Home » You Have One Day Left To Stream Ronin On HBO Max And You Absolutely Should

You Have One Day Left To Stream Ronin On HBO Max And You Absolutely Should

Ronin Movie Stream 2
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It is the most old-guy autojournalist thing to try and convince you that John Frankeheimer’s Ronin is the greatest car chase movie of all time and one of the best heist action movies ever. Superlatives, in this case, are less important. If you know the movie and read this website you probably love the movie. If that’s the case, you can stream the movie on HBO Max for one more day, which is information you should probably have.

I have just rewatched Ronin and I’m happy to report that the movie does indeed hold up to multiple viewings. The car chases are still exceptional, having been directed by car geek John Frankenheimer. The dialogue, punched up by David Mamet, also kicks ass.

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The film holds up way better than The French Connection, which is well-shot and well-acted but feels slow and almost cartoonishly gritty in the way a lot of 1970s stuff feels (to be fair, that is sort of how New York was in the 1970s). It obviously works better than Bullit, which is a great car chase movie cocooned inside a pretty boring action movie.

If you haven’t seen it, Ronin is extremely simple in both dialogue and storyline, with a classic heist MacGuffin (what is in that briefcase?) and a fairly comprehensible storyline. The casting is also fantastic, with Johnathan Pryce and Stellan Skarsgård fighting to see who is the real worst bad guy.

The “good guys” also include an action crew where none of the actors look like they belong in an action movie, with maybe the exception Natascha McElhone, who kicks a ton of ass. The flick does a good job of making both Jean Reno and Robert DeNiro look way over the hill and make Sean Bean look like a twerp.

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Assuming you need more convincing, here’s a clip of a car chase:

And that’s just one car chase and not even the best one!

The car casting is also appropriate, with the Audi S8 standing out as the main hero car, mixed in with the E34 BMW 5-Series, and a ton of Citroëns and Peugeots (the movie is set in France).  Shout out both to the Citroën ZX cop car that gets nailed in the tunnel and the Peugeot 406 3.0 V6 that shows that not every badass car needs 900 horsepower and rear-wheel-drive.

Ronin Peugeot
Photo: IMCDB

Rewatching the film surfaces all the intricate details, from the wheelman asking for custom-made nitrous injectors for the Audi to the number of cigarettes the Europeans consume. Plus, the lines. So many good lines. If you can rewatch this film without yelling out “WHAT COLOR IS THE BOATHOUSE AT HEREFORD?” I don’t want to know you.

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I mention all of this because tomorrow (or maybe tonight?) is the last day you can watch the film on HBO Max/Max, which is one of the more popular streaming platforms and it’s not on Netflix in the United States.

Of course, because streaming is streaming, the movie is apparently on Hulu for at least a little while.

As Robert DeNiro’s character says so clearly at the end of the film: “Don’t you see, I never left”

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The48thRonin
The48thRonin
1 month ago

Having been named after that movie, I think I’m legally obligated to like it. However, I do have to gripe about not mentioning the Mercedes, which played a decent part in the film (having been the car from which where the grenade/rocket/whatever was launched). Plus it looks cool.

Turtle Racer
Turtle Racer
1 month ago

This is one of my top 3 movies. I watch it once year. I actually met John Frankenheimer in the early 90’s. True car guy – which you get a real sense of when you listen to his commentary on the DVD/Blue-ray. He had very specific reasons (and love) for each vehicle he chose for the film. He also had a genuine appreciation for the car stunt team.

Bizness Comma Nunya
Bizness Comma Nunya
1 month ago

Let’s be honest, the rest of the movie is kind of a snooze… I just always fast forward to the chase scene. But then again I’m a very impatient person.

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 month ago

While many people see Ronin as an advertisement for the incredible supersedan Audi S8, note that the tuned S8 could never quite catch the Citroen XM.

