Body Heat

Body Heat Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Body Heat, a sexy, haunting tale of desire and skullduggery that echoes 1940s film noirs but is charged with an energy and passion that could only flare in the '80s. Sit back and bask in this contemporary classic's wicked warmth. (Warner Bros.)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. 100
    Body Heat is good enough to make film noir play like we hadn't seen it before.
  2. An excellent crime drama in the style of Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, and Dashiell Hammett.
  3. 83
    Kasdan's moody tribute to cinema's dark past set a gold standard for neo-noirs that has seldom been equaled.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    80
    Body Heat is full of meaty characters and pungent performances...a film to be seen at a drive-in, on a heavy summer night, with someone you trust.
  5. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    80
    Still regarded as one of the steamiest movie's of all time, Body Heat is a fantastic exponenet of how noir has developed.
  6. 80
    Lawrence Kasdan's 1981 noir fable is highly derivative in its overall conception, but it finds some freshness in its details. All in all, this evokes the spirit of James M. Cain more effectively than the 1981 remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice did.
  7. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by: Jay Scott
    50
    Hurt is so good at capturing the charming and chilling Ned that he almost makes up for the film's two primary weaknesses: Kasdan's inexperience and a message of significant unpleasantness. [28 Aug 1981, p.P17]

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. AlanM.
    Nov 25, 2008
    10
    Great Film Noir. My favorite of many great Lawrence Kasdan films, with Kathleen Turner at her sexiest best. Great intrigue and setup.
  2. Jul 26, 2015
    10
    A haunting film, loosely based on the famous film noir "Double Indemnity". Kathleen Turner makes a fine femme fatale, William Hurt veryA haunting film, loosely based on the famous film noir "Double Indemnity". Kathleen Turner makes a fine femme fatale, William Hurt very plausible as the lawyer caught in her flirtatious web. The film manages to really capture a sense of a stiflingly hot Florida, so sultry that, as the detective puts it: "people think the old rules don't apply". The acting is uniformly excellent, the direction tight, the soundtrack memorable. I loved Double Indemnity, but Body Heat is, in its own way, no worse a movie. Enjoy. Expand
  3. MichaelR.
    Oct 10, 2007
    10
    This homage to Double Indemnity is one of the most captivating film noirs since Double Indemnity.
  4. Apr 3, 2013
    9
    I don't give "10s," and this review is 32 years late, but Body Heat is one of those films that you can see over and over. It's a shame thatI don't give "10s," and this review is 32 years late, but Body Heat is one of those films that you can see over and over. It's a shame that there was never a sequel to Body Heat, or that the same elements didn't produce another neo-noir. I recommend this film highly. Expand
  5. Jul 9, 2014
    9
    Body Heat: 9 out of 10: Many successful movies lose their ability to shock over the years. After hundreds of copy cats Alien isn't asBody Heat: 9 out of 10: Many successful movies lose their ability to shock over the years. After hundreds of copy cats Alien isn't as effective as when it first came out. Kramer vs. Kramer certainly isn't the shocking eye opener it once was.

    Body Heat should suffer the same fate. It doesn't. Despite a hundred direct to video takes on the same story (six of them with the exact same title) the movie still works. In fact it works very well indeed.

    Writer Lawrence Kasdan had just penned Raiders of the Lost Ark and Empire Strikes Back so it is a surprise he chooses noir for his first directing outing. (His next film was The Big Chill so this is one guy hard to pigeonhole) He both updates and in many ways upgrades the noir of the past.

    By setting the movie in a Podunk Florida town he invokes John D Macdonald the way no Macdonald movie treatment has successfully done. His then unknown actors William Hurt and Kathleen Turner are pitch perfect.

    This is a movie that really brings some new things to the table as it does some old things very well indeed. Like the best noir you are too involved to even begin to try to guess the next twist and turn.

    Like Scorsese in Goodfellas or Huston in the Maltese Falcon Kasdan's directing is obviously very good yet his tricks remain hidden from view. Not a wasted shot and your television will sweat from all the heat generated.

    Highly recommended to all fans of noir or simply fans of movies.
    Expand
  6. Feb 24, 2016
    8
    Body Heat may be more than a little bit sexist, but I still loved it. Dripping with sexual tension and energy, the film really reels you inBody Heat may be more than a little bit sexist, but I still loved it. Dripping with sexual tension and energy, the film really reels you in and hits all the high notes a neo-noir film needs to hit. It is intriguing, sexual, and really takes you for a loop throughout as you watch the plot unfold and finally figure out what is going on. In regards to that, this one is very, very well-written. The plot is complex and dense, but not too complex and really keeps you guessing throughout. The characters are fleshed out and really are a case of some serious foreshadowing cluing you into what is happening. The direction from Lawrence Kasdan is great and the attention to detail paid to the lighting, shots, and entire mise en scene is insane. Honestly, Body Heat is a phenomenal film that may be a touch sexist (okay, really sexist), but that does not detract from the overall product, which is truly a brilliantly crafted neo-noir erotic thriller. Expand
  7. Apr 2, 2013
    3
    The plot of this movie is totally unrealistic. I could not believe in these characters for a minute, even though the actors did a good job,The plot of this movie is totally unrealistic. I could not believe in these characters for a minute, even though the actors did a good job, but the problem is with the writing of the movie. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews

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