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Ronin (1998)

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2:24 | Trailer
A freelancing former U.S. Intelligence Agent tries to track down a mysterious package that is wanted by the Irish and the Russians.

Director:

John Frankenheimer

Writers:

J.D. Zeik (story), J.D. Zeik (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,075 ( 231)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Sam
Jean Reno ... Vincent
Natascha McElhone ... Deirdre
Stellan Skarsgård ... Gregor
Sean Bean ... Spence
Skipp Sudduth ... Larry
Michael Lonsdale ... Jean-Pierre
Jan Tríska ... Dapper Gent
Jonathan Pryce ... Seamus O'Rourke
Ron Perkins ... Man with the Newspaper
Féodor Atkine ... Mikhi
Katarina Witt ... Natacha Kirilova
Bernard Bloch Bernard Bloch ... Sergi
Dominic Gugliametti Dominic Gugliametti ... Clown Ice Skater
Alan Beckworth Alan Beckworth ... Clown Ice Skater
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Storyline

Ronin is the Japanese word used for Samurai without a master. In this case, the Ronin are outcast specialists of every kind, whose services are available to everyone - for money. Dierdre (undoubtedly from Ireland) hires several Ronin to form a team in order to retrieve an important suitcase from a man who is about to sell it to the Russians. After the mission has been completed successfully, the suitcase immediately gets switched by a member of the team who seems to work into his own pocket. The complex net of everyone tricking everyone begins to surface slowly, and deadly... Written by Julian Reischl <julianreischl@mac.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ronin | case | suitcase | ex kgb | irish | See All (198) »

Taglines:

Your ally could become your enemy See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

UK | France | USA

Language:

English | French | Russian

Release Date:

25 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ронин See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,697,641, 27 September 1998

Gross USA:

$41,616,262

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$41,616,262
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS-Stereo | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A total of 80 automobiles were destroyed during filming. See more »

Goofs

During the final chase, if you see Deidre's hair, you will realise that the window was sometimes open and sometimes closed. See more »

Quotes

Sam: Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt. That's the first thing they teach you.
Vincent: Who taught you?
Sam: I don't remember. That's the second thing they teach you.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The print of the opening titles, starting "In Feudal Japan..." before the film title "Ronin" appears on-screen, on all UK DVD releases from the 11th October 2004 release does not have the original large font that exists on the original theatrical print and TV broadcasts. Instead it is much smaller and does not feel correct especially when one knows the movie and is not consistent with the font titles used throughout the film and the end credits. The 2000/2001 UK DVD MGM original 1 disc release, catalogue number 15745DVD (EAN 5050070000207) does oontain the correct font. All subsequent UK media releases do not contain the correct font (including the Definitive Edition in steelbook packaging!) See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Grand Tour: Operation Desert Stumble (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Our Favorite Son
(from "The Will Rogers Follies - Original Broadway Cast")
Composed by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Performed by Keith Carradine, Cady Huffman and Ensemble
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Explore Exotic Cultures, Meet Exciting New People & Kill Them
7 May 2006 | by tom-darwinSee all my reviews

Frankenheimer's back in Paris, where he triumphed more than 30 years earlier with "The Train." This time he has New York Bob DeNiro, some shadowy Irishmen (that's a new one), Russian mobsters & an overlying Japanese motif. Provacateuse Deirdre (McElhone) assembles ex-Cold Warriors who are at loose ends to do a single job: retrieve a case "from several men who will be intent on preventing us." The crew includes French scrounger Vincent (Reno), American driver Larry (Sudduth), English gunman Spence (Bean), Russian computer whiz Gregor (Skarsgard) & American tough guy Sam (DeNiro). This talented crew is as trustworthy as soldiers garrisoned in a Bangkok brothel, but lurking behind them are Irish nationalist fanatic Seamus (Pryce) & Russian kingpin Mikhi (Atkine). Frankenheimer's use of the case as a "McGuffin," as Hitchcock described a material object used to cement the plot, is too ham-fisted to be effective in a full-length film, especially one as long as this. Once again, we see why Hitchcock's old thrillers hold up so well today. But Frankenheimer's combination of action, dialog & character development remains unique & as enjoyable as ever, especially since he gets fine actors & makes them deliver. The streetwise New Yorker Sam should probably not have been believable as a sophisticated but haunted ex-CIA agent, sort of a cross between "Casablanca" Rick & The Equalizer. But DeNiro's mastery of his craft is up to the considerable challenge. Most of the rest of the cast is fantastic and, with a better plot, might have been legendary. Standing out are Reno's wry Frenchman ("Everyone is your brother 'til the rent comes due"), Bean's nervous blowhard & Skarsgard as the slick, steely, ruthless Russian bookworm. McElhone is a one-of-a-kind winner as the handler of the headstrong, tough-guy crew. Deidre is strong & competent but far from cold, dedicated but not naive, mysterious but not vague, at her ease in pearls or behind the wheel of a getaway car. The tale of the 47 Ronin, an old favorite of Asian lit professors, provides the theme of out-of-work Cold Warriors who have no place in society & must remain slaves to their training & experience, no matter how tragic the consequences. The real-life proliferation of wars-on-terror & their self-described "experts" & "security specialists," even before 9/11, renders this theme ironically implausible. Scenes where the characters discuss this depressing state of affairs are almost unbearably boring, dragging down the second half. As with most thrillers of recent years, the plans realized by DeNiro & crew are too complicated & violent to work, relying heavily on advanced weaponry & electronics. They are just excuses to set up spectacular action scenes. But when has Frankenheimer ever let us down in that department? High production values permit TWO fantastic car chases in addition to several other gripping, convincing bustups. Frankenheimer has remained immune to the over-the-top bloodbaths of Tarantino, the cartoon silliness of Lucas & Spielberg & the blowdried stylishness of Michael Mann. His action draws the viewer in without trying to induce sympathy, laughter or vomiting. With a more coherent story & more convincing theme, "Ronin" might have been one of the greatest films ever. As it is, "Ronin" is an exciting, enjoyable thriller if you don't think too much.


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