Midnight Run ★★★★

Even though it’s occasionally obfuscated by too many “Smokey and the Bandit” style car crashes and pyrotechnics, this script is a sterling example of classic Hollywood form. It lays down a perfect road movie setup as a foundation for irresistible character portraiture. And the performances are amazing; when I first saw it as a kid, I was taken by Grodin’s deadpan precision, which is still masterful. But this time I realized that DeNiro is more than a straight man here. His comedic timing is superb but he employs it with such nuance that he really seems to inhabit the character in a fully believable way. This might be his best performance in a career of amazing performances.