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Heat (1995)

December. 15,1995
| Drama Action Crime

Obsessive master thief Neil McCauley leads a top-notch crew on various daring heists throughout Los Angeles while determined detective Vincent Hanna pursues him without rest. Each man recognizes and respects the ability and the dedication of the other even though they are aware their cat-and-mouse game may end in violence.


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Michael Mann's Heat brings together both De Niro and Pacino. As if this in itself wasn't enough to warrant a watch it contains some of the finest gun shootouts ever committed to film. The bank robbery scene inspired a real robbery and even the opener of The Dark Knight(as confirmed by Nolan). This is Michael Mans's Los Angeles- incredibly stylish full of thieves and mules wearing suits and ray bans. The film's status has only grown with time and it represents the apogee of action films, in my opinion. Although overlong the pacing is excellent and you can't help but be engrossed. Watch it for Michael Mann- one of the most underrated filmmakers out there.

Grant Bullert

"Heat" is a heist film unlike any other. It surpasses all that came before it, and has yet to be outdone by any heist film that has followed.-Analysis of Notable Work- *Writing/Directing: The pacing and tension building is always right where it needs to be. The drama within each characters' arc is powerful as well. The heists are not the main focus all the time. The lives of the characters is what matters for much of the film, and that is a refreshing take to have in a heist film. Michael Mann demonstrates his control over drama and tension all throughout the film. Each character is flawed, but each on has their positive aspects. We are caught in a trap of caring for each character, and that is what makes this film so beautifully dangerous. *Cinematography/Editing: Much of the film is rather simply shot and lit. It looks natural enough, but does not draw the viewer in as much as could be hoped for. The work of Dante Spinotti is acceptable but not extraordinary. A few scenes feel like they were shot in the studio and that takes away from what is happening on screen. But overall, the cinematography holds up and contributes to the film in a positive manner. The editing of the film is simple as well, but it works well. It draws focus to the characters. There are a few weak moments where things look a bit choppy, though. *Dialogue/Acting: Here we have the strong points of the film. The dialogue is authentic yet interesting. The world that is created on the screen feels real. It does not seem staged like many other films fall victim to. The acting is beyond incredible. Pacino and De Niro deliver some of the best work of their careers. They don't share many scenes, but it is something special when they do. Val Kilmer holds his end of the bargain in the film. The rest of the cast is acceptable but not overly inspiring. *Music/Sound: The score is intense yet well hidden. It doesn't draw too much attention to itself, but it really adds to the overall experience of the film. The sound design and sound mixing are one of the highlights. Most notable is the shootout in the street. It hits the viewer with an incredible amount of weight. It is one of the most realistic and immersive gunfights to ever have been but to screen. While there are some amazing moments of sound in the film, there are also some very weak moments. Some moments of editing are off and a few sound effects feel inauthentic and cheap. *Production Design/Special Effects: The set work and costumes are average. There is nothing flashy about them, but the do a good job of being a help to the overall film, and not the focus of it. The special effects are immersive and impressive. There are very few moments that feel cheap.*Conclusion: "Heat" doesn't try to get too fancy where it doesn't need to be. It remains focused on the story, a gripping story at that, and it is all the better for it. The film paved the way for successful heist films. Some films try to live up to what "Heat" has accomplished, but none have as of yet.


Reminded me a lot of Armored Car Robbery: extremely well done. This color noir ranks up there with the classic black and whites!! Furthermore, what a cast to implement Michael Mann's vision.


Easily the best assembled cast for a NON Blockbuster, and the best action/drama/crime movie ever made. I have held this opinion for 23 years and counting. De Niro, Pacino, Kilmer, Voight, Judd, Azaria, Rollins, Portman, Brenneman and Sizemore in career defining performances... The camera work is tight, the sound and photography often haunting. The characters will make you love and hate them as you agonizingly get pulled in each direction as the complex web of the story progresses. The action especially the violence, robberies and gun fights are so intense and riveting you cant help but be on the edge of your seat until the final minute with an ending that will make critics and fans alike gasp and compare ALL crime movies to this one from here on in. Possibly my 1# of all time for Drama/Crime category.