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Midnight Run (1988)

tomatometer

95

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 44
Fresh: 42 | Rotten: 2

Enlivened by the antagonistic chemistry between Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin, Midnight Run is an uncommonly entertaining odd couple comedy.

92

Average Rating: 8.4/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 1

Enlivened by the antagonistic chemistry between Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin, Midnight Run is an uncommonly entertaining odd couple comedy.

audience

87

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 23,790

My Rating

Movie Info

Director Martin Brest, of Going in Style and Beverly Hills Cop fame, was in charge of Midnight Run. Robert De Niro stars as Jack Walsh, a hard-bitten bounty hunter offered $100,000 to bring in embezzler Jonathan Mardukas (Charles Grodin). Handcuffed to the wimpy Mardukas, Walsh assumes that the extradition trip from New York to Los Angeles will be an uneventful one. But the prisoner hasn't told Walsh the whole story: the embezzler owes $15 million to a mobster (Dennis Farina), and he's been

R,

Action & Adventure, Comedy

George Gallo

Jun 24, 1998

MCA Universal Home Video

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Midnight Run

July 22, 2013:
Dennis Farina: 1944-2013
Tough guy character actor Dennis Farina, whose grizzled persona lent authenticity to Midnight Run,...
March 21, 2012:
Brett Ratner in Talks to Direct Midnight Run 2
No, seriously.

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All Critics (44) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (2) | DVD (12)

Who said movies always have to be original? This one is redeemed by execution and brilliant talent: De Niro, Grodin, director Martin Brest, composer Danny Elfman, most of the cast and technicians.

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A performance like De Niro's, in a well-made entertainment like Midnight Run, is cheap at any price. And capable of restoring the audience's faith in the form.

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

De Niro is nervily hilarious and Grodin nervelessly exceptional in Midnight Run, a formula buddy movie exalted to insta-classic status by their performances.

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Grodin and De Niro are different kinds of actors, but they share a knack for detail and a gift for understatement that keeps their scenes together crackling.

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Midnight Run touches on one of the great mysteries of the movies: How is it that the tritest material can come to life when touched by the right director and the right actors?

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Funny, unpredictable and refreshingly adult.

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A thoroughly engaging action film, Midnight Run boasts a superb cast that transforms its rather mundane story line into something memorable, funny, and moving.

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Wonder why De Niro doesn't do comedy this good any more.

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Midnight Run is an inside-out, upside-down buddy film and comedic cross- country caper. It also is the entertaining excuse for Robert De Niro, the Method actor of his generation, to cut loose and play things light for a change.

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

As with all the best road movies -- and this is one of the best -- the picture really moves, as a simple air trip from New York to LA turns into a saga of trains and automobiles, car crashes, and skirmishes with the FBI and [other] interested parties.

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

De Niro is probably the most intense and idiosyncratic actor of his generation; Midnight Run may be the most conventional movie I've ever seen.

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Brace yourself for a movie joyride that sends you home reeling from thrills, laughter and the pleasure of honest sentiment.

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

A cut above your average buddy flick.

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

The pleasures of Midnight Run come mainly from its acting.

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

De Niro e Grodin, com seus estilos radicalmente diferentes de interpretação, funcionam surpreendentemente bem juntos, elevando a história formulaica e transformando-a em algo interessante e divertido.

February 28, 2009
Cinema em Cena

The entire cast is superb, each with a good ear for comedy.

February 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Good chemistry, action, and story make this a plus.

February 24, 2008
Video-Reviewmaster.com

While other films may have won awards that year, Midnight Run is really the best film of 1988.

March 4, 2006 | Comment (1)
FulvueDrive-in.com

Audience Reviews for Midnight Run

A real classic. It's an outrageously funny and terrifically entertaining action-packed buddy comedy. Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin are perfectly cast, they have such great and compelling chemistry and add plenty of meat to their characters. It is just pure and exhilarating fun from start to finish. It cant be beat, a wonderful, thrilling and charming film that packs a tremendous amount of great humor and exciting action. It's extremely entertaining. One of the best action comedies ever made.
July 2, 2013
allan913

