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Ronin (1998) More at IMDbPro »

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Ronin -- An international team of former intelligence agents is hired to carry out a dangerous mission in this character-driven post-Cold War action adventure directed by veteran filmmaker John Frankenheimer. When the caper goes awry, each member reveals his true self. Featured among the operatives are Robert De Niro, Stellan Skarsgard, Jean Reno, Jonathan Pryce, Sean Bean and Natascha McElhone. Of the story whose title derives from the Japanese word meaning masterless samurai: The characters, both male and female, are terribly good at what they do, they just have no place to do it anymore. They're hired to pull off a job, get double-crossed twice and have to get out of it. During a difficult job, the men and their morality, or lack of it, is revealed.
Ronin -- A freelancing former US intelligence agent tries to track down a mysterious package that is wanted by both the Irish and the Russians.


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Up 19% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
J.D. Zeik (story)
J.D. Zeik (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Ronin on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 September 1998 (USA) See more »
Your ally could become your enemy See more »
A freelancing former US intelligence agent tries to track down a mysterious package that is wanted by both the Irish and the Russians. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Brilliance See more (574 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

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 ... Sergi
Dominic Gugliametti ... Clown Ice Skater
Alan Beckworth ... Clown Ice Skater
Daniel Breton ... Sergi's Accomplice

Amidou ... Man at Exchange (as Amidou Ben Messaoud)
Tolsty ... The 'Boss'
Gérard Moulévrier ... Tour Guide (as Gérard Moulevrier)
Lionel Vitrant ... The 'Target'
Vincent Schmitt ... Arles Messenger
Léopoldine Serre ... Arles Little Girl
Lou Maraval ... Arles Little Girl
Frédéric Schmalzbauer ... German Tour Guide
Julia Maraval ... Girl Hostage
Laurent Spielvogel ... Tourist in Nice

Ron Jeremy ... Fishmonger (scenes deleted) (as Ron Hiatt)
Steve Suissa ... Waiter in Nice

Katia Tchenko ... Woman Hostage
Dyna Gauzy ... Little Screaming Girl
Lilly-Fleur Pointeaux ... Little Girl
Amanda Spencer ... Little Girl
Dimitri Rafalsky ... Russian Interpreter
Vladimir Tchernine ... Russian Mechanic
Gérard Touratier ... Ice Rink Security Guard
Cyril Prentout ... Mikhi's Bodyguard
Henry Moati ... Bartender
Christophe Maratier ... Armed Police Officer
Pierre Forest ... CRS Captain
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nader Boussandel ... Weapon seller (uncredited)

Lee Delong ... (uncredited)
Veronique Blanc Meyere ... Natacha Kirilova's Assistant (uncredited)

Christine Musset ... Natacha Kirilova's Assistant (uncredited)

Directed by
John Frankenheimer 
Writing credits
J.D. Zeik (story)

J.D. Zeik (screenplay) and
David Mamet (screenplay) (as Richard Weisz)

