Midnight Run

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 114 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 114

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User Reviews

  1. Jul 1, 2016
    9
    In 1988 the idea of multi Academy Award winning actor Robert De Niro starring in an R-rated comedy must have seemed like a step too far outside even his comfort zone. But, ol' Bobby pulls it off and not only creates one of his most memorable characters, he also is incredibly funny!

    De Niro plays Jack Walsh, an ex-New York undercover narcotics officer who now works as a Bounty Hunter.
    In 1988 the idea of multi Academy Award winning actor Robert De Niro starring in an R-rated comedy must have seemed like a step too far outside even his comfort zone. But, ol' Bobby pulls it off and not only creates one of his most memorable characters, he also is incredibly funny!

    De Niro plays Jack Walsh, an ex-New York undercover narcotics officer who now works as a Bounty Hunter. His boss, Eddie Moscone (Joe Pantoliano) offers him $100,000 to bring in Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukas (Charles Grodin) an accountant for the Mob who embezzled several million and was picked up on a minor charge and subsequently bailed.
    Walsh agrees and quickly tracks The Duke down to L.A. Walsh hopes he can just board a plane with him and head back, but The Duke has other ideas!
    Things are (hilariously) complicated by the fact that both the Mob and the FBI also want The Duke, plus Moscone sending out another (rather inept) bounty hunter to get The Duke when Walsh's initial plans fail.

    What follows is essentially a comedic road trip with car chases, gunfights, helicopters etc, all interspersed with masses of profanity and real belly laughs. Every character (and thus actor) works hard for those laughs, and whilst not every joke 'hits', the hit/miss ratio is still incredibly high.

    As the cross-country escapade keeps on escalating, Walsh and The Duke develop a deep understanding and friendship, and leads to a schmaltzy ending that is definitely earnt.

    The film is only let down by some unnecessary over-sentimentality, but it's more of a niggle than a real 'this is an aspect of the film I can't deal with'.
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  2. May 30, 2016
    9
    This movie may have a conventional plot, and it offers barely anything new to the table, but what makes Midnight Run such a great and entertaining film, is the incredible chemistry Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin have on screen together, and the trials and tribulations they go through.
    Midnight Run has a handful of fun and energetic characters, which makes this film such a blast to look
    This movie may have a conventional plot, and it offers barely anything new to the table, but what makes Midnight Run such a great and entertaining film, is the incredible chemistry Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin have on screen together, and the trials and tribulations they go through.
    Midnight Run has a handful of fun and energetic characters, which makes this film such a blast to look at, like of course Jack Walsh and Jonathan Mardukas, brilliantly portrayed by De Niro and Grobin, but also fellow bounty hunter called Marvin Dorfler which causes for some hilarious meetings between competing bounty hunters Walsh and Dorfler, but also the bounty hunter's employee beautifully portrayed by Joe Pantoliano, the guys from the mafia also always ensure laughs and thrills on screen, but also the stubborn FBI agent who follows the duo around too is a blast too look at.
    On top of that Midnight Run is supported by one of Danny Elfman's (Spider-Man) very best scores, compiled using funky blues rhythms, jazzy tunes, which over all results into an incredibly energetic and lively score to make the movie even more immersive and fun. The movie uses it's locations perfectly utilising the surroundings, inhabitants of those surroundings and everything there is available to them perfectly, and because it's essentially a road-trip film, it has a lot of different, vibrant locations which makes the movie a beauty to look at.

    The plot of the movie is something that could've come straight out of The Coen Brother handbook on how to write interesting and quirky screenplays, whilst watching it reminded me a lot of Coen brother films i've seen in combination with The Blues Brothers. The quirkiness, the fun characters, the trial and tribulations, the great acting, something the Coens do best. But it isnt directed by the Coen's to my surprise, it's directed by Martin Brest, he also directed Scent of a Women, one of my all time favorite films.

    All in all, there is little to complain here, Midnight Run guarantees you to have a great time watching, you wont be bored. It's energetic, fun, thrilling and lively from start to finish.
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  3. Apr 1, 2016
    10
    One helluva buddy movie. The chemistry between De Niro and Grodin is wonderful.