The48thRonin
The48thRonin
1 month ago
Reply to  Chronometric

I think this movie had a much larger part in what cars I like more than I’d like to admit; weird french stuff, old german cars, vans…

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 month ago
Reply to  The48thRonin

I bought a new S4 a few years later so maybe it affected me too.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
1 month ago

I don’t have HBO Max (or Max, or whatever it’s called this week). Anyone know where it’s headed to next?

Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
1 month ago

Yaaarrrr 😉

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
1 month ago

I’m in luck! Wife said she had things to do in the other room, and to watch whatever I wanted, so I’m going with the Autopian weekly (hint hint) movie recommendation for solid car chase movies. Just getting the dvd started, loving it already. Just fine work by all involved. What makes or breaks a great car chase scene is the camera work and the editing, and Ronin has it in spades.

Otter
Otter
1 month ago
Reply to  Inthemikelane

Don’t rely on streaming for movies you love–even if you find it, you’ll miss the behind-the-scenes extras from those car chases that you want.

Oh, and my favorite moment is when McElhone drives onto the freeway in the opposing direction and Skarsgard, sitting front passenger, freshly beaten and being held hostage with a gun to his head, widens his eyes, reaches back over his shoulder, grabs his seatbelt, and fastens it.

Random Shots
Random Shots
1 month ago

“Ronin is extremely simple in both dialogue and storyline”

To steal a line from Ocean’s Eleven, never use seven words when four will do.

Although the dialogue is light in Ronin there are so many memorable quotes from that movie.

Is Travis
Is Travis
1 month ago

Are you me exactly a week ago? Because I saw it on there suggested for me and my first thought was “Holy crap, I haven’t seen Ronin in forever” immediately followed by “I’m going to watch that badass shit right now”
And I did, and it holds UP. The cast is just top shelf.

Michael Logue
Michael Logue
1 month ago

Got in on DVD, down in my basement with the 100’s of other movies I own. I do remember watching it once, with the director’s commentary turned on. Fantastic the little details that went into a mundane scene, or a character actor not known much outside of France.

Also, 3 Bond villians – Sean Bean, Jonathan Pryce, and Michael Lonsdale.

George Wilson
George Wilson
1 month ago

Actually saw this movie with my wife on our third date at a DRIVE-IN in 1998 shortly before it closed.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 month ago
Reply to  George Wilson

Sounds risky – I don’t think I should have gotten behind the wheel right after watching Ronin.

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
1 month ago

I have it on DVD, definitely time for another watch, though.

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

Me too, saw it in a theater and bought the dvd as soon as it came out. No doubt it truly is one of the great car chase movies. I’d put the first Jason Bourne movie up there too.

Church
Church
1 month ago

“I ambushed you with a cup of coffee” is one of my favorite lines.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago
Reply to  Church

Mine is “well, I hurt someone’s feelings once…”

Or Some
Or Some
1 month ago
Reply to  Church

I love De Niro’s character’s various lines avoiding talking about his background.

“We went to high school together”.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 month ago

I’ve got it on DVD. I’m covered.

Trevlington
Trevlington
1 month ago

I must re watch this. I have it on DVD somewhere, bought on eBay, but I am sure I last watched it in a cinema in France not long after it came out. I have a nagging memory that there was a continuity error with the S8. Different steering wheels in different shots. But that might just be my bad memory

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
1 month ago

I love this movie for all the things the mentioned above. I love the cars, the dialogue, and I absolutely LOVE the fact that it never lets the viewer behind the curtain by keeping major plot points secret even after the credits roll.

I also love this movie because it is my go-to answer when people ask the question “Name one movie that Sean Bean doesn’t die in?”

Pappa P
Pappa P
1 month ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

His character does exit early in typical Sean Bean fashion though

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
1 month ago
Reply to  Pappa P

True, but his character leaves walking (in shame), not carried out in a body bag like usual.

Maymar
Maymar
1 month ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

He doesn’t die in The Martian, and makes it all the way to the end!

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
1 month ago
Reply to  Maymar

Hey, you’re right! That’s two!

