Ronin

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 145 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 3 out of 145

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User Reviews

  1. Jan 23, 2015
    10
    Finally, a movie that allowed you, if not forced you, to use your imagination. I found the plot to be compelling (who is really who and whom can you trust), De Niro is spot-on, and the car chase scenes are the best ever found in this genre of film. This is neither an action thriller nor a "shoot-em-up, chase 'em" film. It is a film that runs its own course and holds its own place.Finally, a movie that allowed you, if not forced you, to use your imagination. I found the plot to be compelling (who is really who and whom can you trust), De Niro is spot-on, and the car chase scenes are the best ever found in this genre of film. This is neither an action thriller nor a "shoot-em-up, chase 'em" film. It is a film that runs its own course and holds its own place. What's in the case? Who cares? It's a film that gets more appreciated the second, third and fourth time you see it. Expand
  2. Dec 20, 2013
    7
    Pretty good all around. Had a good amount of intrigue, thrills, and action, to keep your attention throughout this one. It was a little confusing at times, but wrapped up pretty nicely.
  3. Aug 21, 2014
    7
    Although Ronin breaks no new ground in the action genre, it is still a wholesome and thrilling movie. The car chase scenes are some of the best in any movie, and DeNiro and Reno play a great pair.
  4. Sep 28, 2014
    6
    Overall, it was okay. The story line was decent and the car chases were well done. It kept my interest and is worth a watch only if you rent it. Its not worth watching multiple times. The ending has a decent plot twist which was nice.
  5. RyanC.
    Apr 5, 2005
    9
    Sometimes, it's okay to say that a movie's technical and visceral achievements are enough to make it great. In this otherwise reasonably good caper film, Frankenheimer manages to include the two best car chases ever put to film. More realistic than Bullitt, better than the Blues Brothers, the car chases are more-than-worthy successors to his camera-work in "Grand Prix" Sometimes, it's okay to say that a movie's technical and visceral achievements are enough to make it great. In this otherwise reasonably good caper film, Frankenheimer manages to include the two best car chases ever put to film. More realistic than Bullitt, better than the Blues Brothers, the car chases are more-than-worthy successors to his camera-work in "Grand Prix" That's worthy of a high rating. Expand
  6. MehmetS.
    Sep 7, 2003
    10
    I can only say ..Fantastic movie... Jean Reno make me start learning French in this film..I'm serious..now I started to learn French at home by myself :D..I love that guy !!
  7. [Anonymous]
    Apr 16, 2006
    8
    This action thriller has two really great car chases, and the gun battle hit the mark. However, the performances are also good, and overall, the movie chooses intelligence over idiocy, resulting in a taut, tight and nimble thriller.
  8. CameronS.
    Jan 13, 2004
    9
    How cool is Reno in this!! One of the best car chases ever, mad me want an audi s8 of my own!
  9. Apr 3, 2016
    6
    Run-of-the-Mill 'Ronin'

    Although laced with adrenaline and flavored with noirish seasoning, John Frankenheimer's "Ronin" is a disappointingly conventional thriller from the director of the masterful "The Manchurian Candidate" – a film whose pretensions of exoticness are ultimately thwarted by a nagging mistrust of its audience's sophistication. Taking its name from the Japanese term
    Run-of-the-Mill 'Ronin'

    Although laced with adrenaline and flavored with noirish seasoning, John Frankenheimer's "Ronin" is a disappointingly conventional thriller from the director of the masterful "The Manchurian Candidate" – a film whose pretensions of exoticness are ultimately thwarted by a nagging mistrust of its audience's sophistication.

    Taking its name from the Japanese term for wandering samurai warriors who have been disgraced by their failure to protect their masters, the film concerns a similarly rootless band of modern international soldiers of fortune who rendezvous in a dank Paris bistro at the behest of a mysterious Irish woman named Dierdre (Natascha McElhone).

    Hired to retrieve by force a silver valise of undetermined contents from a shadowy coterie of unpleasant-looking men, the group includes two Americans, quizzical logistician Sam (Robert De Niro) and driver Larry (Skipp Sudduth); laconic French triggerman Vincent (Jean Reno); former KGB agent and electronics expert Gregor (Stellan Skarsgard); and jumpy British military vet Spence (Sean Bean). It is a solid cast, and the actors all acquit themselves well.

