Midnight Run (1988)



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

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 … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: George Gallo
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 24, 1998
MCA Universal Home Video


as Jack Walsh

as Jonathan Mardukas

as Jimmy Serrano

as Alonzo Mosely

as Marvin Dorfler

as Eddie Moscone

as Tony Darvo

as Jerry Geisler

as Native American

as Serrano Bodyguard

as Bus Ticket Clerk

as Monroe Bouchet

as Boy on Plane

as Car Rental Clerk

as Mrs. Nelson

as Dana Mardukas

as Airline Pilot

as FBI Surveillance Age...

as Train Porter

as Carmine

as Ohio Policeman

as Coffee Shop Waitress

as Amarillo Desk Sergea...

as Bar Cashier

as Bar Customer

as Flagstaff Police Cap...

as Flagstaff Sheriff

as Diner Counter Man

as Airport Porter

as LA Taxi Driver

as FBI Agent Perry

as FBI Agent Tuttle

as Las Vegas FBI Agent ...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Midnight Run

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Critic Reviews for Midnight Run

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (13)

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.

Full Review… | July 30, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | July 30, 2013
TIME Magazine
Top 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.

Full Review… | July 30, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top 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.

Full Review… | July 30, 2013
Orlando Sentinel
Top 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?

Full Review… | July 30, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Funny, unpredictable and refreshingly adult.

Full Review… | July 30, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

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.

Al S

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.

Mark Walker

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.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Midnight Run Quotes

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– Submitted by Tammi E (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Maury M (3 years ago)

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