If you want to see Robert De Niro in a really funny movie, put those copies of “Meet the Parents” and “Meet the Fockers” back on the shelf and move slightly ahead in the “M” section, where “Midnight Run” sits, alone and unrented.

If you want to see Robert De Niro in a really funny movie, put those copies of “Meet the Parents” and “Meet the Fockers” back on the shelf and move slightly ahead in the “M” section, where “Midnight Run” sits, alone and unrented.

That’s a shame, because this 1988 film combines comedy, suspense and genuine heart better than just about any movie you can name. De Niro plays Jack Walsh, an ex-cop making ends meet as a bounty hunter. He thinks a job to bring in “The Duke,” an ex-mob accountant (Charles Grodin, in his best role ever), will earn him an easy $100,000, but he doesn’t take into account the Duke’s ability to drive him crazy.

There are plenty of car chases, gunfights and over-the-top action in “Midnight Run,” but the key to the movie is the relationship between Jack and the Duke. As the film begins, they hate each other, and when the movie ends, they still pretty much hate each other, but in that loving way you get in a really good buddy comedy. And, beneath all the laughter and violence, there’s a real human story about a guy who might get killed for doing the right thing (Grodin) and a guy who needs money, but also needs to do the right thing (De Niro).

Toss in wonderful supporting performances from Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano, John Ashton and Yaphet Kotto, and you’ve got De Niro’s best comedy — and one of his best movies, period.

Contact Movie Man Will Pfeifer at wpfeifer@rrstar.com or 815-987-1244. Read his blog at blogs.e-rockford.com/movieman/. See video reviews at rrstar.com/multimedia.