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The Hot Spot
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Hot Spot More at IMDbPro »

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58 out of 73 people found the following review useful:

Shades of Jim Thompson

8/10
Author: pyamada from USA
14 June 2002

The audience for this film stayed away because of Don Johnson. In his defense, Johnson has been in a few very good films (Melanie, A Boy & His Dog), and he is very smooth and sleazy here. Fueled by a great sound-track, provided by John Lee Hooker, Miles Davis and Jack Nitzsche, this dirty edged noir evokes a Jim Thompson like feel, and is beautifully lit and shot. Dennis Hopper directed, and he did just fine. There is so little good noir in the last 30 plus years, that fans of the genre will want to see this. And if you get the chance to see it on the big screen, it is well worth it. In an era when no 'new noir' comes close to Polanski's Chinatown, this movie is way better than Body Heat or LA Confidential. It certainly looks better, and has a much rawer sensibility and texture.

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48 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

A Steamy Masterpeice

10/10
Author: josbran from Nutley USA
1 August 2000

This movie has to rate as one of the most important American films of the 90's. Dennis Hopper could be the next great American director in the 21st Century. The film was sexy without being crude. Don Johnson showed that his acting can be powerful if the right roll comes his way.Virginia Madsen steams up the show with her portral of the modern vamp.Jennifer Connelly plays it perfect with the innocent routine when she is the hottest girl in the movie. Anyone would enjoy this film on a cold night in the dead of winter with a lover on the couch next to them. A Great Watch!

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43 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Good couples movie for a hot summer night

9/10
Author: sonomamike from Sebastopol, CA
10 June 2002

This movie has someone for everyone to like and almost everyone to hate. Between Don Johnson, Virginia Madsen, and Jennifer Connelly, there's a romantic interest for both you and your sweetie. I've never lived in the South so I'm not sure you'd like the portrayals if you are from there, but even without the Southern setting, the deviousness and deceit are universal. After the first viewing, the plot twists may not surprise you anymore, but you'll appreciate even more how justice and irony come into play in deciding the fate of the players. Highly recommended.

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37 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

A very good Don Johnson movie and performance. Really, it is!

7/10
Author: Charlie Korch (korch@mail.com) from Atlanta, GA
24 October 2001

If you are like me, you might have turned on HBO late the other night, and thought.... "Damn, a Don Johnson movie". Luckily I gave this film a chance and found a real winner. Don's performance is not just good, but I think it is his best ever. Jennifer Connelly is just perfect in the role of the frail and beautiful girl next door. But Virginia Madsen steals the show. She is that woman you just love to hate, but just can't keep your hands off of. Just watch the flick to see what I mean.

As the credits rolled across the screen at the end, I realized that Dennis Hopper directed this "Red Rocks West" like film. No wonder I enjoyed it. I give it a solid 7 out of 10.

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30 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Southwest trash that burns out of control

9/10
Author: rlcsljo from Hollywood, ca
26 December 2000

This is classic southwest film noir/romance novel brought to life. Although the plot is the standard lets kill a cuckolded, rich husband (with sex!) and take off with the new handsome stranger, the heat of this film lies in its characterizations. Don Johnson is almost perfect as the handsome stranger/used car salesman/bank robber/arsonist/white knight in shining (but obviously tarnished) armor. Jennifer Connelly's understated desperation at her situation is almost exactly balanced by Virginia Madsen's almost over the top vixen/gold digger. Other characters add the perfect backdrop to the action (Charles Martin Smith's "nose sniff" scene is absolutely classic). The twists and turns of the plot and revelations makes this movie constantly interesting.

It really doesn't get much better than this--Jennifer Connelly does a rare, for her, nude scene, as does Virginia Madsen, Don Johnson, and a bevy of strippers.