Phuzz
Phuzz
1 month ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

All the deaths were to make up for Sharpe, where he was basically unkillable. (And still his most famous role for some of us)

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
1 month ago
Reply to  Phuzz

I almost mentioned Sharpe, which as you note his character was practically invincible in) as another example of him not dying, but then thought better of mixing TV shows and movies, as he doesn’t die nearly as often in the TV shows he has been in (GoT, notwithstanding).

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
1 month ago

I can’t believe they made 47 of these! I’ve only seen this one, and the 47th. So, I’m not sure how it went from this, to Keenu Reaves being a samurai in late Edo period Japan. Those Hollywood writer though, always finding ways to make their stories about the Edo period! A bunch of Shogunate-lovers. Like lol, sorry about the Boshin War guys! Anyways always love a nice E34, good movie!

Data
Data
1 month ago

I own this on blu-ray and can watch it anytime I want. Viva la physical media!

AssMatt
AssMatt
1 month ago

Is it too late for a poll? “Seen it & love it,” “Seen it & meh,” “Haven’t seen it & won’t,” “Haven’t seen it & going home to watch it now?” I wonder how that’d shake out.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago
Reply to  AssMatt

Seen it & love it: just told a younger coworker last week that he absolutely needed to see it

AssMatt
AssMatt
1 month ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Matt’s thesis is “If you know the movie and read this website you probably love the movie,” but I’d venture to guess that the Venn diagram of “Know the movie,” “Read the website,” and “Love the movie” is basically an eclipse.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago
Reply to  AssMatt

An eclipse

dramatic and descriptive: I’m stealing that!
🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by TOSSABL
67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
1 month ago

I love this movie. All these cars are true heroes,but I really like the Peugeot 406.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
1 month ago
Reply to  67 Oldsmobile

The greatest mass market European saloon ever made.

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

I love watching it tearing up the city streets,and that v6 is great. I need to find one of these one day,but the v6 one would be near impossible to find,here in Scandinavia at least.

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

This thing sort of doesn’t have the same appeal: https://www.finn.no/car/used/ad.html?finnkode=338041950

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
1 month ago
Reply to  67 Oldsmobile

On behalf of David Tracy, shame on Hardigree for not acknowledging Stellan Skarsgard’s Jeep Cherokee XJ in the “parked outside the playground” scene. Tsk, tsk.

Bracq P
Bracq P
1 month ago

The hero car is clearly marked with a sign saying 6.9 😉

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
1 month ago
Reply to  Bracq P

True story, I learned about the existence of that car from this movie. When it first appears, at first I rolled my eyes at the Hollywood bullshit of making a W123 look like a fast car on film – my girlfriend at the time drove a 300D and I knew better. Then I paid closer attention and noticed that’s not what it was at all, and then the camera flashed to the 6.9 badge on the back. My Murcan freedom-units-only brain started running calculations – “Wait a minute, if a Pontiac 400 is 6.6 liters, and this says 6.9… Jesus Christ, a big block Mercedes? I must know more about this car.”

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
1 month ago

“Look at us all. What could have been conducted in polite, collegial fashion is now fucked into a cocked hat.”

What it’s like working at The Autopian.

Last edited 1 month ago by Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
1 month ago

I will not stand for this edge lord smearing of Bullitt. The car chase is probably the least interesting thing about the whole movie.

it’s a neo-noir and Bullitt is arguably the first time a police officer was portrayed as an anti-establishment figure in popular cinema.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Bingo. McQueen didn’t even want the role initially, only agreed when they let him play it his way.

The mundane details make the film in my eyes; he parks the Mustang on the street, down from his modest apartment. He even makes a point of locking the doors. It’s got a dent in the front quarter panel b/c McQueen felt a detective might not have the money to get it fixed right away.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Wakes up with a hangover, buys TV dinners, middle class girlfriend with job in a male dominated profession, subtle racism, shifty local politics. There’s so many layers to the film and that’s before we’ve even got to the direction or the soundtrack.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Years ago, I went in that corner market. I was walking and saw a couldn’t-place-it apartment front. Thinking about SF movies I knew, I noticed the store across the street, went in and asked the guy at the counter. He just pointed at a framed photo on the wall that showed the crew filming McQueen stacking up the dinners.

