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Ronin (1998)

tomatometer

68

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 60
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 19

This is comparable to French Connection with great action, dynamic road chase scenes, and solid performances.

57

Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 6

This is comparable to French Connection with great action, dynamic road chase scenes, and solid performances.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 119,792

My Rating

Movie Info

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

Feb 23, 1999

MGM/UA - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (84) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (19) | DVD (30)

Ronin plays like death warmed over!

January 1, 2000 | Comment (1)
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ronin reps a pleasurable throwback to the sort of gritty, low-tech international thriller that was a staple of the 1960s.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I enjoyed the film on two levels: for its skill and its silliness.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mamet was so upset by the Writers Guild's refusal to give him sole writing credit that he chose to be listed under a pseudonym; turns out he unwittingly made the right decision.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

More fruitful by far to take the auteurist view and say that for Frankenheimer, Ronin is surrender.

March 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

As relações entre os personagens e as seqüências de perseguição são fascinantes, mas a tentativa de "amarrar" a trama acaba comprometendo um roteiro que não precisava disso.

March 12, 2005
Cinema em Cena

...smart enough to recognize and even make a virtue of its dumbness.

January 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Frankenheimer goes out, well, if not exactly on top, at least on a high note with this slightly insubstantial but stylistically sophisticated song in a minor key

March 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinemania

Nothing was resolved in the end except for the fact that I hated it.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Supercala.com | Comments (3)
Supercala.com

Depicts the amoral world of masterless warriors whose lives are filled with unending violence and betrayal.

August 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice | Comment (1)
Spirituality and Practice

What carries the film is the style, which is fast, furious, and impeccably paced.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

It is a tribute to the film's earnestness that we are able to overlook most of its absurdities and simply revel in its deeds.

June 2, 2001
Movie Metropolis

The stunts make a considerably more vivid impression than any of the movie's potpourri of characters.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Frankenheimer rams the plot through turnstiles of gibberish!

January 1, 2000
San Diego Union-Tribune

All the players are good, so what happened? They forgot that we, the audience, could think.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Needcoffee.com
Needcoffee.com

A somewhat muddled yarn that's more tease than delivery.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Screen It!
Screen It!

But despite some attempts to make this a deeper than usual actioner, Frankenheimer's film is just your typical actioner.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Ronin

I had been meaning to see this one for a few years, and am happy to say that I finally got this one crossed off my list.

Co-written by David Mamet using a pseudonym and some obscure person named J.D. Zeik, this is basically the last great film from acclaimed director John Frankenheimer.

What we have here is a slick international caper set in post Cold War Europe (mainly France) about a group of mercenaries from various intelligence and spec. ops. backgrounds who are called together to steal a mysterious briefcase with unknown (and unrevealed contents) that is wanted by both Irish terrorists and Russian gangsters.

As for the basic plot, that's pretty much it. A bunch of hired guns come together to do a job, but, like all great thrillers, there's plenty of twists, turns, and intrigue.

Okay, so the plot isn't original, but that's not where the film shines. It excels in delivering lots of suspense, tension, atmosphere, some good shootouts, and some excellent car chases. We get roughly four or so prolonged chases, and they are quite awesome, especially since they're done practically. Frankenheimer could have used visual effects, but opted for realism, and the results are great.

Robert De Niro leads an all star cast, and he's awesome as the guy who basically becomes the leader of this little mission. He brings a great deal of experience and world weariness, and this is probably his last major role as a bad ass, though he did have a few great moments in Killer Elite. He's joined by the always cool Jean Reno, a scenery chewing Sean Bean, Stellan Skarsgard in a fun weaselly turn, and a menacing Jonathan Pryce. It's not a total sausage fest though. Natascha McElhone makes for a decent femme fatale, and even figure skater Katarina Witt shows up for a minor role.

The film was almost 100% shot on location throughout France, and it looks great. We get awesome set pieces through a variety of locales, and the execution is marvelous. The action is tremendous, and there's plenty of it. The film does have some quieter moments, and I loved the fairly intelligent take on the caper elements, with how their mission is planned, etc.

I wouldn't go so far as to call this a thinking man's action thriller, but it is somewhat smart and doesn't totally relying on playing to the lowest common denominator.

I dug the crap out of this film, and I'd maybe rate it slightly higher, but, I do think it is somewhat uneven as far as the pacing (at times), and the basic story, as I previously mentioned, is kinda weak.

Overall though, this is a terrific movie and I highly recommend you check it out.
August 28, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

A fun B-movie with one of the best car scene chases ever. Plot is lacking... but Robert De Niro is in it... He lifts this movie up. I loved the overall feel of this movie
March 10, 2012
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

An entertaining, though extremely convoluted and occasionally way too silly action yarn detailing a team of mercenaries (led by Robert De Niro) who must recover a briefcase filled with contents they no nothing about. The plot, as said, is way to complicated to keep up with, and the character development is pretty bad as well outside of De Niro, but this thing somehow, someway stays entertaining through a variety of breathtaking car chase sequences that match up against the best recorded in film. Sure, the chase sequences, like the movie as a whole, drift into silliness at more than one point, but the movie remains fun throughout. Think of it as a veteran's version "Eagle Eye", a film you kind of throw up your hands towards and go "it's....whatever man". If you turn your brain off and try to enjoy the action, you most likely will. But if you start to question the reality of, well, all of the film, then this thing has more holes than swiss cheese. So there you have it.
January 27, 2012
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

This action thriller about a team of strangers being hired to retrieve a mysterious suitcase includes two of the most spectacular car chases of the 90s. Them being filmed almost at street level really makes you feel as if you're part of the pursuit and makes them stand out as the highlights of the film. While the rest of the action may be a bit generic, the grumpy old men DeNiro and Reno make for excellent leading men, just being good at their jobs. The showdown falls a bit short after the excellent car action, and the final off-text feels oddly out of place, but that doesn't take much away from this exciting, old-fashioned thriller where friendships among men have to overcome mistrust but then would take a bullet for each other.
October 17, 2011
ironclad1609

Super Reviewer

    1. Spence: You worried about saving your own skin?
    2. Sam: Yeah, I am. It covers my body.
    – Submitted by Joakim A (3 months ago)
    1. Gregor: It would be nice to do something.
    2. Sam: We are doing something. We're sitting here, waiting.
    – Submitted by Bryan S (18 months ago)
    1. Sam: What's the color of the boathouse at Hereford?
    – Submitted by Bryan S (18 months ago)
    1. Sam: Tell me about an ambush. I ambushed you with a cup of coffee!
    – Submitted by Bryan S (18 months ago)
    1. Vincent: What would I profit from your death?
    – Submitted by Musa I (2 years ago)
    1. Sam: I don't remember. That's lesson number two.
    – Submitted by James B (2 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

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