Heat (15)

Film

Thrillers

Heat, 100 best action movies

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Time Out says

Investigating a bold armed robbery which has left three security guards dead, LA cop Vincent Hanna (Pacino), whose devotion to work is threatening his third marriage, follows a trail that leads him to suspect a gang of thieves headed by Neil McCauley (De Niro). Trouble is, McCauley's cunning is at least equal to Hanna's, and that makes him a hard man to nail. Still, unknown to Hanna, McCauley's gang have their own troubles: one of their number is a volatile psychopath, while the businessman whose bonds they've stolen is not above some rough stuff himself. Such a synopsis barely scratches the surface of Mann's masterly crime epic. Painstakingly detailed, with enough characters, subplots and telling nuances to fill out half a dozen conventional thrillers, this is simply the best American crime movie - and indeed, one of the finest movies, period - in over a decade. The action scenes are better than anything produced by John Woo or Quentin Tarantino; the characterisation has a depth most American film-makers only dream of; the use of location, decor and music is inspired; Dante Spinotti's camerawork is superb; and the large, imaginatively chosen cast gives terrific support to the two leads, both back on glorious form.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

1995

Duration:

171 mins

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
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LiveReviews|18
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D genilfile

Without question, the BEST MOVIE EVER MADE; yet his work by Mann lacks the recognition it deserves.There are so many layers of thematic Intricacy that, after almost 20 years, I still include this film in my course syllabus. There are very few films that even approach the brilliance of this movie.

D genilfile

Without question, the BEST MOVIE EVER MADE; yet his work by Mann lacks the recognition it deserves.There are so many layers of thematic Intricacy that, after almost 20 years, I still include this film in my course syllabus. There are very few films that even approach the brilliance of this movie.

rocheyb

SPOILER ALERT Though almost universally regarded as one of the finest crime dramas ever produced, Heat is often cited as an example of machismo cinema, an observation that is lent some weight by the film's two standout scenes - the mano-e-mano coffee shop discussion and the bombastic, Andy McNabb choreographed shoot-out. Both are excellently judged and well-executed. But for me, the reason Heat deserves to be so lauded is for the densely rich characterisations that elevate it to a higher level than a simple crime drama or cops n robbers genre piece, because despite a running time just shy of 3 hours, it does not contain an ounce of fat. Every beat is relevant to the story as a whole, laying the groundwork for the motivations of the main protagonists, and taking the story into the realms of tragedy. Despite limited screen time Diane Venora, as Justine Hanna, the other half of Vincent's fading marriage, Ashley Judd as Charlene Shiherlis and Amy Brenneman as Eady, McCauley's nervous, burgeoning love affair, embody female characters of realism and depth, resulting, at the film's end, in a palpable sense of loss as each romantic relationship, and De Niro's character himself, fall victim to McCauley's code. Rarely for a crime epic, the female characters are actually important to the story, and not just as the victims of serial killers or business-suited career bitches. They are as important in what they say and do onscreen as they are when they are off it; Hanna's opening up to McCauley about the crumbling state of his marriage comes directly after the incident with Ralph, and is crucial in establishing the rapport between thief and thief-taker; Chris Shiherlis' admission that "the sun rises and sets with her, man" presents an important contrast to McCauley's "walk away in 30 seconds flat" mentality; McCauley's determination to force Charlene to give Chris another chance, combined with his obvious unease at being the only singleton at the gang's restaurant table and response to call Eady, provides rich and intelligent contradiction to his "walk out in 30 seconds flat" mantra - thereby rendering the decision to delay escape in favour of revenge on Waingro, and his subsequent abandonment of Eady as a tragically self-fulfilling prophecy. As McCauley lays dying, slumped backward over crates at the airport, Hanna takes his hand and Dante Spinotti's camera presents us with a beautiful shot of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, two of the greatest actors in the history of cinema, in an enactment of Michealangelo's sculpture a pieta (a depiction of the Virgin Mary with the wounded, dying Jesus draped across her lap). From this moment there are no words, and Hanna doesn't even look at McCauley. In a pitch perfect resolution to the 171 minutes that have gone before, he simply provides companionship for a man that he respects, who would otherwise die alone.

