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Robert De Niro , Jean Reno , John Frankenheimer    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (271 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Robert De Niro stars as an American intelligence operative adrift in irrelevance since the end of the Cold War--much like a masterless samurai, a.k.a. "ronin." With his services for sale, he joins a renegade, international team of fellow covert warriors with nothing but time on their hands. Their mission, as defined by the woman who hires them (Natascha McElhone), is to get hold of a particular suitcase that is equally coveted by the Russian mafia and Irish terrorists. As the scheme gets underway, De Niro's lone wolf strikes up a rare friendship with his French counterpart (Jean Reno), gets into a more-or-less romantic frame of mind with McElhone, and asserts his experience on the planning and execution of the job--going so far as to publicly humiliate one team member (Sean Bean) who is clearly out of his league. The story is largely unremarkable--there's an obligatory twist midway through that changes the nature of the team's business--but legendary filmmaker John Frankenheimer (Seconds, The Manchurian Candidate) leaps at the material, bringing to it an honest tension and seasoned, breathtaking skill with precision-action direction. The centerpiece of the movie is an honest-to-God car chase that is the real thing: not the how-can-we-top-the-last-stunt cartoon nonsense of Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon), but a pulse-quickening, kinetic dance of superb montage and timing. In a sense, Ronin is almost Frankenheimer's self-quoting version of a John Frankenheimer film. There isn't anything here he hasn't done before, but it's sure great to see it all again. --Tom Keogh

Special Features

On The DVD
The two-disc set has substantial additional features, most of which emphasize the film's extraordinary car chase sequences. In his commentary, director John Frankenheimer delights in the stunts ("Now that's the best four-wheel drift I think I've ever seen!") but also explores the difficulty of effective time transitions in a thriller. He also discusses his love of Paris, and how the city presents challenges to location filmmaking that aren't encountered in U.S. productions. The segments "The Driving of Ronin" and "Ronin: Filming in the Fast Lane" also focus on cars, Paris, and cars in Paris; the interview with stunt-car coordinator Jean-Claude Lagniez is especially enlightening.

Robert De Niro, Natascha McElhone, and Jean Reno discuss their characters in Venice Film Festival interviews; De Niro is characteristically taciturn, McElhone articulate and lovely, and Reno charmingly expansive about his character Vincent. ("Is he tough? Yeh, he knows his guns.") McElhone also gets her own separate interview, in which she discusses her concern at being thrown into the opening scenes as a novice among old pros--a situation shared by her character in the film.

Segments with the director of photography, editor, and composer are also included, but Elia Cmiral's use of the haunting duduk theme deserves more exploration than it gets here. There is also a thrown-together photo gallery and a brief, bleak alternate ending. --Michael Smith

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love To Buy But??? April 14 2014
“I really don’t know how Amazon could say this is helpful,when you have Twelve,count them Twelve
different posters (pictures) of the same movie (Ronin) and all has a different price,some as high as Can $191.91.
but that’s not the problem (price),every review they have here is listed to the Twelve different movies,
the problem I have ,I would like to purchased one, but which one is the question,some reviews are not so good
for the product in question,like quality of the picture, the car chase is the only thing that give the movie a bigger
feel,other than that what a great movie,
So I don’t know if you will see this you people at Amazon,but it really don’t help when you say, Most Helpful Customer Reviews,
Love To Buy But???
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good plot Jan. 22 2014
By peterj
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Tight and gritty story line and it moves at a fast pace. Good acting and best car chase since "Bullit". This is one of those movies that has unpredictable twists and turns as well as keeping the viewer in suspense. Too violent to be a family movie but a great film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An intense role for Robert DeNiro Jan. 22 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Interesting story and some of the best car chases ever. Great shots of France and especially of Paris. Excellent film
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Action April 28 2013
By BobbyT
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Top notch acting especially from DeNiro (no surprise) and Jean Reno. Plenty of well done action and great locations. Can't miss spending the time to watch this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great movie that can withstand repeated viewing June 26 2007
By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
"Ronin" is wildly entertaining and highly crafted. Some think De Niro was in a 'trough' when he made this film; instead, I feel he is -- quite simply -- exceptional and REAL, as always DeNiro is doing nothing he hasn't done a 1,000 times before in this role but it's precisely *because* he does such characters all the time that he's so good at it. Jean Reno is equally capable of matching De Niro on screen and they form a nice relationship that doesn't grate. The other actors are all acceptable although not outstanding.

