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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Ronin (1998)



Reviews and Comments

If I told you Ronin was an action film with three increasingly frenetic car chases, international assassins, and everyone's after a secret box that no one knows what's probably wouldn't be thinking this is such a great movie. But Ronin proves that films can as easily surpass the expectations associated with a particular a genre and/or formula as fall short of them. Ronin is riveting. The acting is superb (how can you go wrong with Robert DeNiro as the lead?), and the dialogue is so crisp and calculating that you have to go over it in your mind two or three times before fully understanding its impact. One such scene -- beautifully staged -- is simultaneously clever, funny, and yet filled with a daunting sense of danger -- and the whole package is in the complete service of the characters involved. I'm speaking of a scene where DeNiro is critical of another's ambush plan. To say more would compromise the dynamics of the scene.

At any rate, this is the kind of film I yearn for -- an action movie where the action is exciting and visually impressive yet whose primary focus is on building strong and interesting characters and dialogue. I recommend it highly to fans of action films and international intrigue.