Produced by
Paul Kelmenson .... executive producer
Frank Mancuso Jr. .... producer
Ethel Winant .... associate producer
Original Music by
Elia Cmiral 
Cinematography by
Robert Fraisse (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Antony Gibbs  (as Tony Gibbs)
Casting by
Margot Capelier 
Amanda Mackey Johnson 
Cathy Sandrich 
Production Design by
Michael Z. Hanan 
Art Direction by
Gérard Viard 
Set Decoration by
Robert Le Corre 
Costume Design by
May Routh 
Makeup Department
Jean-Charles Bachelier .... key hair stylist
Fabienne Bressan .... key hair stylist
Ilona Herman .... hairdresser: Mr. De Niro
Ilona Herman .... makeup artist: Mr. De Niro
Gary Hood .... prosthetics makeup artist
Gary Hood .... special makeup effects
Paul Le Marinel .... key makeup artist
Jane Milon .... hair stylist
Liliane Rametta .... makeup artist
Dave Bonneywell .... special makeup effects artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Claude Albouze .... unit production manager
Dimitri Foresta .... assistant production manager
Derek Kavanagh .... unit production manager
Jérôme Servant .... assistant unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Artur .... second second assistant director
Fanny Aubrespin .... second assistant director
Michel Cheyko .... first assistant director
Luc Etienne .... assistant director: second unit
Jordane LaFourcade .... second assistant director: second unit
Art Department
Gilles Allou .... construction foreman
Ted Boonthanakit .... storyboard artist
Pierre Boudier .... construction foreman
Jean-Claude Bourdin .... first assistant art director
Jean-Michel Ducourty .... first assistant art director
Patrick Dufau .... lead man
Marc Flouquet .... set designer
Jean-Paul Gaillot .... construction coordinator
Jacky Hardouin .... carpenter
Patrick Jamot .... stand-by painter
Bruno Lefebvre .... set dresser
Joëlle Meffre .... art department coordinator
Laurent Piron .... first assistant art director
Gilbert Piéri .... property master
Gilles Piéri .... assistant property master
Claude Périnet .... paint foreman
Yves Seigneuret .... set dresser
Christian Vallat .... first assistant art director
Michel Vialla .... assistant property master
Yvan Hart .... plasterer (uncredited)
Michel Rollant .... property buyer (uncredited)
Valérie Rozanes .... trainee (uncredited)
Sound Department
Jim Albert .... sound re-recording engineer
Rick Alexander .... sound re-recording mixer
Gregg Barbanell .... foley artist
Bernard Bats .... production sound recordist
Joe Bosco .... adr recordist (as Joseph Bosco)
David Boulton .... adr mixer: New York
Pierre-Yves Bruneel .... boom operator
Rubén Domingo .... assistant sound editor (as Reuben Domingo)
Robert Fitzgerald .... supervising sound effects editor
Frank Fleming .... sound recordist
Alexandra Gonzales .... adr editor
Alexandra Gonzales .... dialogue editor
John Keating .... consultant: DTS
Edmund J. Lachmann .... adr editor
Edmund J. Lachmann .... dialogue editor
Mike Le Mare .... sound designer (as Mike Le-Mare)
Mike Le Mare .... supervising sound editor (as Mike Le-Mare)
Steve Livingston .... sound effects editor
David Marcus .... assistant sound editor
Stewart Nelsen .... sound effects editor (as Steward Nelson)
Vince Nicastro .... foley artist
Andrew Patterson .... foley editor
Brian Pierret .... sound recordist
Eric Potter .... additional sound effects recordist
Alex Raspa .... adr recordist: New York
Richard D. Rogers .... sound re-recording mixer (as Rich Rogers)
Hari Ryatt .... supervising adr editor
Matthias Schmitz .... assistant sound editor (as Matt Teck)
Brady Schwartz .... foley editor (as Brady A. Schwartz)
Dean St. John .... adr mixer
Karola Storr .... supervising foley editor
Fabien Strulovici .... cable person
Christina Tucker .... foley mixer
Cody Dorkin .... adr (uncredited)
Bill Henderson .... sound re-recording engineer (uncredited)
Allen Hurd .... sound (uncredited)
Steve Kohler .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Georges Demétrau .... special effects coordinator
Denis Duplex .... special effects foreman
Alain Couty .... special effects (uncredited)
Peter Hawkins .... assistant makeup effects (uncredited)
Jason McCameron .... special effects makeup (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Mark Breakspear .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Sandy DellaMarie .... digital production coordinator (uncredited)
Thierry Delobel .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Thomas Duval .... compositing supervisor (uncredited)
Matt Linder .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Antoine Simkine .... visual effects executive producer: Duboi (uncredited)
Jean-Louis Airola .... stunts
Gilbert Bataille .... stunt driver
Alain Brochery .... stunts
Guy Chasseuil .... stunt driver
Cyrille Dufaut .... stunt driver
Joe Dunne .... physical stunt coordinator
Dominique Fouassier .... assistant physical stunt coordinator
Alain Guerillot .... stunts (as Alain Guérillot)
Jean-Pierre Jarier .... stunt driver (as Jean-Pierre Jarrier)
Jean-Claude Lagniez .... car stunt coordinator
Philippe Lazoore .... stunts
Marc Mercier .... stunts
Michel Neugarten .... stunt driver
Catherine Robert .... stunts
Patrick Ronchin .... car stunt technical coordinator
Sébastien Seveau .... stunt driver
Frédéric Vallet .... stunts
Alain Barbier .... stunts (uncredited)
Francis Bataille .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Jean-Marc Bellu .... stunts (uncredited)
Serge Beuchat .... stunts (uncredited)
Rémi Canaple .... stunts (uncredited)
Patrick Cauderlier .... stunts (uncredited)
Gilles Conseil .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Pascal David .... stunts (uncredited)
Yannick Derrien .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Richard Dieux .... stunts (uncredited)
Yan Dron .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Dunne .... stunts (uncredited)
Jean Girard .... stunts (uncredited)
Marc Hoang .... stunts (uncredited)
Jean-Pierre Jarier .... stunt double: Robert De Niro (uncredited)
Jean-Claude Lagniez .... stunt double: Robert De Niro (uncredited)
Jean-Claude Lagniez .... stunts (uncredited)
Sébastien Lagniez .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Pascal Lopez .... stunts (uncredited)
Stéphane Margot .... stunts (uncredited)
Michel Neugarten .... stunt double: Natascha McElhone (uncredited)
Cyril Raffaelli .... utility stunts (uncredited)
Alexandrine Roux .... stunts (uncredited)
Alain Saugout .... stunts (uncredited)
Francis Terzian .... stunts (uncredited)
Olivier Vitrant .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Miguel Allo .... video assist operator
Berto .... camera operator: "b" camera
Eric Bialas .... first assistant camera
