The Source for Parents

Movie Reviews
by Jonathan McKee

Heat (11/6/2001)

Rated R for violence and language

Directed by Michael Mann (Collateral, Ali, The Insider, Last of the Mohicans…)

Starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore . . . to name a few

Jonathan's Rating: Worth Buying

The film is three hours . . . but it felt like 30 minutes.

This is truly one of my favorite films. Easily in my top three of all time. If you somehow have overlooked this movie in the last decade, make it a Blockbuster night tonight! You won’t want to miss this masterpiece created by Mann, with Pacino, De Niro, Kilmer, Sizemore, Williamson, Levine, Portman . . . should I got on? (I could. Really! . . . Haysbert, Voight, Judd . . .) None of this talent would struggle holding their own in a lead role. But throw them together and put Mann in the director's chair . . . you've got something hot! (hence the name)

I love police dramas. And Heat truly is one of the best ever made. The story follows two groups: a crew of thieves that only do really big scores and a LAPD unit that specializes in catching these kinds of crews. After a huge armored car robbery, the police go to work following every small lead available. One of the leads pays off and the heat is on. Now the cops need to catch this crew in action to put them away for good.

The action is fantastic, especially the gun battle in downtown L.A. You’ve never seen a more realistic gun fight. The sound alone in that scene is spectacular.

The character development is phenomenal. But how could you fail with Mann writing the script and an ensemble cast like this one.

And Heat is pure originality. There’s nothing like it. The only film that comes slightly close to the same feel is one of Michael Mann’s earlier films, Theif, with James Caan.

Probably not. Language is bad and the violence is very realistic.

But more than that, it’s hard to tell the difference between good and bad- you get to know both worlds and you’ll emphasize with them both. You’ll realize that they really aren’t much different. The bad guys have some good qualities and the good guys have some bad ones. The only really bad guy is a guy that neither the cops nor the crew of thieves like . . . you’ll hate him too. (And you’ll love it when Sizemore tells him, “Stop talking slick!”)

FAVORITE LINE: "You could get shot walkin' your doggy!"

Side Note:
As said above, we don't recommend your kids see this film. But on the occasion that they actually have already seen it, you may want to dialogue about the film with them. These questions below may be a help to you.

Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

  1. What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?

  2. How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?

  3. How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?

Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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