When Al Pacino and Robert De Niro square off, Heat sizzles. Written and directed by Michael Mann, Heat includes dazzling set pieces and a bank heist that USA Today’s Mike Clark calls "the greatest action scene of recent times." It also offers "the most impressive collection of actors in one movie this year" (David Ansen, Newsweek). Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore and Ashley Judd are among the memorable supporting players in this tale of a brilliant L.A. cop (Pacino) following the trail from a deadly armed robbery to a crew headed by an equally brilliant master thief (De Niro).
Heat goes way beyond the expectations of the cops-and-criminals genre – and into the realm of movie masterpiece.
Cast & Crew
When Pacino's loud, bruised cop and De Niro's canny crook stare at each other, you can read something spent and weary in their eyes and voices. The heat is hell. So are their jobs -- but somebody's got to do them.
The taciturn De Niro and the braying Pacino share a flawless scene over a cup of coffee, but the real honors go to Val Kilmer and Ashley Judd as a warring, loving couple.
Just when it seemed that the only hope for crime movies lay in the postmodernist artifice of films like Pulp Fiction, Mann reinvests the genre with brooding, modernist conviction. This one sticks to your gut.
There's nothing really new in this lengthy 1995 thriller by writer-director Michael Mann about cops and robbers in Los Angeles, but it has craft, pacing, and an overall sense of proportion, three pretty rare classic virtues nowadays.
An odd though often entertaining blend of The Asphalt Jungle and Oprah, a traditional cops-and-robbers story weirdly fitted out with long, earnest discussions of interpersonal relationships.
There isn't much going on at this party other than what the actors bring to it. But fortunately, Mann has invited some exceptional ones.
Heat becomes consistently more interesting as it forges on toward the 180-minute mark.