The plot is decent, but not dripping with originality. Look it's a terrorist organization. And look it's the IRA again and the Northern Ireland situation depicted with all the lack-of-knowledge Hollywood is so good at. The double crossing is amusing and makes sense - these characters aren't exactly on the side of angels are they? The action sequences are great fun too and, it must be admitted, feature the best car chases of any movie I've seen from the 90s. Which is saying something. On a down side to the plot it gets a tad ridiculous when, over the course of the movie, approximately half of France's population gets wiped out in the various car chases and gun battles... it's a tad over the top (though adrenalin pumping)

John Frankenheimer directing was very competent. The chase scenes are done particularly well with the cameras mounted to the front of the car to give you the feeling of speed. It's what helps lift this movie up that bit more from the other dross. Other than that I'd recommend this movie, especially for fans of the heist genres or those who like car chases. You won't be bored ever and will spend an enjoyable couple of hours viewing it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great action, great dialogue Sept. 12 2003
I'm still not quite sure why David Mamet used a pseudonym in the credits, but the movie absolutely drips with his rhythms of speech. It complements the action well, otherwise the movie would be a bore outside of the car chases. The unique element is the band of mercenaries who cannot trust each other long enough to complete their mission. The cast is great: De Niro and Jonathan Pryce are Mamet veterans. Jean Reno is quite at home playing the Jean Reno character. Natasha McElhone is painfully beautiful, and one of the most capable actresses working today. She more than holds her own with the boys. But the movie's greatest strength isn't the actors or Mamet's hypnotic chit-chat, but Frankenheimer's car chases, which are "au natural". Nobody working with digital effects has generated the same level of excitement and realism, no matter what genre. The European locations are great, the cars are great, and the characters are well-rounded. Oh, and we've got a suitcase filled with who-knows-what, a la "Pulp Fiction."
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4.0 out of 5 stars Post Cold War Samurai Soldiers Jan. 6 2003
"Ronin", is for everyone who enjoys Robert DeNiro, a great spy tale, a host of great supporting actors, and some of the more amazing car chases filmed on Europe's very narrow, pre-automotive designed streets. The word Ronin describes a Samurai who has lost his master, and in this film, the word serves as a metaphor for cold warriors that no longer have the same Cold War to fight. The threats are not gone only changed, so the great games that have played host to a variety of films and movies are still available to talented writers and directors who can adapt.
A great deal of the action takes place at high speed on either very narrow urban roads, or wildly twisting mountain stretches that lack the same manner of safety barriers we are accustomed to in The USA, that make the chase scenes all the more amazing. The director and other key players who made the film have racing backgrounds which allowed them to bring a type of realism that goes beyond the typical Hollywood chase.
Jean Reno, Natascha Mcelhone, Stellan Skarsgard, Sean Bean, and Jonathan Pryce all make for a wonderful ensemble cast. The chase is for a case, and the cast that is assembled are allegedly a team in the hunt for a box that no one knows the contents of. The traditional players like the Russians are involved, the CIA, and then the new Russians along with the Irish, and members of agencies that either are active or are not, you never know until the film ends. And even when it does, the DVD offers an alternate ending that changes in a very dramatic manner how the film you just watched concluded.
"Ronin", is a very good film, a definite cut above the average, and well worth the one minute and two hours of your time it will occupy.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Action At Its Finest
Ronin is my favorite action/drama film and I view it about 3-4 times a year on average.

The sets and natural European landscapes, along with the excellent choice of... Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2011 by Miracle Max
1.0 out of 5 stars lack of Blu-ray quality ...
Hello, I purchased this version of Ronin on Blu-ray expecting more then the standard DVD have, unfurtunatlly I was incorrect in doing so. Read more
Published on March 29 2009 by M. Nykiel
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid release... but wish there were more...
After a long wait, Ronin is FINALLY here on Blu-ray. Was it worth the wait? If you're a fan of the film, yes. Read more
Published on March 14 2009 by Michael Olshansky
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you could ask for in an intelligent action thriller
I have no idea why I had never heard of this movie before because Ronin is a whale of a good film. I can take or leave most action films, but give me a taut, intelligent,... Read more
Published on Sept. 13 2006 by Daniel Jolley
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Underrated Movie
Bobby DeNiro, enough said. This a great, yet underrated heist movie with one heck of a char chase scene.
Published on Feb. 27 2006 by Keith Friesen
3.0 out of 5 stars meh
this was kind of dissapointing, but i had pretty high expectations. it didn't really do anything wrong, but dispite a lot of action, it wasn't the most interesting movie.
Published on July 12 2004 by "thmnshw4"
4.0 out of 5 stars Gorilla of a Thrilla'
Spy flick, GREAT CAR CHASE... I think Car and Driver rated the chase scene as an all time best.
Published on June 5 2004 by Jorge Barbarosa
5.0 out of 5 stars On solitude, camaraderie, and good moviemaking.
A mystery man summons a group of mercenaries, mostly has-beens of the grand spy game. What follows? Naturally: lead is flying, the tires are burned by former Formula 1 drivers, and... Read more
Published on April 15 2004 by Amazon Customer
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