    The writing is superb, the dialogue between the two leads is stellar and is a such delight to listen to. Respect to George Gallo. Most of the side characters in this are just as funny to watch as the leading pair, due in no small part to the amazing casting of those characters. The movie transitions
    One helluva buddy movie. The chemistry between De Niro and Grodin is wonderful.

    The writing is superb, the dialogue between the two leads is stellar and is a such delight to listen to. Respect to George Gallo.

    Most of the side characters in this are just as funny to watch as the leading pair, due in no small part to the amazing casting of those characters.

    The movie transitions smoothly from road trip-esque scenes where Jack is escorting"The Duke" back to L.A. to collect the bounty on his head to scenes where the duo have to outrun gangsters and the FBI.

    I love, love, LOVE this movie. Midnight Run is (this is cliche, but...) a joy from start to finish.
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  4. Jan 16, 2016
    10
    One of my favorite movies of all-time. DeNiro and Grodin are hilarious, delivering excellently written lines throughout. Simply marvelous, no matter how many times you watch it.
  5. Jan 4, 2016
    9
    Great movie. One of my all time favs. I can put this on at any time, regardless of what mood I'm in, and I'll watch it from beginning to end. Infinitely quotable, with great performances from DeNiro and Grodin, who play the ultimate odd couple. Also a great supporting cast and a catchy soundtrack by Danny Elfman. Highly recommended.
  6. Jul 18, 2014
    10
    Midnight Run is a classic comedy from the director of Scent Of A Woman. Every actor is gold in this movie
    and the action scenes are great before CGI was invented.
  7. Jul 13, 2014
    7
    Overall, this one is a solid flick. Robert De Niro is great as usual and is surprisingly good comedically too. Charles Grodin is also quite good here and his chemistry with De Niro is noticeably great, which really adds to the comedy. In addition, the plot, though outlandish and very unlikely, is interesting to follow. For an action comedy, this one certainly feels relatively familiar andOverall, this one is a solid flick. Robert De Niro is great as usual and is surprisingly good comedically too. Charles Grodin is also quite good here and his chemistry with De Niro is noticeably great, which really adds to the comedy. In addition, the plot, though outlandish and very unlikely, is interesting to follow. For an action comedy, this one certainly feels relatively familiar and though it has many stupid action sequences that are a must for action films with explosions and shootouts that are highly improbable, coupled with actions that are completely unlikely, I still enjoyed it. Maybe because, even though it had some of those elements, it did not dominate the picture, which largely focused on the relationship between De Niro and Grodin, which was refreshing. It was also oddly touching at times, though it certainly tried to steer clear of being sappy. For the most part, this one has not really shown its age (though it looks very 80's, it still works today) and the comedy translates well. The script is also solid . Though outlandish as I said before, everything really clicks with the dialogue and comedy. Enjoyable little film that is not great, but is pretty good. Expand
  8. Feb 28, 2014
    10
    Midnight is one of the most fun, entertaining, hilarious road comedies I've seen in a while, if not ever. The chemistry between de Niro and Grodin is natural and not forced, and the dialogue is fresh and exciting, not to mention witty. The movie glides with ease from scene to scene, plot point to plot point, and you want it to keep going even after the movie ends. One of De Niro's bestMidnight is one of the most fun, entertaining, hilarious road comedies I've seen in a while, if not ever. The chemistry between de Niro and Grodin is natural and not forced, and the dialogue is fresh and exciting, not to mention witty. The movie glides with ease from scene to scene, plot point to plot point, and you want it to keep going even after the movie ends. One of De Niro's best performances. Expand
  9. May 19, 2013
    10
    Midnight Run has a real sense of journey both physical and in terms of character development which is not prevalent in most films. The balance of comedy, sentimentality and of course action is well calculated, the script is great and all the actors are clearly enjoying themselves. A flawless film and way ahead of it's time. Danny Elfman's score is uplifting and compliments the visuals inMidnight Run has a real sense of journey both physical and in terms of character development which is not prevalent in most films. The balance of comedy, sentimentality and of course action is well calculated, the script is great and all the actors are clearly enjoying themselves. A flawless film and way ahead of it's time. Danny Elfman's score is uplifting and compliments the visuals in every scene. Expand
  10. Nov 28, 2012
    7
    Director Martin Brest presents "Midnight Run" the story of a bounty hunter (DeNiro) who is offered $100,000 to transport a convicted felon (Grodin) across the country. Now I initially heard about this movie through my Father. He loved the film and I can honestly say that I liked it too. The comedy was simple, but it's still funny. The funniest part of the entire movie though was theDirector Martin Brest presents "Midnight Run" the story of a bounty hunter (DeNiro) who is offered $100,000 to transport a convicted felon (Grodin) across the country. Now I initially heard about this movie through my Father. He loved the film and I can honestly say that I liked it too. The comedy was simple, but it's still funny. The funniest part of the entire movie though was the chemistry between Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin. The two really developed a thick love-hate relationship that really was the masterstroke of everything this film had to offer. The dialogue was pretty good, the story was rather original, the camerawork was clean, and the soundtrack was decent (In all it's 80's glory) . I'd say that "Midnight Run" was a fun time. Collapse
  11. Mar 9, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is without a doubt one of the best buddie action/comedies ever put on celluloid. I missed the theatrical run in Australia (did it even have one?), but this became a staple VHS and DVD rental.

