A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.
A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.
Robert De Niro,
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>
McCauley is proficient enough in the combat use of firearms to do brass checks (e.g. when he prepares to shoot Waingro). Yet when Hanna stops him and asks him if he'd join him for a cup of coffee, he hides a cocked SIG P 22x-series pistol between himself and his car seat. Only someone completely unfamiliar with this sidearm would do this, as it is very unsafe (the gun's only external safety is a decocking lever and cocked, it has a very light and short trigger pull). See more »
The television version aired by NBC on January 3, 1999 was disowned by director Michael Mann and credited to "Alan Smithee" because, though Mann offered to reinstate 17 minutes of deleted footage in the film to make it fit a four-hour time slot, NBC decided to excise over 40 minutes of footage from the theatrical release in order to make it fit a three-hour slot (including commercials). See more »
I really believe this is one the great crime movies of all time. It has some drawbacks that wouldn't make me recommend this for family viewing - tons of f- words by Al Pacino and a few bloody scenes, but as far as a fascinating crime story: wow!
This movie made modern-day history because it was the first time two of the great actors of this generation - Pacino and Robert De Niro - finally acted together in the same film. Those two didn't disappoint, either. They were great to watch and one of the huge highlights of the film, to me, was when they faced each other in a simple conversation over a cup of coffee. That conversation has always fascinated me, no matter how many times I've heard it. It was such a "landmark" scene that It's even the subject of a short documentary on the special-edition DVD.
As with the conversation scene, the shootout segment in the streets of Los Angeles still astounds me no matter how many times I see it. The other action scenes are intense and memorable, too, and the cast in here is deep. This isn't just Pacino and De Niro. It's Val Kilmer, Ashley Judd, Jon Voight, Diana Venora, Natlie Portman, Tom Sizemore, Amy Brenamann, Wes Studi, Ted Levine, Mykelti Williamson, on and on.
Put that fabulous cast under Michael Mann, one of the best directors in business, add a great soundtrack and interesting camera-work and you have a great film. At three hours long, it never bores one and at same time, doesn't overdo the action, either. I read one critic criticize this film because of the time taken to examine the personal lives of the main characters, but you can't have three hours of nothing but action. The only scene I felt went on a bit too long was the ending chase at the airport, but that's nitpicking considering the film as a whole.
This is just one of those movies where a great cast and director live up to their billing.
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