Car movie of the day: ‘Ronin’

Some argue this flick has film’s best car chases

Editor’s note: Car guys, and even car girls, can take only so much of those Hallmark holiday movies that fill the airwaves and cable systems this time of year. As an automotive alternative, we’re offering our own suggestions of our favorite car movies for your viewing pleasure. Check out more of our favorite car movies here.

Contrary to popular belief, the best motion picture car chase wasn’t the one in Bullitt. It was in Ronin, the 1998 crime caper by John Frankenheimer — yes, the same man who directed Grand Prix, one of the best motorsports movies ever shot.

Because of budget restraints, Frankenheimer used much of the same equipment from Grand Prix to film Ronan, which likely added to the realism of the choreographed car chases. No computer graphics involved.

As expected, Robert de Niro is a tour de force in <i>Ronin</i>. | United Artists Screenshot

As expected, Robert de Niro is a tour de force in Ronin. | United Artists Screenshot

The movie stars the likes of Robert De Niro, Jean Reno and Natascha McElhone, and the acting is, quite obviously, very well done, but the car craft is downright amazing.


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  • Rodney Hammonds
    December 5, 2018, 4:10 PM

    Bullitt and Ronin were good but your award of the greatest car chases is clearly misplaced, the greatest car chases (and car movie) were found in the 1971 classic Vanishing Point.

  • Randy Haugen
    December 5, 2018, 6:23 PM

    Hopefully the show isn’t 5-6 different frames per second like the trailer,I get a bad headache when watching it this way. I wish it could go back to normal speed

  • Jim McCraw
    December 6, 2018, 8:03 AM

    While I enjoyed watching the big Mercedes (I restored a 450 SEL in the same colors) and some of the other car action in the movie, the movie itself was way, way too long. The denouement took about an hour to unfold, with too many improbable turns.


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