Patrick Camboulive .... still photographer
David Crone .... Steadicam operator
David Crone .... camera operator: "a" camera
Elodie Delettre .... camera loader
Alain Dondin .... assistant lighting technician
Gilles Floquet .... second company grip
Pierre Garnier .... dolly grip
Alain Herpe .... first assistant camera
Jean-Claude Le Bras .... chief lighting technician
Jean-Marie Lhomme .... second assistant camera
Jean-Pierre Mas .... key grip
David Nissen .... second assistant camera
Charlet Recors .... aerial camera operator
François Adler .... camera assistant (uncredited)
Éric Brun .... additional first assistant camera: second unit (uncredited)
Dominique Delguste .... additional first assistant camera (uncredited)
Henri Habans .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Philippe Houdart .... camera operator: third camera (uncredited)
Laurent Martin .... grip (uncredited)
Clyde Miller .... assistant camera: Wescam camera (uncredited)
Frédéric North .... pilot: camera helicopter (uncredited)
Gil Pannetier .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Jean-Pierre Supe .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Michele Badrutt .... extras casting
Marie-Sylvie Caillierez .... extras casting
Fabienne Dubois .... extras casting
Barbara Harris .... voice casting
Sue Jones .... casting: Great Britain
Mercedes Kelso .... casting associate (as Mercedes Danforth)
Elizabeth Lang .... casting associate (as Elizabeth Lang Fedrick)
Frederic Caillierez .... assistant extras casting (uncredited)
Gérard Lyon .... casting assistant (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ann Dunsford .... set costumer (as Anne Dunsford-Varenne)
Alan Flyng .... key costumer
Karen Muller Serreau .... dresser: Mr. De Niro (as Karen Muller-Serreau)
Judy Shrewsbury .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Dale Caldwell .... color timer
Francesca Emerson .... assistant editor
Sherrye Gibbs .... assistant editor
C.J. Hsu .... apprentice editor
Rose-Marie Lausson .... assistant editor
Mary Nelson-Duerrstein .... negative cutter
Gino Pucci .... apprentice editor
Raphaël Péaud .... assistant editor
Music Department
Thomas Bartke .... assistant music editor
Mike Flicker .... music editor
Isobel Griffiths .... orchestra contractor
Nick Ingman .... conductor
Nick Ingman .... orchestrator
John Whynot .... score mixer
John Whynot .... score recordist
Gavyn Wright .... orchestra leader
John Bell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Matt Friedman .... assistant music editor (uncredited)
Jivan Gasparyan .... musician: duduk (uncredited)
Kevin Townend .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Eric Aufèvre .... transportation coordinator
Emmanuel Rigaut .... transportation captain
Ghislain Le Guisquet .... picture car (uncredited)
Olivier Suffert .... production driver: Skipp Sudduth & Katarina Witt (uncredited)
Other crew
Jean-Marc Abbou .... location manager
Michèle Abitbol .... unit publicist
Alain Agostini .... location manager
Angela Allen .... script supervisor
Alexander Arbatt .... dialogue coach: Ms. Witt
Carine Barcelo .... assistant accountant
Catherine Barrès .... assistant location manager
Alan Beckworth .... ice skating choreographer: clown act
Sandra Benhamou .... production secretary
Xavier Bouraoui .... production assistant
Régis Brun .... location manager
David Campi-Lemaire .... key set production assistant
Laurent Chiomento .... assistant location manager
Anne Costerg .... production assistant
Yann Cuinet .... production assistant
Bruno Daveux .... production assistant
Lucrezia Dillon-Corneck .... assistant: Mr. Hanan
Kim Doan .... production coordinator
Laetitia Dom .... production secretary
Alain Dominiecki .... assistant accountant
Sophie Drouin .... production accountant
Dimitri Foresta .... production assistant
Christophe Gabbiati .... assistant armorer
Mick Gould .... technical advisor
Gerry Grennell .... dialogue coach: Ms. McElhone
Jacques Grousset .... caterer
Stephan Guerri .... production assistant
Dominic Gugliametti .... ice skating choreographer: clown act
Fabienne Guicheneuy .... craft service
Patrice Guillain .... assistant armorer
Laurence Guérault .... assistant: Mrs. Winant
Cedric Kron .... medical advisor
Dominique Lefèvre .... travel coordinator
Christophe Maratier .... armorer
Colette Martin .... assistant accountant
François Mathieu .... production assistant
Margo Hunt McKay .... assistant: Mr. Frankenheimer (as Margo Hunt)
Flore Michiels .... assistant: Mr. Frankenheimer
Sophie Mollier .... first aid
André Noël .... animal trainer
Josephine Olive-O'Neill .... assistant accountant
Franklin Pedrosa .... production assistant
Patricia Pierangeli .... dialogue coach: Mr. Bloch (as Patrizia Pierangeli)
Fabien Pondevaux .... location scout
Léon Rey .... production assistant
Itaka Schlubach .... unit publicist
Claudia Schon Maier .... assistant: Mr. Mancuso Jr. (as Claudia Schön-Maier)
Ron Shillingford .... copyist
Cindy Stuart .... ice skating choreographer: Ms. Witt
Claudio Todeschini .... dialogue coach: Mr. Bean
Sylvain Truchot .... production assistant
Fredéric Vallejo .... first aid
Bruno Vignier .... location manager
Jenni Villegas .... executive assistant: Mr. Mancuso Jr.
Cameron Watson .... dialogue coach: Mr. Reno
Jonathan Wolf .... production accountant
Jimmy Zelinger .... title designer
Frederic Bacchi .... location assistant (uncredited)
Jeremy Bau .... assistant location manager (uncredited)
Anne Bernard .... production coordinator (uncredited)
Patrick Boshart .... location scout (uncredited)
Hélène Cardona .... additional voices (uncredited)
Aria Noelle Curzon .... adr artist (uncredited)
Sophia Lansky .... additional voices (uncredited)
Sophia Lansky .... dialect coach: Russian (uncredited)
Nathalie Radovic .... production assistant (uncredited)
Christophe Vialaret .... uncredited
John Whynot .... synthesizer programmer (uncredited)
Jeff Robbins .... thanks
Bernard Tschumi .... thanks
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for strong violence and some language
122 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Australia:MA (DVD rating) | Belgium:KT | Brazil:12 | Brazil:14 (DVD re-rating) | Canada:14A | Denmark:15 | Finland:K-16 | Finland:K-15/13 (2001 reform re-rating) | Finland:K-16/13 (2012 reform re-rating) | France:U | Germany:16 (w) | Iceland:16 | Ireland:15 | Italy:T | Netherlands:12 | New Zealand:M | Norway:15 | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Singapore:PG13 (re-rating) | South Korea:15 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | Switzerland:12 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:12 (canton of Vaud) | UK:15 | USA:R (certificate #35655)