rocheyb

SPOILER ALERT Though almost universally regarded as one of the finest crime dramas ever produced, Heat is often cited as an example of machismo cinema, an observation that is lent some weight by the film's two standout scenes - the mano-e-mano coffee shop discussion and the bombastic, Andy McNabb choreographed shoot-out. Both are excellently judged and well-executed. But for me, the reason Heat deserves to be so lauded is for the densely rich characterisations that elevate it to a higher level than a simple crime drama or cops n robbers genre piece, because despite a running time just shy of 3 hours, it does not contain an ounce of fat. Every beat is relevant to the story as a whole, laying the groundwork for the motivations of the main protagonists, and taking the story into the realms of tragedy. Despite limited screen time Diane Venora, as Justine Hanna, the other half of Vincent's fading marriage, Ashley Judd as Charlene Shiherlis and Amy Brenneman as Eady, McCauley's nervous, burgeoning love affair, embody female characters of realism and depth, resulting, at the film's end, in a palpable sense of loss as each romantic relationship, and De Niro's character himself, fall victim to McCauley's code. Rarely for a crime epic, the female characters are actually important to the story, and not just as the victims of serial killers or business-suited career bitches. They are as important in what they say and do onscreen as they are when they are off it; Hanna's opening up to McCauley about the crumbling state of his marriage comes directly after the incident with Ralph, and is crucial in establishing the rapport between thief and thief-taker; Chris Shiherlis' admission that "the sun rises and sets with her, man" presents an important contrast to McCauley's "walk away in 30 seconds flat" mentality; McCauley's determination to force Charlene to give Chris another chance, combined with his obvious unease at being the only singleton at the gang's restaurant table and response to call Eady, provides rich and intelligent contradiction to his "walk out in 30 seconds flat" mantra - thereby rendering the decision to delay escape in favour of revenge on Waingro, and his subsequent abandonment of Eady as a tragically self-fulfilling prophecy. As McCauley lays dying, slumped backward over crates at the airport, Hanna takes his hand and Dante Spinotti's camera presents us with a beautiful shot of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, two of the greatest actors in the history of cinema, in an enactment of Michealangelo's sculpture a pieta (a depiction of the Virgin Mary with the wounded, dying Jesus draped across her lap). From this moment there are no words, and Hanna doesn't even look at McCauley. In a pitch perfect resolution to the 171 minutes that have gone before, he simply provides companionship for a man that he respects, who would otherwise die alone.

james

Heat has to be the best movie that has ever been made.I havent seen a better in my 40 years on this planet.

james

Heat has to be the best movie that has ever been made.I havent seen a better in my 40 years on this planet.

Detective Timony

Good thriller. I would recommend this film as a guys movie but young adiences will go to anything on a date, this wold scare the girl right into your arms fellas'.A good director for the gunplay and assault scenes...well done! was thinking Bank of America and the armour plated tweekers who robbed it that hot day in California.They both died ...eventually too. Crime does'nt pay, HEAT is an American Classic.

Detective Timony

Good thriller. I would recommend this film as a guys movie but young adiences will go to anything on a date, this wold scare the girl right into your arms fellas'.A good director for the gunplay and assault scenes...well done! was thinking Bank of America and the armour plated tweekers who robbed it that hot day in California.They both died ...eventually too. Crime does'nt pay, HEAT is an American Classic.

jeannie

EVERYTHING, simply put.... EVERYTHING about this is why they call it the miracle movie HEAT!!!!

jeannie

EVERYTHING, simply put.... EVERYTHING about this is why they call it the miracle movie HEAT!!!!

Sablicious

Arguably the best thing Hollywood has spat out in the last 20yrs. Unparalleled ensemble cast; superb performances all round; riveting script, all nigh on 3hrs of it; stirring score; stunning cinematography... Heat does no wrong. Not having watched this movie at least once is in your life is a shame one should never reveal to even their closest confident!

Sablicious

Arguably the best thing Hollywood has spat out in the last 20yrs. Unparalleled ensemble cast; superb performances all round; riveting script, all nigh on 3hrs of it; stirring score; stunning cinematography... Heat does no wrong. Not having watched this movie at least once is in your life is a shame one should never reveal to even their closest confident!

