers that she is cheating --but not with whom -- he flies into a rage and accidentally murders her.

Brice's aide, Scott Pritchard (Patton), decides that the best way to cover up the affair is to blame Atwell's death on a [[RedHerringMole Soviet mole]], stirring up a [[WitchHunt hornet's nest]] in the Pentagon as they try to discover his identity. Their best clue is a damaged Polaroid photograph that is given to the image processing team to [[EnhanceButton enhance]]. Naturally, Farrell knows the photo is of him, which is ironic considering he's been [[HiredToHuntYourself appointed the investigator of the murder]]. He thus sets out in a desperate race against time and Pritchard's growing suspicions to prove that Brice is the real killer so that he'll call off the investigation. But what if there really ''is'' a mole?

''No Way Out'' is an updated [[TheRemake remake]] of the 1948 film ''The Big Clock'', starring Ray Milland, which in turn was based on the novel of the same name by poet and novelist Kenneth Fearing. ''The Big Clock'' is set in the New York publishing world rather than the Pentagon, and thus does not include the Soviet mole part of the plot, but the rest of the plot points are basically the same.

Not to be confused with the 1950 film starring Sidney Poitier.

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!! This movie contains examples of:
* ArtisticLicenseGeography: At one point, Farrell eludes his pursuers by taking the Metro as it goes through Georgetown. Very exciting and dramatic, except that the Metrorail system doesn't go anywhere near Georgetown. The Metro station pictured in the movie looks nothing like the actual Metro stations, either.
* AutoErotica: Farrell and Atwell have sex in the back of a limo.
* BigDamnHeroes: Pritchard sends ThoseTwoBadGuys after Nina because [[HeKnowsTooMuch she's the only one (besides Farrell) who can connect Brice to Atwell.]] Farrell is able to figure this out, gets to her shop before they show up, and tells her to flee, which she does before they show up. [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]], however, [[spoiler: because the real reason, which we don't find out till the end, is because she's also the only one who knows Farrell was seeing Atwell, and he's afraid Nina will reveal this, which will lead to him being unmasked as TheMole.]]
* BittersweetEnding: ZigZaggedTrope. [[spoiler:Farrell is vindicated, Brice [[KarmaHoudini gets away with the murder]], and the "mole" is conveniently dead. Farrell is the one in the picture, however, and his involvement in the scandal is likely to permanently end any hope of career advancement. Oh, and the woman he was falling in love with (maybe) is dead. Of course, since he ''is'' the mole, this is actually a good thing for the United States.]]
* BuryYourGays: See DepravedHomosexual, below.
* CastingGag: [[spoiler: In 1987, Kevin Costner was the archetypal All-American Good Ol' Boy. This made him being a Russian spy who could speak flawless Russian that much more of a shocker to audiences.]]
* DepravedHomosexual: Pritchard has apparently been harboring an UnrequitedLove for Brice and is obsessed with protecting his reputation at any cost. When Brice discovers the lengths to which Pritchard has gone, [[spoiler:he rejects him, leading him to [[DrivenToSuicide kill himself]]]].
* DeepCoverAgent: The Soviets are suspected to have a deep cover mole in the Pentagon, and this is what helps set off the WitchHunt. As it turns out, the suspicions are correct.
* DetectiveMole: It turns out that all three main characters involved in the investigation are guilty of a crime.
* DetectivePatsy: Subverted -- Farrell knows that he is a patsy because he knows who really killed Atwell.
* TheDogWasTheMastermind: [[spoiler: Schiller, Farrell's landlord, was actually his Soviet handler.]]
* EnhanceButton: One of the more {{egregious}} examples, with the RaceAgainstTheClock based on the time it will take to produce a useful image.
* FramingDevice: The movie begins and ends with Farrell being interrogated.
* FramingTheGuiltyParty: Used twice, with multiple layers each.
* HaveYouToldAnyoneElse: When the EnhanceButton technician reveals Farrell's secret to Pritchard, this exact exchange takes place, followed immediately by YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness.
* HiredToHuntYourself: Farrell
* TheKillerInMe: Farrell isn't guilty of the murder, but he ''is'' guilty of something else. (For one, a sex scandal.)
* TheMole: ZigZaggedTrope, see RedHerringMole.
* MyEyesAreUpHere: At the party where Atwell and Farrell first meet, she tries to get her cigarette lit by another man, but when he's too distracted to light it, she snaps, "If you want to look at my breasts, you should grow a few inches."
* NakedInMink: Pulled off by a drunken Atwell in an apartment hallway.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Farrell, in an attempt to buy time, tells the EnhanceButton technician that he's the one in the photo. Said tech gets a conscience attack and tells Pritchard, blowing Farrell's cover and getting himself shot for his trouble.
* OnlyAFleshWound: Averted - Farrell takes a knife wound to the forearm courtesy of some thugs and is noticeably impaired by it.
* OperaGloves: Atwell in the party scene where she meets Farrell and falls for him.
* PrettyInMink: Notably in the limo sex scene.
* RaceAgainstTheClock: Thanks to the agonizingly slow EnhanceButton, Farrell knows almost to the second how long he has before he's implicated. He manages to buy himself some extra time by convincing the guy running it to mess with the parameters.
* RedHerring: The hunt for the Soviet mole.
* RedHerringMole: Also played with; see TwistEnding.
* RedScare: The 80's Pentagon is of course ripe for this; Pritchard specifically discusses how they've long suspected that there is a mole, so it'll be conveniently believable as a cover story.
* SmithicalMarriage: Parodied and lampshaded -- Farrell and Atwell go by "Smyth" during their romantic getaway.
* SomethingElseAlsoRises: After Farrell and Atwell begin getting it on in the back of the limo, the camera cuts to the Washington Monument.
* StairwellChase: Farrell vs. Pritchard's goons. One goon gets a fire extinguisher in the face, while Farrell gets a knife wound.
* StockingFiller: Atwell in the limo sex scene, with her black stockings being peeled off by Farrell.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: The two {{Mooks}} who work for Pritchard.
* TwistEnding: [[spoiler: Turns out, Commander Farrell actually '''is''' a Soviet mole. Pritchard unknowingly walks straight into the truth while imagining a cover story.]]
* ViewerFriendlyInterface: Tied to the EnhanceButton, of course.
* WitchHunt: How do you get the entire Pentagon turned upside down in the hunt for a nonexistent killer? Call it a RedScare!
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Pritchard executes the EnhanceButton technician in cold blood once he reveals the identity of the supposed "killer". Since this also leads him to realize Farrell's role and likely intent, he next sends his goons after the latter.
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