    Before we are even introduced to this rogues' gallery, though, the film opens with a tacked-on title explaining the derivation of the term "ronin." It's an overly explicit addendum that is all the more perplexing since the word is again defined (with greater depth and nuance) in a speech halfway through the film. Jean-Pierre (Michael Lonsdale), a grizzled and philosophical collector of miniature soldiers, explains the Japanese legend as he gives sanctuary to Sam and Vincent after Sam has been wounded by bad guys. It's as if Frankenheimer – or one of the pesky producers – had last-minute misgivings about whether moviegoers could sit patiently through an hour of the story before learning the significance of the foreign-sounding label.

    Such cheesiness feels strangely patronizing, especially in a movie that is rife with delicious ambiguity, a movie whose very subject matter in fact seems to be the realm of equivocation and betrayal. Several members of the jaded paramilitary quintet, each of whose allegiance and motivation is suspect, allude to the fact that they were rounded up by an unnamed (and unseen) man in a wheelchair, and it is never clear, even at the film's bitter end, exactly what the highly-sought-after piece of luggage contains.

    These are not my quibbles with "Ronin," however. Indeed, what superficial murkiness it possesses is its very forte. Still, the screenplay by J.D. Zeik and Richard Weisz only dips its toe in the vast ocean of tough-guy metaphysics, as when it ruminates on such pretentious hooey as the "code of the battlefield" and a series of wannabe-Zenlike "rules" instilled in Sam by his one-time affiliation with the CIA.

    "Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt," he tells Vincent.

    (Ah so, grasshopper.)

    Despite some ingenious touches, as when Sam and Dierdre pose as tourists to snap photos of their elusive quarry, much of the time "Ronin" feels like a high-brow Steven Seagal film, with massive gun battles that casually disregard civilian casualties and too many overlong car chases through the twisty streets of Paris and Nice. Frankenheimer even smashes one car into a fishmonger's stand – as if we haven't ever seen that hoary cliche» before. And a scene of autos speeding through an underground tunnel is unnervingly reminiscent of a reenactment of Princess Di's demise.

    Trite though it may be, the action is tautly edited and the film's picturesque French locales, including an ancient stone arena in Arles, go a long way toward diverting attention from its narrative implausibilities and credulous plot coincidences.

    Late in the game, when Dierdre's boss Seamus (Jonathan Pryce) enters the picture and double-cross turns into triple-, quadruple- and quintuple-cross, I began to lose track of who wanted the bloody suitcase and why.

    And, like Frankenheimer's mercenary gaggle of blase post-Cold Warriors, I no longer particularly cared.
    Expand
  10. May 30, 2016
    3
    John Frankenheimer's ''Ronin'' is too serious to be a fun popcorn movie and simply too bad, to be a good serious action/thriller. Overall it's a disappointing film. It has some good action sequences and good performances from De Niro and Reno (as you would expect) to save this movie. The the plot seems inevitably simple but turns out to be confusing at the beginning and barely gets clearJohn Frankenheimer's ''Ronin'' is too serious to be a fun popcorn movie and simply too bad, to be a good serious action/thriller. Overall it's a disappointing film. It has some good action sequences and good performances from De Niro and Reno (as you would expect) to save this movie. The the plot seems inevitably simple but turns out to be confusing at the beginning and barely gets clear along the way.
    Also, the whole plot is just a massive McGuffin that goes nowhere, as always with McGuffin plots.
    Expand
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. 88
    Ronin manages to remain focused on the plot and the characters, even while staging increasingly complicated pyrotechnic set pieces and offering its share of white-knuckle moments.
  2. Although laced with adrenaline and flavored with noirish seasoning, John Frankenheimer's Ronin is a disappointingly conventional thriller.
  3. 67
    It remains head and shoulders above what little competition there is by virtue of its stellar casting, editing, and above all, Frankenheimer's fluid, explosive direction.