Did You Know?

In a 2008 readers poll conducted by CAR magazine, 4 cars featured in this movie merited ranks in the magazine's "Top 40 Coolest Movie Cars" issue: Audi S8 (9th), Citroën XM & Peugeot 605 (24th) and BMW 535i (29th). Other featured vehicles included, Peugeot 406, Citroën Xantia, and a (rare) Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9.See more »
Continuity: Deirdre is driving an early-'90s BMW during the final car chase; the car has stock 17" M "turbine" wheels. The wheel that Vincent is shown to shoot out is a standard 5 series wheel, and is not seen on the BMW at any point during the chase.See more »
Gregor:It would be nice to do something.
Sam:We are doing something. We're sitting here, waiting.
Gregor:[scoffs and walks away]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Time To Say Goodbye (Con te partirò)See more »


Who was the shooter at the ice rink?
What is 'Ronin' about?
Why did Sam put that cup of coffee by Gregor?
See more »
203 out of 255 people found the following review useful.
Brilliance, 10 February 1999
Author: Shawn Watson from The Penumbra

John Frankenheimer didn't have a lot of credibility in his last few years. His final film was the rather crap Reindeer Games, with Ben Affleck, and in 1996 he gave us the utterly terrible Island Of Doctor Moreau. However, he did do Ronin in 1998, which makes up for absolutely everything.

