Movie Review: Heat

Details: Released in 1995. Almost three hours long. Stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer. Directed by Michael Mann.

I was looking for some movies to watch and I realized that there were a lot of classics which for some reason, I’ve never seen. Movies that could be considered mandatory watching for true movie fans. Heat is one of those movies.

I’ll try to avoid spoilers and keep discussion of anything related to the narrative to a minimum. The premise is this: Robert De Niro plays a career criminal who commit heists with his crew. Al Pacino plays a cop who specializes in bringing down criminals like De Niro’s character. The two clash in a game of cat and mouse as Pacino tries to catch De Niro.

The heart of this story is crime story. This is a heist movie and it’s easy to see how many other works of fiction took inspiration from this film.

There are so many great scenes in this movie. So many scenes which are undoubtedly a part of cinema history. Almost every line uttered by De Niro and Pacino is memorable. Seeing these two legends share scenes together is sight to behold.

While I will keep as much of this review spoiler free, two scenes need to be mentioned: the shootout and the scene where Pacino and De Niro talk. I’ve watched behind the scenes footage and interviews with the actors in regards to the shootout scene. They all trained to operate real guns and I’ve even read somewhere that the armed forces used footage from this film to show trainees the ideal way to reload a weapon. The action in this movie, and specifically the shootout scene, were amazing in their direction and their editing. The sound of the guns along with just how much chaos spills out make this one of the most memorable action scenes in film history. When anyone talks about this film, this scene is almost always mentioned.

The other scene that is almost always mentioned is the talk between Pacino and De Niro. Having two of these Hollywood legends in the same movie and not letting them share at least one scene would have been criminal. Luckily, Mann let the two have that scene and it was amazing. I won’t say anything about what happens there, but the tension, the emotion, just ooze from the actors and even though it’s just dialogue, you aren’t really sure what’s going to happen.

Overall, a great crime film that is required watching for any cinemaphile. Heat is a classic which I would recommend to almost anyone. Except children. This is a very adult film with some graphic violence and adult subject matter. Don’t let kids watch this.

Score: 8.2/10

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