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24 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

An Unknown Gem and One of the Most Amoral Stories of the Cinema History

9/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
18 October 2010

When the drifter Harry Madox (Don Johnson) reaches a small town in Texas, he gets a job as used car salesman with the dealer George Harshaw (Jerry Hardin) and settles down in a hotel room. During a fire, Harry observes that the local bank is left empty and open without any security. Sooner he plots a scheme to rob the bank, provoking a fire in his room to distract the employees. When Harry meets George's wife Dolly Harshaw (Virginia Madsen), the easy woman teases him and they have sex. Harry becomes the prime suspect of the bank heist and is arrested, but Dolly provided the necessary alibi to release him and blackmails him to have a love affair with her. However, Harry falls in love for Gloria Harper (Jennifer Connelly), who works as accountant in the dealership. He discovers that Gloria is blackmailed by the despicable Frank Sutton (William Sadler) and he decides to press Sutton. But in the end, Dolly gets what she wants.

"Hot Spot" is an unknown gem and one of the most amoral stories of the cinema history. With the exception of the sweet Gloria Harper and the cuckold George Harshow, the other three lead characters have no moral or ethical codes and Virginia Madsen performs one of the most despicable and Machiavellian femme fatale of the cinema. This masterpiece of Dennis Hopper is certainly the best work of Don Johnson and the soundtrack is stunning and among my favorites. I have just watched "Hot Spot" maybe for the sixth or seventh time and this film-noir has not aged. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Hot Spot – Um Local Muito Quente" ("Hot Spot – A Very Hot Spot")

Note: On 29 October 2011, I saw this film again.

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28 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

A tightly crafted, sun-drenched film noir

8/10
Author: Michael Zeleny (zeleny) from Los Angeles, U.S.A.
14 July 2002

Dennis Hopper delivers the goods in this meticulously conventional tale of a charismatic underachiever finding his level. Harkening back to the gender and class warfare sensibilities of the Forties, The Hot Spot excels across the board, in acting, dialogue, plotting, music, and cinematography.

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28 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

an all around well done movie that is 30 minutes too long.

7/10
Author: cygnus x-1 from roanoke, va
11 January 2000

i checked out this movie just due to the fact that it was written and directed by Dennis Hopper and had the beautiful Jennifer Connelly in it as well.

the movie has so many twists and double crossings that going into the plot would ruin the experience. but for once, a movie kept me guessing and the twists and turns were logical for once. it seems that a lot of movies nowadays throw a ton of curveballs even if it isn't necassary (Wild Things is an example.)

all of the acting is superb and Virginia Madsen is deliciously nasty and sexy but Jennifer Connelly steals the show with a great performance. ms. connelly was the perfect choice for this role in that she embodies stunning sexuality and physical perfection as well as a sweet persona that lends itself to the role perfectly. the strong doses of sex are appropriate to the plot as well.

the film's only flaw is that it is easily at least 30 minutes too long. i felt the movie should have been wrapped up a lot sooner than it was and the overlength brings it from an 8 down to a 7

still, this is well worth renting for all the performances and a genuinely well told story.

rating: 7

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24 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

A few words of praise

8/10
Author: mach1ne from Rainy Glasgow
29 July 2003

This film is great. The atmosphere, heat, casting, setting, plot, you name it. Everyone in the film is sweating up to the eyeballs, constantly mopping their brows, with stains all over their clothes, looking very hot and tense indeed. The seeds for a necessary release are sown! And sure enough, the pressure reaches boiling point and everything erupts. I don't want to give too much away, nor can I be bothered writing a proper commentary but this film is BLEAK in it's honesty with respect to it's (secondary/primary?) plot - all ideals are shattered: romance and (true?) love, freedom (whatever that really is) and so on. Some would call this a cynical work, I'll call it realistic - Sod's Law applies as heavily in the movie as it does in real life. Go on Dennis, more of this please!!

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24 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

An Absolute Gem

10/10
Author: Bob Bledsoe (Bledsoe-2) from Austin, TX
3 April 2000

Shot in and around Austin, Texas, brilliantly written and directed by Dennis Hopper and adapted from Thompson's book, Hell Hath No Fury, this is a movie buff's movie. It is probably the best performance by Don Thompson he will ever give. It's one of those movies that put everything together to achieve a "harmonic" that is very very rare. Why it didn't achieve notice and a clutch of awards is one of the mysteries of the film industry. Everything in the movie meshed perfectly, including a great score.

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