Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 168 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    100
    Heat is in the cop-movie pantheon with Akira Kurosawa's "High and Low," and that's as "right" as the genre gets.
  2. 100
    A sleek, accomplished piece of work, meticulously controlled and completely involving. The dark end of the street doesn't get much more inviting than this.
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    A stunning crime drama that shares its protagonists' rabid attention to detail—and love of adrenalin.
  4. There's nothing really new...but it has craft, pacing, and an overall sense of proportion, three pretty rare classic virtues nowadays.
  5. Reviewed by: Andy Speltzer
    70
    Someone should confiscate Mann's synthesizer. Just when a scene starts rolling along, this synth beat fades in and destroys the mood.
  6. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    60
    A cool and rather detached movie...Heat generates lots of energy but gives off little light.
  7. Reviewed by: Andrew Ross
    30
    A 3 hour fusillade of cliches.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 42
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 42
  3. Negative: 3 out of 42
  1. Jul 18, 2012
    10
    This movie is an amazing spectacle. It manages to be an action movie, a drama, a crime flick, and a beautifully filmed majestic epic all at once. Some may argue that it is not paced fast enough; I tell you to go enjoy your "ADD fix" with Family Guy or Transformers 2. Mann manages to capture the soul of almost all of these characters, and provide you a look into who they are, and why they act like they do. The action scenes that are there are not simply throw away, they build upon what has happened before, and help reveal a little more about the world that these criminals and cops both inhabit. Expand
  2. Mar 1, 2013
    10
    Heat is an astonishing crime drama. Expertly directed by Micheal Mann, Heat features knockout performances from both Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino. The action sequences are also incredible, with the centerpiece shootout in downtown L.A probably being the best gun-battle ever committed to film. Heat fires on all cylinders at all times and is quite simply one of the best movies ever made. Expand
  3. Jul 21, 2013
    10
    The movie is a perfect metaphor for both the good and bad elements depicted: long periods of time spent idling punctuated by breathless moments chasing or escaping. The ultimate confrontation is one of the best bank robbery scenes ever shown on screen. Expand
  4. Dec 13, 2012
    9
    The result is epic. Michael Mann's crime drama masterpiece quickly transcends from the LAPD pursuing criminals into like minded professionals going about their business. Two expert tradesmen on opposite sides of the law, a virtual dance if you will, keeping in step with one another. Their unrelenting devotion to their profession and the ramifications (colleagues and crew members as well), leaves the only other people in their lives in devastation. Neil (DeNiro) disobeys a dictum taught to him long ago by a mentor, which inevitably leads to the suspenseful ending. "Heat" is actually a remake for Michael Mann. It was originally shot as Movie for TV called "LA Takedown". Expand
  5. Oct 26, 2013
    9
    The frying pan and the fire. When to sacrifice, when to cut bait. Detached professionalism versus personal values. Delayed gratification; now or never. Loyalty and selling out. Heat is a crime drama exploring the many-sided nature of commitment. Very slick appearance, meticulous action scenes that build tension through pace, dialogue that accomplishes much with very little. An excellent film, and it's stacked with acting talent from top to bottom. Expand
  6. Jul 20, 2013
    9
    Definitely one of the most epic crime films. Fantastic acting, good story and some epic action. It manages to keep your attention throughout despite being a long film. It's suspenseful, deep and eventful. The characters are well-developed, and there's a perfect balance between action and story. At first there seems to be two unrelated movies in one going on at the same time, but the way it comes together, and especially the moment when the two main characters meet makes for a great scene. Overall, Heat is not a shallow action film, but isn't hard to follow or boring to watch. There aren't any points where you feel the time is wasted. Every minute of the film is put to good use and offers variety, rather than focusing purely on action or purely on developing the backstory for the characters. Al Pacino and Robert De Niro did a tremendous job in this film, and made it a must-watch. Expand
  7. Jan 1, 2012
    6
    If ever a movie was in need of some judicious editing to correct pacing and story issues, this is it. With riveting performances from an all-star cast and an interesting plot, it had the potential to be great entertainment on many levels. But post-production choices by director Mann turned this into an unwieldy two hour and forty minute beast.

    Everything just goes on too long, underscored by a narcotic soundtrack that leaves the audience twitching in their seats instead of on the edge of their seats. The turning point scene where the two main characters first meet face-to-face should have been a cerebral break in the action and relationship drama, but instead comes after many minutes of plodding, unnecessary footage. The ending was also a huge letdown considering how much the proficiencies of both main characters had been built up over the course of the film.

    Still, there are some great individual performances and scenes in this film, so I'm giving it a rating that makes it worth watching, though not a must see. 6/10.
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See all 42 User Reviews

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