I bought a beer as I didn’t feel like Salisbury steak.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

My first trip to California in 2010, I rented a Mustang and stayed in SF for a week. Drove round all the locations it was filmed, including getting a shot of my rental outside the apartment (Taylor Street).

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Hope you had Lalo Schifrin on MP3. I own the CD, it’s in my Mustang.

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Lalo Schifrin, complete badass.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago

What color is the boathouse?!

In fairness, both Bullitt and the French Connection are a different type of movie – they’re procedurals vs. the pure thriller that’s Ronin.

Car chase aside (on a bunch of levels, hupcap included), what’s great about Bullitt is the focus on authenticity. The hospital scenes, the police department, etc. are pretty accurate to real life. Same with the French Connection – the slow burn of real detective work is well captured. And rocker panels, jeeze, rocker panels.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

So what colour is the boathouse at Hereford?

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

How the fuck should I know?

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

That scene in “The French Connection” where Gene Hackman (and Roy Scheider as well, I think, it’s been a while) are staking out the bad guys from across the street, watching them enjoy a fantastic meal through the glass window in front, while they are standing on the sidewalk across the street out in crappy weather, drinking crappy coffee from styrofoam cups. That’s one of my favorite “good guys versus bad guys” visual juxtapositions I’ve ever seen.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago

Great scene and observation…I’d forgotten about it. And them doing surveillance, sitting in cramped apartments playing cards and listening to endless hours of nothing, until they get the one thing for which they’ve been waiting…

Hackman’s fantastic in his obsessive, manic way, but I’ve always enjoyed Scheider’s low-key but steadfast counterpoint.

DadBod
DadBod
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

This reminded me to dig up Wages of Fear for a Roy Scheider fix

Homunculus Rex
Homunculus Rex
1 month ago
Reply to  DadBod

Everyone absolutely should watch Wages of Fear, however Roy Scheider was in the later adaptation of the same novel – Sorcerer.

DadBod
DadBod
1 month ago
Reply to  Homunculus Rex

Dang I could have sworn it was called Wages of Fear when I rented it, thanks! Now I am going to dig up the 1955 film.

ChefCJ
ChefCJ
1 month ago

Seeing that Audi S8 on screen in the theater was the moment I realized that a car with 4 doors could be cool. What a fantastic film

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
1 month ago
Reply to  ChefCJ

This movie is exactly when I fell in love with the S8. Up until that point I didn’t really care much for Audis, as I grew up in a BMW/Mercedes Benz household with a few air cooled VWs thrown in for good measure. I was predestined to love the 6.9 in Ronin, but the lust for the S8 and even the 406 was palpable upon leaving the theater.

Is Travis
Is Travis
1 month ago
Reply to  ChefCJ

It was my first introduction to German Sedans, that and the M5 were just boss. I was a sophmore in high school when this came out as well. Very impressionabl age. I now own a quick German Sedan, modern, inline 6, and work on it myself. 4 doors and all, a Dadmobile that scoots, as god intended.

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
1 month ago
Reply to  Is Travis

“A dadmobile that scoots.” Bingo.

If you had told me at age 16 that someday I would not only own a four-door sedan, that I would not only love that sedan, but that it would also be the fastest car I have ever owned by far, I would not have believed you. Yet right out in the driveway is the G37X that ticks all these boxes. 16 year old me might have scoffed until you put him behind the wheel.

Is Travis
Is Travis
1 month ago

I used to joke when I was a skateboard and snowboard punk/bum that “some day I would sell out, go SLC Punk, and be an asshole with a corporate gig and a BMW” while smugly exhaling cigarette smoke on a break from my shit restaurant job.
And it effing happened.

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