The Reviewing Network’s Favorite Movies #37: Heat

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Heat is a 1995 American crime film written, produced and directed by Michael Mann, and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer. The film was released in the United States on December 15, 1995. De Niro plays Neil McCauley, a professional thief, while Pacino plays Lt. Vincent Hanna, a veteran L.A.P.D. robbery-homicide detective tracking down McCauley’s crew. The central conflict is based on the experiences of former Chicago police officer Chuck Adamson and his pursuit in the 1960s of a criminal named McCauley, after whom De Niro’s character is named.

Heat was a commercial success, grossing $67 million in the United States and $187 million worldwide (about $291 million in 2015) against a $60 million budget. It was well received by critics. The film-critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports 86% positive reviews, calling the film “an engrossing crime drama that draws compelling performances from its stars – and confirms Michael Mann’s mastery of the genre.”

Though he was well know previously for Manhunter and Last Of The Mohicans, Heat really put Michael Mann’s name on the map and he really did make one of the best crime capers ever with this movie.

The action is this is some of the best action that’s ever been put to film, the sequences in this are so stylized and tension filled, it’s amazing. The armed robbery scene alone merits that:

The acting in this is also great too, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro are great in this although, I wish there could’ve been more scenes with the two of them together on screen. They really only share about two scenes together, they’re good scenes but why wasn’t there more of them? The trailers say that the two actors are going to collide and really, they only do it twice. But hey, that’s why we had Righteous Kill, which was…okay but not that great.

You’ve also got great acting from Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight, Ashley Judd, Mykelti Williamson, Amy Brenneman, Wes Studi, Hank Azaria, Natalie Portman, William Fichtner, Ted Levine, Dennis Haysbert, and many more in this movie.

There’s so much about Heat that just works, it’s amazing. The action is great, the acting is really good, the story works, the pacing is surprisingly good for a movie that’s over three hours, it’s just a really damn good movie. There’s so much about Heat that just makes it one of the definitive action classics. I’d say go check it out but a lot of you have probably already done so.

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