Super Reviewer

Many films have tried (and failed) to combine the genres of action and comedy. They were particularly popular in the 80's with the most successful being Walter Hill's "48 Hrs" and Michael Ritchie's "Fletch" and four years before this film, director Martin Brest had already delivered one the decades best in "Beverly Hills Cop". With the studios churning them out to this day, this still stands as one of the finest of it's kind.
In order to collect his $100,000 fee, bounty hunter (Robert DeNiro) must find and return bail jumper and former Mafia accountant (Charles Grodin) from New York to Los Angeles. What he doesn't bargain for though, is that the F.B.I., the Mafia and another rival bounty hunter (John Ashton) are also on the trail. As problems arise on the trip back, a strange bond and friendship develop between the disparate duo.
How many films can you honestly say deliver on all fronts? Off the top of my head, I can't think of many. This, however, is definitely one of them. It has exciting action set-pieces; perfectly tuned comedy moments; it has pathos; character development from an unlikely pairing of actors and throughout it all, maintains a level of danger. Is there really anymore you can ask for?
Working from a marvellous script by George Gallo, director Martin Brest has the perfect balance on this one. He captures all the aforementioned qualities just right and shows a level of skill in his handling of the material. What makes this film work so well though, is the chemistry from it's leads; two complete opposites but still entirely believable. Robert DeNiro is an actor that has never been taken lightly and has, rightly, received acclimations aplenty throughout his illustrious career. However, on occasion, some of his performances are slightly overlooked or maybe overshadowed by his more meatier, well known, roles like Travis Bickle, Vito Corleone or Jake LaMotta, when in fact he has several little gems that slip under the radar. This is one of them. His portrayal of bounty hunter Jack Walsh is absolutely superb, delivering an intimidating presence in his trademark style but also a friendly, lightness of touch which add layers and depth to his character. Playing the fool to DeNiro's straight man is a wonderfully endearing but highly irritating Charles Grodin as embezzling accountant Jonathan Mardukas. His character is obsessive, intelligent and gentle of heart and they both play their roles to absolute, comic-gold, perfection. Very rarely do you get such a dissimilar pair that are so believable and work together as well as this. It's down to these two fitting performances that the blend of comedy and action is so seamless. They're not alone though, the rest of the cast are also given substantial supporting roles, particularly a portentous Dennis Farina as gangster Jimmy Serrano and an unscrupulous Joe Pantoliano as bail-bondsman Eddie Moscone. It's a film that affords the time to a host of great characters and performers.
Danny Elfman's excellent and dynamic score also helps in developing and maintaining a particular mood and style, keeping the exciting cross-country adventure from ever getting stale.
It's an old formula that plays like a cross between John Hughes' 1987 comedy "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" and Stanley Kramer's 1958 jail-break classic "The Defiant Ones" but it's injected with such a poignancy and freshness that make it very hard not to be swept away with it.
I wouldn't really say that this is a film that's underrated as any that have seen it, tend to speak highly. It is, however, often forgotten about and has claim to be one of the most enjoyable film's of the 80's.
July 31, 2012
MrMarakai

Super Reviewer

Moving! Extremely entertaining, Grodin and De Niro make a idiosyncratic couple, that make the audience loved! Gallo made a extraordinary screenplay and Brest direct the movie very well.
July 27, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

This typical 80s buddy comedy may feel dated 23 years later but is still a lot of fun, mostly thanks to the great chemistry between grumpy DeNiro and whiny Grodin. The cast includes a lot more great names than that and everyone obviously had fun shooting this. While starting out slowly, soon there is plenty of action, humor and a pretty exciting finale. Of course it's not that hard to predict that the two protagonists will start to like each other, but the way there is fun to witness, especially the setbacks when they are still trying to doublecross each other. They just don't make movies like that anymore.
October 6, 2011
ironclad1609

Super Reviewer

    1. Jack Walsh: I think I'm gonna get the steak, what about you...well why don't you then get the lobster so I can get a little surf n' turf action going.
    – Submitted by Melanie D (19 months ago)
    1. Jack Walsh: Yeah, there was a couple of them I might have taken a shot at. [when talking about having sex with good looking chickens]
    – Submitted by Tammi E (2 years ago)
    1. Jack Walsh: I'm only going to say three words to you, shut the f**k up.
    – Submitted by Maury M (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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