The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival


The meticulous leader of a professional crime crew and an overworked LAPD detective cross paths in director Michael Mann’s 1995 heavy hitting crime drama Heat, the next entry in our Michael Mannuary series.

Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro) and his crew are good at what they do. So are Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) and his cadre of detectives which he, himself, leads. On the action-filled, Los Angeles city street surface, it’s a classic cat and mouse film: shoot-outs, helicopter fly overs, almost-had-them-don’t let your sweat-slap-the- floor arrests. But what makes Heat so compelling is its parallels between hero and villain (who is which is up to the viewer).

With equal parts edge-of-seat adrenaline and relationship drama, Heat has inspired countless films and stands as one of the best of its genre and generation.

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This is the age-old conflict in American action pictures, between the man with “man’s work” and the female principal, the woman who wants to tame him, wants him to stay at home. “Heat,” with an uncommonly literate screenplay by Mann, handles it with insight. Roger Ebert,

Heat proves one thing absolute. If you put great actors in a great script with a great visionary director in control, then you get a great movie. It’s as simple as that.- Ian Nathan, Empire