Heat is a 1995 American crime film written, produced and directed by Michael Mann, and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer. The film was released in the United States on December 15, 1995. De Niro plays Neil McCauley, a professional thief, while Pacino plays Lt. Vincent Hanna, a veteran L.A.P.D. robbery-homicide detective tracking down McCauley's crew. The central conflict is based on the experiences of former Chicago police officer Chuck Adamson and his pursuit in the 1960s of a criminal named McCauley, after whom De Niro's character is named.
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Career criminal Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) and his crew, Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer), Michael Cheritto (Tom Sizemore) and Trejo (Danny Trejo), hire new recruit Waingro (Kevin Gage) and commit an armored car heist, stealing $1.6 million in bearer bonds belonging to money launderer Roger Van Zant (William Fichtner). However, Waingro impulsively kills one of the guards, forcing the robbers to kill the remaining two so as to leave no witnesses. An infuriated McCauley tries to kill Waingro afterwards, but he escapes. Afterwards McCauley's fence, Nate (Jon Voight), suggests they try to sell the bonds back to Van Zant, who agrees but secretly instructs his men to kill McCauley at the meeting. With backup from his crew, McCauley thwarts the ambush and vows revenge.
Lieutenant Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) of the LAPD leads the investigation of the heist and learns that McCauley's crew plans to rob a precious metals depository. Hanna and his unit—Sergeant Drucker (Mykelti Williamson) and Detectives Sammy Casals (Wes Studi), Mike Bosko (Ted Levine), and Danny Schwartz (Jerry Trimble), stake out the depository, but when an officer inadvertently makes a noise, McCauley is alerted and calls off the robbery, forcing Hanna to let the crew go. Despite becoming aware of the police surveillance, McCauley and his crew take on a final heist, a brazen bank holdup worth $12 million, to secure their financial futures. Hanna's unit investigates the murder of a prostitute by Waingro, putting them on his trail. Waingro later approaches Van Zant in search of work and revenge against McCauley.
Hanna learns that his wife Justine (Diane Venora) is having an affair and moves into a hotel, while McCauley finds a relationship with Eady (Amy Brenneman), a woman he meets in a cafe. Hanna deliberately intercepts McCauley and invites him to coffee. Meeting face to face, each concedes to the other the problems of his personal life. Hanna describes his concern for his depressed stepdaughter Lauren (Natalie Portman) and the failure of his third marriage due to his obsession with work, and McCauley confesses that life as a criminal forbids attachment and requires mobility, making his relationship with his girlfriend tenuous. Both men admit their commitment to their work and that they will not hesitate to kill the other if the circumstances demand it.
After the meeting, Hanna discovers that McCauley and his crew have evaded their surveillance, but Trejo is compromised. In need of a new getaway driver, McCauley recruits Donald Breedan (Dennis Haysbert), an ex-convict working a dead-end job at a diner. Hanna's unit is alerted to the robbery by a confidential informant and surprises McCauley's crew as they exit the bank. Cheritto, Breedan, and several police officers, including Detective Bosko, are killed in the ensuing shootout. McCauley narrowly escapes with an injured Shiherlis, and leaves him with a doctor to treat his wounds. He tracks down Trejo, whom he finds beaten to a bloody pulp with his wife murdered. Trejo reveals that Waingro was the informant, with Van Zant assisting him. McCauley finishes off Trejo at his own request, then kills Van Zant at his home. He makes plans to flee to New Zealand with Eady, with whom he has reconciled after she became aware of his criminal activities. The police surveil Waingro in a hotel near the Los Angeles International Airport, and Hanna attempts to bait McCauley into coming out of hiding by releasing Waingro's whereabouts through his contacts.
Chris Shiherlis' estranged wife Charlene (Ashley Judd) is lured by her lover Alan Marciano (Hank Azaria) to a police safe house, where Drucker threatens to charge Charlene as an accomplice and send her son into foster care if she doesn't betray her husband to the police. Charlene initially agrees, but, when Chris shows up in disguise, she surreptitiously warns him, and he slips through the dragnet. Hanna finds Lauren unconscious in his hotel room from a suicide attempt and rushes her to the hospital. As he and Justine wait in the lobby, they commiserate but admit their marriage will never work. McCauley and Eady are en route to the airport when Nate calls with Waingro's location. McCauley has a change of heart, risking his assured freedom to exact his revenge. He infiltrates the hotel, creates a distraction by pulling a fire alarm, and kills Waingro. Moments away from escape, he is forced to abandon Eady when Hanna approaches through the crowd. Hanna chases McCauley into a field outside the LAX freight terminal and mortally wounds him then holds his hand as he dies.
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