    The Danny Elfman music is not as subtle as it could be, but this is an action/chase film as well, so there is not much need for subtlety here. I catch myself (and my brother) belting out the closing riff, and it is very hard not to remember the wonderful music in the quiet moments too.

    DeNiro is in fine comedic form, and apparently spent three months with a real bounty hunter to research the role. His timing and delivery are sublime. Grodin isn't too far behind, with some fine moments on screen, but one or two moments, his deliver feels a little forced. The addition of Farina, Ashton and especially Pantoliano, makes this almost an ensemble comedy. The entire film from start to finish has an edgy realism, and many moments in the film feel like "fly-on-the-wall" documentary, as far as the dialogue and acting go. There is an honesty in this film that is sadly lacking in most.

    Martin Brest is at his best when it comes to the Mob, and crime. He has succeeded so well here, whereas other lesser directors may have destroyed the entire thing.

    There is a few tiny moments where this film feels a little "forced" or "scripted", but blink twice and you'll have missed them.

    Also, if the F-word is not to your liking, then you will not appreciate most of the dialogue in this film. I have seen the "cut for television" version, and it ran for about 20 minutes :-)

    Apart from those small gripes, I give this film 10/10, and it is easily the one film I would run into a burning house to save. My favourite of all time.
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  12. Apr 8, 2011
    7
    Was incredibly pleasantly surprised by this flick. The on the road due made the misfits of Due Date come to mind, and with more believable comedy. De Niro doing comedy is so rare and so fun. Anyone that likes road trips, the 80s and gangster buffoons will love this.
  13. Oct 14, 2010
    8
    Hilarious movie. DeNiro is amazing in his role and if this movie proves anything it´s that he can do comedy too. It was fun to see Charles Grodin in another role than as angry dad in Beethoven. Dialoque is witty and funny.
  14. NeilF
    Oct 19, 2009
    10
    I will never tire of this. Grodin is sublime and De Niro proves he CAN do comedy.
  15. CharlesC.
    Oct 10, 2008
    9
    A classic buddy comedy thriller. By far my favorite roles by both Grodin and de Niro!
  16. JaeheeK.
    Nov 25, 2007
    10
    Classic. Absolute classic!
  17. Patrick
    Jul 12, 2007
    10
    This is as well-written a movie (the fire-side chat between DeNiro and Grodin; the scene where DeNiro visits his ex-wife, Wendy Phillips; when Kotto interrogates Ashton; the scene at the airport between DeNiro and Dennis Farina) as I have ever seen. Add to that how well-cast (the aforementioned DeNiro, Grodin, Kotto, Farina, Pantoliano) it was, and i feel badly for anyone who doesn't This is as well-written a movie (the fire-side chat between DeNiro and Grodin; the scene where DeNiro visits his ex-wife, Wendy Phillips; when Kotto interrogates Ashton; the scene at the airport between DeNiro and Dennis Farina) as I have ever seen. Add to that how well-cast (the aforementioned DeNiro, Grodin, Kotto, Farina, Pantoliano) it was, and i feel badly for anyone who doesn't give it an 8 out of 10. Probably those perves who liked the depth of "Sideways". Expand
  18. BarryS
    Aug 29, 2005
    10
    Outstading at every level and something rare, a movie that has many outdated elements (smoking on the bus, guns on planes, etc.) yet remains fresh today as it was so many years ago.
  19. PatC.
    Jan 5, 2004
    8
    A Buddy-from-hell buddy movie. Every twist in the plot leads to another surprise. Deftly handled plot progression. Funny but not frivolous. In the end the attitudes of the lead characters are not quite realistic, but one wishes they were. Intelligent while remaining accessible.
  20. YoonC.
    Sep 22, 2003
    10
