Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) | Release Date: September 25, 1998
8.6
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Universal acclaim based on 170 Ratings
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145
Mixed:
22
Negative:
3
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6
jacked_beastSep 28, 2014
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.
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5
Steven1981Mar 24, 2020
Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Sean Bean and Jonathan Pryce star in John Frankenheimer's action thriller called RONIN which was made in 1998... Strangely enough director John Frankenheimer made French Connection II which was excellent compared toRobert De Niro, Jean Reno, Sean Bean and Jonathan Pryce star in John Frankenheimer's action thriller called RONIN which was made in 1998... Strangely enough director John Frankenheimer made French Connection II which was excellent compared to RONIN and even better than the original as far as I'm concerned because it had more entertainment in terms of action and the hotel being burned to the ground by Popeye Doyle after he's saved and left for dead after being pumped full of drugs. Ronin (1998) is full of fairly decent action scenes, chases and car chases and betrayal and violence. Sean Bean's character is laughable and silly and Robert De Niro and Sean Bean together is simply the worst chemistry between two actors in movie history and a horrible combination that portrays weakness but fairly tense moments . This films okay but nothing great and the badguys are a bit weak but still fairly entertaining and watchable at best but nothing too fantastic. Expand
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5
Compi24Sep 25, 2020
"Ronin" finds John Frankenheimer and Robert De Niro joining forces and providing decent entertainment in the form of a few, extremely well-choreographed and executed car chases. As for every other aspect of the film, however, that's where we"Ronin" finds John Frankenheimer and Robert De Niro joining forces and providing decent entertainment in the form of a few, extremely well-choreographed and executed car chases. As for every other aspect of the film, however, that's where we run into a bit of trouble. It's not as though the narrative itself is poorly constructed. If anything, it's straightforward in its approach. De Niro and Co. are assembled to acquire a mysterious briefcase before unsavory parties can. Problem is, that's essentially all there is to this movie and that fact really, really airs out the weight of everything at hand. I'm not necessarily asking for a profound study on duty (which the movie half-heartedly attempts to do at a point) or anything. Characters with discernible personalities is definitely a start. Characters with discernible personalities having interesting conversations is an even better start. Neither of these elements really make an appearance, though, ultimately leaving the audience with an incredibly dry and fleeting cinematic experience. Expand
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4
marklaing1Feb 18, 2018
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I finally got around to watching Ronin. There's a reason I never sat through it before. It's like a long French Connection car chase but set in France. Like Groundhog Day the car chase never ends and nothing seems to get paid off. Deniro seems to be lost behind the wheel of the car (and I know they used double steering wheels). Like Fast and Furious without the CGI. The acting is fine but the plot and story seems lost. Expand
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6
MovieMasterEddyApr 3, 2016
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
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.
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