Daniel Kibbe’s review published on Letterboxd:
After watching Public Enemies earlier, I decided to revisit Michael Mann's filmography. And what better place to start than Heat? As with Public Enemies, I was reminded of just how great it actually is. It's a masterpiece, that doesn't receive enough credit. The whole film just screams quality: from the fantastic performances, to the superb direction and editing, to the outstanding soundtrack and sound design. It's a gripping thrill ride, that carries Mann's signatures, creating a truly great heist film.
Two of the most famous actors of all time, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, give fantastic performances. While they aren't quite Godfather II quality, they're great all around. Val Kilmer also does well in his supporting role. The whole cast is pretty spot-on, and surprisingly good considering the nature of this film.
Michael Mann again proves himself as a master director. From the perfectly directed shootouts, to the character driven conversations, to that marvelous ending scene - the whole thing is incredibly well made. The sound pops with each gunshot, and the soundtrack is equally as good. The technical aspects alone are enough to put any modern thriller to shame.
The script is surprisingly great as well. That one scene between Pacino and De Niro's characters is excellent. The dialogue proves to be great substance for interesting characters. It was an aspect I hadn't noticed last time I watched it. I always love a film where I can discover new aspects I love after watching it multiple times.
Heat truly is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. It's technically marvelous, fantastically acted, and brilliantly directed. This may just be Michael Mann's best film.