Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Mykelti Williamson, Dennis Haysbert and Natalie Portman

Michael Mann

Running Time:
171 mins

"I will not hesitate"

Neil McCauley

Master criminal Neil McCauley (De Niro) is planning one last big score before he walks away from the life forever. His team are fully prepped and the job is planned for every contingency, McCauley is ready to go. Robbery/Homicide detective Lt. Vincent Hanna (Pacino) has discovered his plan and has assembled a strike team to take McCauley down.

When it comes to listing the best crime thrillers to ever hit celluloid, 'Heat' should be near the top of everyone's list. Michael Mann's story of cops and robbers is very different to anything you have seen before.

Still filled with riveting action scenes and a fantastic level of tension, 'Heat' is unusual for the fact that it is a character based drama. Instead of the usual action sequence followed by action sequence, this film is punctuated by insights into the lives of the cops and the criminals. We get to know how a life of crime or law enforcement affects their personal lives and how it impacts on their families and relationships, whatever side of law they are on.

The film is shown from two different prospectives, showing both the criminal and police sides of the story. On the criminal side we have Neil McCauley, the crew leader who runs a tight ship with discipline and a sense of brotherhood. Honour among thieves is his byword and he treats his crew like family. He deals with their personal and family problems, he takes care of them financially and he treats them with respect. His crew know however that if they step out of line or let him down, the repercussions will be deadly.

The police side is very similar. In charge is Lt. Vincent Hanna, a maverick detective whose dedication to the job is unquestionable. He is equally as devoted to his fellow officers, treating his team like a family and expecting the same respect back.

What makes this film different is we see the home lives of both sides of the law. We see Hanna's family falling apart because of his total commitment to the job, McCauley making a connection with someone for the very first time, Chris's family ripped apart by his excessive gambling and who will be left behind when the two fractions meet in confrontation. This is completely different to most crime drama that mainly concentrates on the action sequence and the crime itself; this shows the repercussions of breaking the law and trying to enforce it.

Director Michael Mann has gathered together an amazing ensemble cast, headlining with two of Hollywood's biggest hitters, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. The coming together of two of the best actors of their generation has been a long time coming but it is has been worth the wait. Those of you expecting a heated exchange might be disappointed but their conversation in the restaurant is far better than any physical exchange could ever be. This is two men who have the utmost respect for each other talking openly about the lives they lead. This is completely riveting as these two titans of cinema finally share the screen.

The supporting cast is also first rate. Val Kilmer plays McCauley's right hand man Chris Shiherlis, a man with a gambling problem and a wife and family that is falling apart. This is a strong role for Kilmer to play and he really comes into his own during the action sequences. Tom Sizemore is also good as Michael Cheritto, a committed thief and someone who can charm a situation with just a look. Jon Voight is Nate, McCauley's contact and the man in the know when it comes to sorting out jobs, fake documents and equipment. Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd and Diane Venora are also very good as Eady, Charlene Shiherlis and Justine Hanna, the wives and girlfriends of McCauley, Chris and Hanna. Again, they show the realistic side of the story, revealing how it affects their relationships and family life.

'Heat' is a classic of the genre. Director Michael Mann has created a movie that sets a benchmark for character, story and action. The realism of the piece is astounding both in the action sequences and how we see both sides of the law. Combine this with the on screen meeting of De Niro and Pacino and you have a complete classic.


Presented in Widescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic with Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, the transfer is extremely good. The picture quality is extremely sharp throughout even during the darker scenes. The sound is superb, especially during the brilliant shoot out when your speaker will be filled with the sound of gunfire.


Disc 2

The Making of Heat (62.53 mins)
Split into three sections entitled 'True Crime', 'Crime Stories' and 'Into the Fire', director Michael Mann, producer Ami Canaan Mann, producer Art Linson, director of photography Dante Spinotti, production designer Neil Spisak, composer Elliot Goldenthal, musician Moby and stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Amy Brenneman, Diane Venora, Ashley Judd and Mykelti Williamson come together to talk about the making of Heat. The three parts look into the history behind the film, revealing the real life Neil McCauley, the original TV movie 'L.A. Takedown' and its evolution into 'Heat'. Taking an in-depth look at the characters and the actors who play them, this documentary also looks into the story, highlighting the fact that his is a different kind of crime movie. Informative and insightful, the three parts of the documentary combine to offer a fascinating look into the film and the history and research behind it.

Pacino and De Niro: The Conversation (9.55 mins)
Director Michael Mann, executive producer Pieter Jan Brugge, producer Art Linson, director of photography Dante Spinotti and stars Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Jon Voight and Ashley Judd talk about one of the most pivotal scenes in the movie, the conversation between Hanna and McCauley. The group talk about the evolution of the scene and how it was shot, revealing its importance and how it wasn't what the audience expected.

Return to the scene of the crime (12.02 mins)
Location manager Janice Polley and associate producer Gusmano Casaretti return to the locations where the film was shot in 1994/5. The pair takes us to the freeway, the docks, the bank, LAX Airport and the restaurant used for the conversation scene.

Deleted Scenes
Entitled 'Season's starting early', 'Nicest guy on the block', 'Albert & Hanna', 'Shaken down', 'Murder in C-Block', 'Let's dance', 'Late arrival', 'Who's Ana?', 'Double the worst trouble'. 'Nate delivers' and 'No response', these deleted scenes show more of Hanna, the pre-heist and more of Tom Sizemore's Michael Cheritto's family.


After a lacklustre original release, Warner Bros. have returned to 'Heat' and given it the double disc treatment. The good news is that they have done an excellent job with an informative and insightful documentary and some good featurettes. The deleted scenes could have done with a commentary track or an introduction however. 'Heat' fans finally have the ultimate release.


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