Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 36 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Bounty hunter Jack Walsh (De Niro) is offered $100,000 from a bail bondsman to capture fugitive accountant Jonathan "the Duke" Mardukas (Grodin) and bring him to Los Angeles in time for his trial date. Walsh must avoid a rival bounty hunter, the FBI, and the mob to earn his payday.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Midnight Run has thrills, excellent performances, touching moments, slick plotting, lively dialogue, plenty of laughs, beautiful locations and finely detailed direction. It's an across-the-board success, the best new movie I've seen in years. [20 July 1988]
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    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. [25 July 1988]
  3. 88
    Graciously filmed by Martin Brest and imaginatively performed by Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin, the tired concept yields a steady stream of little discoveries and surprising insights that add up to some uncommonly rich comedy. [20 July 1988]
  4. Miraculously, De Niro and Grodin turn this sow's ear into a plausible vehicle for a buddy movie, and thanks to both of them, this movie springs to life.
  5. 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]
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Non Credited)
    Director Martin Brest has allowed the actors to improvise, and their resulting interaction is more realistic, funny, and surprising than that of any buddy film released in the last several years.
  7. Midnight Run is two films. One is a succession of bright, razor-edge, nutty dialogues between two men. The other is the plot that keeps them together, which is stale and full of boring violent-comic action. [29 Aug 1988]

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. BarryS
    Aug 29, 2005
    Outstading at every level and something rare, a movie that has many outdated elements (smoking on the bus, guns on planes, etc.)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. Expand
  2. Jul 18, 2014
    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. Expand
  3. JaeheeK.
    Nov 25, 2007
    Classic. Absolute classic!
  4. Mar 9, 2012
    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.
  5. Feb 28, 2014
    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 best performances. Expand
  6. CharlesC.
    Oct 10, 2008
    A classic buddy comedy thriller. By far my favorite roles by both Grodin and de Niro!
  7. Apr 8, 2011
    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. Expand

See all 17 User Reviews


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