Heat (1995)

Heat (1995)
  • Time: 170 min
  • Genre: Action | Crime | Drama
  • Director: Michael Mann
  • Cast: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman, Danny Trejo


In Los Angeles, a gang of armed thieves is hitting serious targets – major banks, vaults, and armored cars. These thieves are led by arch-criminal Neal MacAuley. One of their operations, an armored-car robbery, goes bad and the armored-car guards are murdered by the gunmen – putting LAPD homicide detective Vince Hanna on the trail of the thieves. Hanna knows it will take a lot to bring these dangerous, armed thieves down, and it will end in a horrifying gun battle when the thieves try to rob a major federal bank…


  • Heat is the quintessential dark and dramatic cops and robber movie. It puts the best holdup crew against the best lead investigator in high stake complex scores. It’s brutal, it’s raw, it’s crime, pure and simple. There’s violence, however, it’s a very more of a dramatic piece. The real juice is the opposition of the two mind, it’s psychological.

    The score gives shiver. The photography transfixes. The acting plunges you deeply within the fabric of the movie. The story is ultra captivating. The action is breathtaking, yet simple and very real. The characters are well layered and with lots of emotional depth, yet easy to understand.

    You spend a lot of time with the two protagonists. You see their daily life. You get to know them. Robert De Niro plays a stone hard persona, efficient and brutally direct when needed. He’s the criminal, yet he’s almost endearing. Al Pacino plays a fiery angry cop who will stop at nothing, just keeping in sight of the law, to get his man. He’s easy to hate, the way he yells and shut out his family life.

    The star studded cast who performed so well also includes: Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Justine Hanna, Ashley Judd, Hank Azaria, Danny Trejo, plus a very young Natalie Portman playing a small yet powerful role as the step daughter of the main detective. In her portrayal you can already see the great actress she became.

    It’s a must see.

  • On its surface, the film is seen as simply “Pacino vs. De Niro”, and it was even marketed as such; however, there is an actual plot behind this movie, and it includes more than Pacino yelling and De Niro squinting his eyes.
    At the first moments of the film, we get to see McCauley and his crew in action; using large trucks and machine guns to take down an armored truck. Following their getaway, we immediately see Neil’s status as the leader come out when he slams one of the team members’ head against a table and a window for making a costly mistake. The camera then cuts to the crime scene later that day, and Lieutenant Hanna steps out of his car and starts investigating and giving out orders as fast as the heist crew committed their crime.
    As the plot continues, Hanna finds out that McCauley was involved, and, in an odd fashion, takes him to a local diner and has coffee. In this diner scene, we given a microscope with which we can see into the roots of the two characters. McCauley, a top-notch criminal that knows everything there is to know about heists and is willing to do whatever it takes to keep himself out from behind a cell wall, and Hanna, a veteran cop who has failed to establish any family relationships because of his ambition for cleaning the streets of LA from men like Neil. The men have three things in common: they are at the top of their game, they don’t want to anything else but what they do, and they will not hesitate to take the other down. It is this determination that feeds the fire of the movie, which makes it less of a “cat/mouse” game and more of a “cat/cat” game. The chase does not end until the last shot is fired and the last scene is cut,

    I thought that this film was a great representation of the lengths that some people will go to to do their job. Both De Niro and Pacino do a good job of bringing to life their roles, and they took the film to a level in which their names alone do not define the movie. Behind the shoot-em up and f-words, there are some situations that resonate in the area of how their lifestyles affect their relationships as Hanna, in the “downslope of a marriage”,is struggling to maintain his life outside of his investigations. The action sequences are well-choreographed, and the language is what one may expect from a Pacino/De Niro R-rated picture.

    A movie based on a robber and cop’s two-sided chase is great, but a 2 hour and 50 minute running time can be a little cumbersome.

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