    A true miracle, a rare instance where a formulaic piece(road movie/crime thriller/buddy movie)attained the level of art. Brilliantly written, directed, and performed it will warm your soul as well as thrill your senses. Best of all the chemistry between Grodin and Deniro is pure magic, and the development of their relationship grows richer by finely measured increments. Minor characters A true miracle, a rare instance where a formulaic piece(road movie/crime thriller/buddy movie)attained the level of art. Brilliantly written, directed, and performed it will warm your soul as well as thrill your senses. Best of all the chemistry between Grodin and Deniro is pure magic, and the development of their relationship grows richer by finely measured increments. Minor characters all shine in one of the most stunning assemblage of character actors ever. Even the villains are not without complexity. Also, remarkable are scenes as quiet, touching, and personal as any caught on film: the nighttime conversations between the two leads as they coast down the highway, Deniro's refusal to accept money from his estranged daughter, etc. A wonderment as action film, comedy, drama. Expand
  21. PatrickB.
    Feb 7, 2003
    10
    This is my favorite movie of all time! I have seen 2000+ different films and titles, and there are films both visually and story more complex and better. But there isn't a movie that mixes the human emotion of laughter, fright, intense, amazement, wit, and even tears better than MIDNIGHT RUN. I've been saying for years before ANALYZE THIS came out that Robert DeNiro can do This is my favorite movie of all time! I have seen 2000+ different films and titles, and there are films both visually and story more complex and better. But there isn't a movie that mixes the human emotion of laughter, fright, intense, amazement, wit, and even tears better than MIDNIGHT RUN. I've been saying for years before ANALYZE THIS came out that Robert DeNiro can do comedies and do them well. This film proves it, along with a excellent performance by Charles Grodin (his best film). And the now famous supporting cast: Yaphet Kotto (ALIEN, t.v.'s HOMICIDE), John Ashton (BEVERLY HILLS COP), Dennis Farina (GET SHORTY, SNATCH, BIG TROUBLE), Joe Pantoliano (MATRIX, DAREDEVIL, HBO's THE SOPRANOS), Phillip Baker Hall (BOOGIE NIGHTS, MAGNOLIA) and other familar faces. Sadly, there isn't much for female roles in this film. But the kind and warm-hearted feelings between Jack Walsh and Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukis will make any female understand that this isn't a typical "buddy movie." Plus I think the best film score that Danny Elfman has done in his career. It's out of his signiture style, yet it's so well done! Everybody has a movie that they personally hold close to their heart and emotions. For me MIDNIGHT RUN is that film. Because the characters of Jack Walsh and Jonathan Mardukis are the most realistic characters that I have ever seen (i.e. the story behind the gold watch Walsh has). If there is ever a movie that deserves to be seen and talked about for years and decades to come, MIDNIGHT RUN is that film! Expand
  22. BlancoA.
    Feb 7, 2003
    10
    Incredibly good movie (in fact, it was a very cool, ice-breaking first-date movie). Also, a very respectable drinking game. Every time a character drops an F-Bomb, drink. Trust me, you'll be hammered faster than the third "I'm Moselely."
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    80
    There isn't a single performance in Midnight Run that doesn't have a pulse, that doesn't show the actors at their best or near-best, especially De Niro. [20 July 1988]
  2. 88
    Whoever cast De Niro and Grodin must have had a sixth sense for the chemistry they would have; they work together so smoothly, and with such an evident sense of fun, that even their silences are intriguing.
  3. 100
    One of the most entertaining, best executed, original road pictures ever.