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Ronin (1998)

Robert De Niro , Jean Reno , John Frankenheimer  |  R |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (550 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård, Sean Bean
  • Directors: John Frankenheimer
  • Writers: David Mamet, J.D. Zeik
  • Producers: Ethel Winant, Frank Mancuso Jr., Paul Kelmenson
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: February 23, 1999
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (550 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305263248
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,517 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ronin" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Alternative ending
  • 8-page booklet featuring stunning insights into the making of the movie

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

Product Description

In a world where loyalties are easily abandoned and allegiances can be bought, a new and deadlier terrorist threat has emergedfree agent killers! Featuring "high-octane action" (Gene Shalit, "Today"), a "first-rate cast" (L.A. Daily News) and exhilarating car chases that "are nothing short of sensational" (The New York Times), Ronin is "the real deal in action fireworks" (Rolling Stone) directed by "a master of intelligent thrillers" (Roger Ebert). The Cold War may be over, but a new world order keeps a group of covert mercenaries employed by the highest bidder. These operatives, known as "Ronin," are assembled in France by a mysterious client for a seemingly routine mission: steal a top-secret briefcase. But the simple task soon proves explosive asother underworld organizations vie for the same prize...and to get the job done, the members of Ronin must do something they've never done beforetrust each other!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
185 of 207 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray not worth the purchase! December 29, 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite movies. Unfortunately, MGM decided to pull a fast one and release a lobotomized Blu-ray version.

First of all, it uses old-school, low bitrate MPEG-2 encoding (so much for the the "superior" picture quality of Blu-Ray).

Fine, I could have lived with that... except for the fact that, as others have mentioned, the Blu-ray release contains absolutely no special features at all! None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Not even the stuff on the DVD release! WTF!?!?

I suppose MGM will eventually come out with a "Special Edition" Blu-Ray with the missing features, expecting us to also purchase that. No Way!!!

I'm returning this for a refund. I've spent quite a bit of money buying stuff off of Amazon over the years, and this is the first time I'm returning anything. It should tell you how ticked off I am about this.

Also, Amazon really needs to segregate the reviews for the Blu-ray release from the DVD reviews. It's sometimes very difficult to wade through 100s of reviews to find out if the Blu-ray release is worth buying over the DVD release.
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74 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
The definition of the Japanese word ronin describes it as a samurai who has lost his master from the ruin of or the fall of his master. John Frankenheimer (with some final draft help with the script from David Mamet) takes this notion of a masterless samurai and brings to it a post-Cold War setting and sensibility that more than pay homage to the great stories and film of the ronin. One particular story about ronin that Frankenheimer references in detail is the classic story of the 47 Ronin. Ronin shows that in the latter-stages of his career, Frankenheimer was still the master of the political/spy-thriller genre. He infuses the film with a real hard-edge and was able to mix together both intelligence and energy in both the quieter and action-packed sequences in the film.

The film begins quietly with the introduction of the characters to be involved. We meet each individual in this quiet 10-minute scene that shows Frankenheimer's skill as a director more than Michael Bay can in two-hours of mind-numbing action. Robert De Niro as one of the two American mercenaries (or contractors) instantly becomes the focal point for everyone. His casual, but attentive reconnoitering of the Paris bar where the first meet occurs helps build tension without being overt. It's with the introduction of Jean Reno as the Frenchman in the group that we get the buddy-film dynamic as De Niro and Reno quickly create a believable camaraderie born of the times for such men during and after the Cold War. The rest of the cast is rounded out by an excellent and high-energy turn from Sean Bean as an English contractor who might not be all that he brags to be. The other American in the group was played by Skipp Sudduth who in his own understated way more than kept up with the high-caliber of actors around him.
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65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, poor Blu-Ray April 21, 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I actually saw Ronin in the theater when I was in high school. I had no idea what to expect, but I ended up loving it. It had such a great sense of style, it didn't spoon feed the plot to you, and featured fantastic action scenes. To this day it has my favorite car chase scenes.

So when I heard it was coming out on Blu-Ray, I was excited. I love the high definition picture and high quality sound that Blu-Ray offers, as well as the ability to fit those and a slew of extras on a single disc.

Unfortunately, MGM/Fox decided to treat this great movie poorly for its Blu-Ray debut. The picture quality is improved, but not up to par with the more impressive Blu-Ray catalog releases we've seen so far. It is a single-layered release (using only 25GB of the 50GB available on a dual-layered disc), and uses a compression codec (MPEG-2) that has largely been abandoned in favor of better ones.

Worse, all the great extras from both DVDs are absent from the Blu-Ray. Even the original DVD from 1999(!) had a commentary and alternate ending. The 2006 DVD had those, a documentary, and a bunch of featurettes.

All in all, this Blu-Ray takes one baby-step forward, and several big steps backward. This disc is behind the DVD that is 10 years its senior. Sadly I'll be waiting to purchase this until MGM treats this movie with the respect it deserves (the respect they gave it 3 years ago).
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thrilling, Interesting, Awesome Spy Movie July 25, 2000
Format:DVD
When I first heard about Ronin on TV, I knew I had to go see it. I was not disappointed. Great action sequences (including two of the best car chases in film), a solid plot, and outstanding acting by Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, and Jonathan Pryce made this movie my favorite. I have personally seen Ronin seven times, and each time I am amazed by the quality of the film.
There's more to this movie than the action sequences, and it recalls the days when action movies were not just pure action all the time. When I first saw the samurai minature sequence, I thought it was uncessary and boring, but after time, I have come to think it an interesting and important part of the story. Some people might find Ronin a bit boring at times, but it has a strong plotline that is unpredicatble, and just enough action without going overboard.
This DVD doesn't have many extra features at all, although I absolutely loved the director's commentary. Otherwise, it's sorely lacking in features, despite the alternate ending. I wish that MGM would have released this as a special edition - it would have been my favorite DVD of all time - still, I highly recommend it because Ronin is such an awesome movie.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars an interesting movie
Robert dinero made it humerous... it starts off slow then the plot builds up 20 minutes into the movie... it's a lot of car chases explosions and betrayals... it's a good movie...
Published 1 day ago by melisha mitchener
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, great price, great delivery
I've seen the movie before, so it wasn't a surprise when it arrived. What did surprise me was the quick delivery, great quality, and great customer service by Amazon. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Abby
1.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give it Zero stars
I hate this movie. I think this is Robert DeNiro's worst film I have ever seen. The only bright spot (however dim it shines) was Jean Reno (Love him). Read more
Published 5 days ago by blckravn
5.0 out of 5 stars ronin
Action and a great thriller...along with the touch of the Japanese legend along with it..great settings as well...European feel with a lot of suspense and action..fun to watch...
Published 5 days ago by Denny E. Burniston
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
I enjoyed the quality of the sets in which this film was recorded; a classic, action-packed, theatre-feature presentation. Thank you.
Published 11 days ago by wasn'tME
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Chases and Thrills.
To me probably the greatest action "chase movie" ever made. Intelligent and very, very real! De Niro and Jean Reno are superb. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Michael Colon
5.0 out of 5 stars What's in the box? Love this film.
what's in the box?

I saw this film when it was in the theaters. I tend to watch it at least once a year. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
You'll love it. You must get it and watch it. You will not regret it I promise you. Just do it.
Published 22 days ago by Matt
3.0 out of 5 stars Shoot em up
Robert de Niro does n ot disappoint. He's so cool in this film, a great actor. But the plot is thn, and the car chases are predominant. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Karen Mclean
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent ation film
This is an excellent action film there is action from beginning to end. This is just a very well done movie in all aspects.
Published 26 days ago by Cool
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