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Ronin (1998)

Robert De Niro , Jean Reno , John Frankenheimer  |  R |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (587 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: Multiple Formats, 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: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: February 23, 1999
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (587 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305263248
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,995 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
193 of 217 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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76 of 83 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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67 of 74 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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18 of 19 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
5.0 out of 5 stars American Spook in Paris
when there is doubt, there is no doubt
Published 21 hours ago by Beetleswamp
5.0 out of 5 stars Fasten your seatbelts!
A great cast, a great director, fantastic action sequences! What more could you want?
Published 1 day ago by FstopWilly
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
returned it would not play never received notice of credit for returning it .
Published 1 day ago by james r.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Great movie.
Published 3 days ago by rdstryr
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
thx.
Published 5 days ago by david mcnealey
5.0 out of 5 stars Ronin a great movie!!!
My favorite movie. I watch it over and over again and it it's like seeing it for the first time. Robert DeNiro is the best!!!! I would highly recommend this movie Ronin
Published 5 days ago by M. Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars When in doubt, there is no doubt.
Best Car Chase Scene.
Published 10 days ago by Brian
4.0 out of 5 stars Good action movie
Good action movie. I like Robert De Niro in almost all his movies. I liked it but it is definitely not a five start.
Published 10 days ago by C. Thomas
1.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor Has No Clothes - And His Penis Isn't Very Big
The Emperor Has No Clothes (And His Penis Isn't Very Big)

This movie is a preposterous mishmash of thriller cliches. The plot, such as it is, is utterly silly. Read more
Published 11 days ago by John H. Mouser
4.0 out of 5 stars omg Bobby Deniro
Great action flick. If you haven't seen this then turn your man card in at the door.
Published 11 days ago by Mark schock
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