A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
A botched card game in London triggers four friends, thugs, weed-growers, hard gangsters, loan sharks and debt collectors to collide with each other in a series of unexpected events, all for the sake of weed, cash and two antique shotguns.
Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, who is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.
Hunters and their prey--Neil and his professional criminal crew hunt to score big money targets (banks, vaults, armored cars) and are, in turn, hunted by Lt. Vincent Hanna and his team of cops in the Robbery/Homicide police division. A botched job puts Hanna onto their trail while they regroup and try to put together one last big 'retirement' score. Neil and Vincent are similar in many ways, including their troubled personal lives. At a crucial moment in his life, Neil disobeys the dictum taught to him long ago by his criminal mentor--'Never have anything in your life that you can't walk out on in thirty seconds flat, if you spot the heat coming around the corner'--as he falls in love. Thus the stage is set for the suspenseful ending.... Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Much of the film is based off a real-life confrontation between Chicago cop Chuck Adamson and the real Neil McCauley. Adamson was a retired police officer whom director Michael Mann had been working with off and on since the film Thief (1981) starring James Caan (and based upon the career of famed Chicago burglar Frank Hohimer whom Adamson had arrested). They had later worked together on two shows produced by Mann: Miami Vice (1984) and Crime Story (1986). According to Chuck Adamson (and confirmed by Michael Mann) in the Heat-Special Edition DVD Documentary "Crime Stories", McCauley was a professional robber whom he had frequently crossed paths with. Events such as the scene between Vincent Hanna and Neil McCauley in the coffee shop where they basically tell each other that the last time they meet will be their last, and the warehouse sting where McCauley got tipped off that the cops were around due to an officer making a noise really happened. In real life, Neil McCauley was killed during a robbery of a grocery store (similar to the bank heist shootout) by Adamson's team who were tipped off to the robbery. See more »
When Vincent returns home before seeing his wife putting on makeup, Vincent looks at the dirty dishes in the sink, where we see a dirty plate in the left sink, and a wok with dirty dishes in it in the right sink. After Vincent comes back downstairs ("Okay, where are YOU goin'?), there are no dishes in the left sink and the dishes that were inside the wok in the right sink are gone. See more »
Most of the comments I've read here agree that this is a great movie. I have the same opinion. The coffee shop scene tells everything about this film: 10/10. The human side of the characters is perfectly explored, especially concerning De Niro's character (Neil). His personal conflicts are as strong as his determination and skills as a gangster. This is the magic of this film and only two fantastic actors like Pacino and De Niro could represent it so totally. Congratulations to Val Kilmer that shined and performed exceptionally well under the huge shadow of Pacino and De Niro. A must see !
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