Midnight Run (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Midnight Run (1988)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

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

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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 targeted for assassination. It's a toss-up as to what is the most entertaining aspect of Midnight Run: the slam-bang action and chase sequences or the verbal byplay between DeNiro and Grodin.

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Cast

Robert De Niro
as Jack Walsh
Charles Grodin
as Jonathan Mardukas
Dennis Farina
as Jimmy Serrano
Yaphet Kotto
as Alonzo Mosely
John Ashton
as Marvin Dorfler
Joe Pantoliano
as Eddie Moscone
Richard Foronjy
as Tony Darvo
Jack Kehoe
as Jerry Geisler
Mary Gillis
as Bus Ticket Clerk
John Toles-Bey
as Monroe Bouchet
Scott McAfee
as Boy on Plane
Linda Margules
as Car Rental Clerk
Lois Smith
as Mrs. Nelson
Fran Brill
as Dana Mardukas
Lou Felder
as Airline Pilot
Sam Sanders
as Train Porter
Frank Pesce
as Carmine
Paul Joseph McKenna
as Ohio Policeman
Rosemarie Murphy
as Coffee Shop Waitress
Jack N. Young
as Amarillo Desk Sergeant
Richard Gonzalez
as Bar Cashier
Bill Fritz
as Bar Customer
Pete Jensen
as Flagstaff Police Captain
Andy Charnoki
as Flagstaff Sheriff
Tracey Walter
as Diner Counter Man
Varnoy Lee
as Airport Porter
Bob Maroff
as LA Taxi Driver
Tom Irwin
as FBI Agent Perry
Jimmie Ray Weeks
as FBI Agent Tuttle
Michael D. Gainsborough
as FBI Surveillance Agent
John Hammil
as FBI Surveillance Agent #2
Cameron Milzer
as Stewardess #1
Sonia M. Roberts
as Stewardess #2
Robert Coleman
as Native American
William Robbins
as Native American
Wilfred Netsosie
as Native American
Sherman L. Robbins
as Native American
Dale Beard Jr.
as Native American
Thomas Nez
as Native American
Robert Vento
as Serrano Bodyguard
Joe "Tippy" Zeoli
as Serrano Bodyguard
Jim Portese
as Serrano Bodyguard
Armando Muniz
as Serrano Bodyguard
Dan York
as Las Vegas FBI Agent #1
Rowdy Burdick
as Las Vegas FBI Agent #2
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News & Interviews for Midnight Run

Critic Reviews for Midnight Run

All Critics (46) | 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

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

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
Al S

Super Reviewer

½

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
Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

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