John Anthony

HEAT Director – Michael Mann, 1995, US Starring – Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Amy Brenneman, Wes Studi, Dennis Haysbert, Tom Sizemore, Mykelti Wiliamson, Natalie Portman. Based on a previous endeavour, neatly titled “LA Takedown� this earlier version provided Mann with the blueprint for what was later to become one of the greatest heist films of all time! Following an almost exact replica of the previous script, Mann turned his 95min action film into almost a three hour film thesis on the cops and robbers genre, only this time on a much bigger budget with a cast deserving of Mann’s direction. The plot is simple, two ruthless professionals – one an obsessive cop, Vincent Hanna (played by Pacino), who’s life is starting to crumble around him, the other a master thief, Neil McCauley (played by De Niro), who’s only family is his crew. Both share the same code of honour, but will stop at nothing to reach their objectives. The result is astonishing, a complex and gripping thriller that surpasses all expectations, and plunges deep into the realm of cinema masterpiece! Dante Spinotti’s cinematography is breathtaking; scenes are often filmed with a subtle naturalness, uncomplicated to an extent, which allows Mann to capitalising on the unique selling points and acting ability of the individual characters – such as the coffee shop scene where criminal and cop meet face to face. Scenes are often accompanied by vast empty backgrounds shaping the ever present baron LA landscape. These aspects of the film, coupled with a truly outstanding cast and backing soundtrack, have enabled Mann to reinvent the wheel when it comes to this particular film genre, but this is not a film you can categorise, it serves as a case study and outstanding example of filmmaking at its very best. Film Facts! The scene where a bank heist goes wrong was given an extra degree of realism and direction by Andy McNab (former SAS soldier). It was hailed by USA Today as “the greatest action scene of recent times� and is now used as a training aid for soldiers. Both actors who played the role of Red Dragon in Mann’s earlier work “Manhunter� and in “The Silence Of The Lambs� star in HEAT – one as a forensics cop, the other as a wheelchair bound criminal consultant. HEAT is still the only film to date to have been graced with the presence of two of the greatest actors of all-time (Pacino and De Niro). The Godfather II comes in at a close second with De Niro taking the role of a younger Don Corleone. In the earlier version of the film (LA Takedown) Al Pacino and Robert De Niro’s characters where played by virtual unknowns – Scott Plank and Michael Rocker – the film flopped and it was later removed from video shelves to make room for HEAT. Film Recommendations: The Jericho Mile, Manhunter, The Keep, The Last of The Mohicans, Thief (AKA Violent Streets), Ali, Collateral, Miami Vice.

John Anthony

HEAT Director – Michael Mann, 1995, US Starring – Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Amy Brenneman, Wes Studi, Dennis Haysbert, Tom Sizemore, Mykelti Wiliamson, Natalie Portman. Based on a previous endeavour, neatly titled “LA Takedown� this earlier version provided Mann with the blueprint for what was later to become one of the greatest heist films of all time! Following an almost exact replica of the previous script, Mann turned his 95min action film into almost a three hour film thesis on the cops and robbers genre, only this time on a much bigger budget with a cast deserving of Mann’s direction. The plot is simple, two ruthless professionals – one an obsessive cop, Vincent Hanna (played by Pacino), who’s life is starting to crumble around him, the other a master thief, Neil McCauley (played by De Niro), who’s only family is his crew. Both share the same code of honour, but will stop at nothing to reach their objectives. The result is astonishing, a complex and gripping thriller that surpasses all expectations, and plunges deep into the realm of cinema masterpiece! Dante Spinotti’s cinematography is breathtaking; scenes are often filmed with a subtle naturalness, uncomplicated to an extent, which allows Mann to capitalising on the unique selling points and acting ability of the individual characters – such as the coffee shop scene where criminal and cop meet face to face. Scenes are often accompanied by vast empty backgrounds shaping the ever present baron LA landscape. These aspects of the film, coupled with a truly outstanding cast and backing soundtrack, have enabled Mann to reinvent the wheel when it comes to this particular film genre, but this is not a film you can categorise, it serves as a case study and outstanding example of filmmaking at its very best. Film Facts! The scene where a bank heist goes wrong was given an extra degree of realism and direction by Andy McNab (former SAS soldier). It was hailed by USA Today as “the greatest action scene of recent times� and is now used as a training aid for soldiers. Both actors who played the role of Red Dragon in Mann’s earlier work “Manhunter� and in “The Silence Of The Lambs� star in HEAT – one as a forensics cop, the other as a wheelchair bound criminal consultant. HEAT is still the only film to date to have been graced with the presence of two of the greatest actors of all-time (Pacino and De Niro). The Godfather II comes in at a close second with De Niro taking the role of a younger Don Corleone. In the earlier version of the film (LA Takedown) Al Pacino and Robert De Niro’s characters where played by virtual unknowns – Scott Plank and Michael Rocker – the film flopped and it was later removed from video shelves to make room for HEAT. Film Recommendations: The Jericho Mile, Manhunter, The Keep, The Last of The Mohicans, Thief (AKA Violent Streets), Ali, Collateral, Miami Vice.