The thrill is back

John Frankenheimer reclaims his suspense-film crown with Ronin

Meanwhile, De Niro becomes the consummate Frankenheimer hero--discontented, driven, pure of purpose, but stained by sin. Zeik and Mamet may have written the part, but it's Frankenheimer and De Niro who provide the nuance. When Sam jots notes on the caper to come in the border of a newspaper, it becomes a revelation of character. When he gazes at exquisitely painted miniature samurai in a remote French farmhouse, it's as though he's looking at himself. When asked by a co-conspirator if he's obsessed with saving his own skin, he cracks: "Yeah. My body's inside it."

It's safe to say that John Frankenheimer's moviemaking career is inside Ronin.

Directed by John Frankenheimer. Written by J.D. Zeik and David Mamet. Starring Robert De Niro, Natascha McElhone, Jean Reno, and Stellan Skarsgard.

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