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Five Cold War veterans are hired by Irish agents to steal a mysterious suitcase, but when the job goes astray, they find themselves pitted against each other in a hunt for the package and the enormous payoff it will deliver. Directed by John Frankenheimer, Ronin has a great deal of offer, not least of which are powerful performances by Robert De Niro and Jean Reno as two of the mercenaries -- men who find themselves bound not by mere profit-seeking, but abstract notions of duty and honor that they live by, even if they can't explain why they do. And while Ronin offers great acting and enough thematic depth to elevate it beyond the cliche-ridden action genre, there's plenty of action here, including two intricate, extended car chases the likes of which Hollywood has not seen since the '70s heyday of muscle-car extravaganzas (and perhaps making the Audi S8 the current voiture de jour). Meanwhile, dialogue-master David Mamet (credited as Richard Weisz) punched up the script by J.D. Zeik, making the band a part oddly similar to the petty, cutthroat salesmen in his Glengary Glen Ross. Throw in marvelous backdrops of seamy Paris and the gorgeous French countryside, and Ronin turns out to be an action film of the first order. Also starring Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgard, Johnathan Pryce, Sean Bean, Michel Lonsdale, and Skipp Sudduth. Excellent transfer, explosive DD 5.1, commentary with Frankenheimer, alternate ending, interactive DVD-ROM content.

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