Parents' Guide to

Ronin

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

All-star '90s action thriller has violence, peril, language.

Movie R 1998 122 minutes
Ronin Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

The car chases are the real MVP

DeNiro and Reno...what more do you want? How about Sean Bean? Still want more? There are more interesting actors in this film and it is all entertaining, but the four stars really is for the car chases, which are the true stars of this film. The story is nice and convoluted and there are alliances and international incidents and DeNiro DeNiro-ing it everywhere and that is a lot of fun, but ultimately everyone is upstaged by some believable car chases that are top notch.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

With its European setting, starry international cast, and inner-city gunfights, this 1998 action thriller feels something of a predecessor to the Bourne franchise and the Bond reboot that followed. As such, Ronin has had much of its uniqueness overshadowed by blockbusters from the modern era, but still retains a likable personality of its own. Robert De Niro appears to enjoy wise-cracking his way through the script as former CIA operative Sam, dialing up the drama for various set pieces when necessary. These include several lengthy car chases that were unanimously praised upon the movie's release.

Where Ronin is less engaging is its muddled plot, with endless twists that become knotted and tiring to follow. Eventually, double-crosses become the norm and we wait for the next big-name star to meet an untimely end. Both Natascha McElhone and Jonathan Pryce do their best to sell their Irish antiheroes, too. But these are not castings or accents that would survive action movies' move to better diversity and less clichéd characters. Despite its flaws, the movie does still manage to recall an era where action thrillers were less sullen, and delivered by actors, writers, and directors capable of more serious fare, but who know the value in escapism.

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