Heat (1995)

Directed by Michael Mann

Obsessive master thief Neil McCauley leads a top-notch crew on various daring heists throughout Los Angeles while determined detective Vincent Hanna pursues him without rest. Each man recognizes and respects the ability and the dedication of the other even though they are aware their cat-and-mouse game may end in violence.

Heat [—] the moment when cop movies became militarized and gallons of bullet casings began to roll through the streets. A metabolization of the Rodney King riots three years earlier, Heat tells us that the specter of policing can no longer be cloaked in the soft fabrics of trench coats and floppy hats. For [its cinematic predecessors], back in the middle of the American century, we are still flâneurs, not yet targets.

Sasha Frere-Jones (Metrograph)