We gave it a B+
Revitalizing the art of the car chase, director John Frankenheimer (”The Manchurian Candidate”) stages several bracing sequences that warrant a second viewing, if only to appreciate how much is achieved without special effects. But it’s not just the crack stunt driving that makes ”Ronin” such a welcome throwback; it’s also the existential hardness of this thriller’s motley band of mercenaries, hired by an icy Irish terrorist (Natascha McElhone) to steal a mysterious case. Though nobody’s a hero, it’s easy to root for De Niro’s smart-mouthed ex-CIA operative. Cool, cynical, and stoically noble, he makes most recent action-movie figures look like callow jocks.