It is a detachment from glossy, MTV-directed, Hollywood action movies. If you want trash, like Bad Boys 2, then this isn't for you. Ronin returns to the gritty, rustic and deadly serious actioners of the Seventies, much like Frankenheimer's own French Connection 2.

The title refers to Samurai warriors in ancient Japan who were left with no cause, or purpose, if their master was killed. They'd roam the countryside, pretending to be thieves, beggars, even madmen and hiring their skills out to the highest bidder. Much like the lost, wandering freelancers that make up our cast of characters.

Robert De Niro is Sam, an ex-CIA agent (or is he?), who bands together with a ragtag group of similar ex-spies for a "no questions asked" job with what appears to be the IRA. First we have Vincent (the wonderful Jean Reno), as a French agent who knows where to find just about anything you want. Spence (Sean Bean) is a gung-ho SAS dropout who is waaaaay out of his depth and ends up jeopardising the whole mission. Gregor (Stellan Skarsgard), an ex-KGB spy who knows his gadgets and another American called Larry (who is rather disposable). All of these men are led by Deirdre (Natascha McElhone), a young Irish woman who answers to Seamus O'Rourke (Jonathan Price), an IRA boss who is in a lot of trouble with his superiors.

Still with me? No? Well I'm gonna continue anyway. The group's mission is to steal a metallic briefcase from the Russian Mafia. The contents of this case are a mystery; all we know is that a lot of people are willing to pay mucho plento to get their hands on it.

As if the set-up wasn't tenuous enough, there is immediately too much suspicion within the group to bear. And the already complicated plot is thrown into endless chaos as double-crosses, double-double-crosses, secrets and lies screw things up in a big, big way.

It sounds tough going, but it's not really. I'll admit I didn't really like Ronin when I first saw it (or the second or third for that matter), but it's one of those movies that creeps back on you. Frankenheimer's direction is so flawless and masterful that every frame of every scene flows effortlessly The acting is so well rehearsed and the cast so well chosen that even in every gesture, idiosyncrasy and subtle glance you can read into the characters's hidden motives. It takes a good number of viewings to decipher Ronin, but when the story is this well done, who cares? Since its release there have been few action films that have come close to its intensity. Some, like Bourne Identity/Supremacy try to emulate its bleak tone, but don't match up. Supremacy has a car chase that was desperate to beat Ronin's, but is far too flashy.

That's also the ace up it's sleeve. About 80 minutes into the film, the second car chase is a juggernaut of film-making. Never before and probably never again for a long, long time, has there been a car chase so completely mental. No Michael Bay 1000 cuts a second, no slow-motion, no stunts silhouetted against the sunset, just sheer, relentless adrenaline, as DeNiro and Reno tear up the streets of Paris. It's the centrepiece of the movie and a perfect example of what REAL action film-making is.

Elia Cmiral's score is the other utterly perfect aspect of the movie. Simultaneously lonely, seductive and mysterious, it surely is one of the best themes ever and anyone with sense would go out and buy the soundtrack CD right away.

Ronin is perfection from beginning to end, from Frankenheimer's strong, imposing direction to David Mamet's script, riddled with cryptic dialogue and double-meanings.

No one can deny Ronin's importance as a real action picture. No one can watch crap like xXx, or 6 Fast 6 Furious, and claim Ronin to be a bad movie. It has enough, maybe too much, integrity and intelligence to shame anything that comes even halfway close. If you're sick of action flicks, or films in general, where the audience just sits there passively and is fed information, then Ronin is the cure.

It may sound like a bizarre comparison, but it's on par with Lost Highway, as one of those movies you have to figure out in your own damn time.

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Anyone else feel like DeNiro is miscast in this movie? ComicNerd
You've got to be kidding me! (**possible spoilers**) avix_007
Wow I think I finally get it! doctorbenjiphd
Why was Sean Bean in this film? Walter_Iego
Who was the guy killed by Gregor tom-h-322-861187
How did Sam sneak up on a parked car (with Dierdre in it)? David_the_Clown
See more »


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