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John Frankenheimer directed this $20 million international action thriller from a screenplay by Richard Weisz (pseudonym for David Mamet) and J.D. Zeik. In Paris, Irish organizer Deidre (Natascha McElhone) assembles a team to grab a mysterious briefcase from criminals. They are never told who hired them or the true identity of their targets. The hired specialists: Former CIA officer Sam (Robert De Niro), former Euro intelligence agent Vincent (Jean Reno), German electronics expert Gregor (Stellan Skarsgard), driver Larry (Skip Sudduth), and British weapons wrangler Spence (Sean Bean). After a Seine shootout, the action moves to the South of France, with a recon mission in Cannes, and a chase that brings everyone to Nice. Inevitable betrayals ensue, along with more pursuits.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 60
- Fresh: 41
- Rotten: 19
- Average Rating: 6.3/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: The chases in Ronin are among the most dynamic road clashes the movies have offered in some time.
Fresh: Ronin reps a pleasurable throwback to the sort of gritty, low-tech international thriller that was a staple of the 1960s.
Fresh: At times, amid this movie's flurry of robustly filmed heists, betrayals and car chases, it's so good, you begin to wonder if inspiration and depth aren't overrated.
Rotten: Ronin plays like death warmed over!
A Great Post-Cold War Thriller
Wow. Whoever wrote the ITunes summary knows how to make a sales pitch with fireworks. This is an exceptional film, but difficult to appreciate from one viewing. It is easy to get the impression that it is an action movie from the trailer, but that is only about 1/3 of the screen time. The rest of the story is at times a bit complex (if not slightly confusing) because Frankenheimer and his scribe don't follow the typical Hollywood strategy of spelling everything out for the audience--even at the end. I actually didn't care for it the first time I watched; it was only after a second viewing on video that I appreciated the film's brilliance. Highly recommendable.
Action film that doesn't insult your intelligence...
Edge-of-your-seat stuff; oodles of style and tres cool. This is a genuine action film, not an amusement-park ride masquerading as one. No "large type" (or, ahem, "graphic novel") movie-making here, but masterful stuff for those who enjoy paying attention. Even the action sequences are "literate": in place of quick cuts of random pyrotechnics without context, you get sequenced action that, physically, makes sense. The car chase: a classic, filmed with real stunt drivers in real time, no computer graphics B.S. Yeah, I liked it.
Ronin is a truly great movie that is filled with suspense and action. It constantly keeps you in the dark about certain things, and you often don't know more than the main characters do. Suspense is built up because of this, and it will either make some people hate it, or it will make some people love it. The acting in this movie is nothing short of superb. Robert De Niro does an excellent job. Jean Reno is not as well known as Robert De Niro, but then again, who is? Jean Reno still does an excellent job in this movie. In fact, if you like his acting, I strongly suggest that you watch The Professional. Ronin is often overlooked as a great movie, and The Professional is another amazing movie that should not be forgotten.
- Genre: Thriller
- Released: 1998
- © 1998 United Artists Pictures, Inc. All Rights Reserved.