When Pacino's loud, bruised cop and De Niro's canny crook stare at each other, you can read something spent and weary in their eyes and voices. The heat is hell. So are their jobs -- but somebody's got to do them.
There's nothing really new in this lengthy 1995 thriller by writer-director Michael Mann about cops and robbers in Los Angeles, but it has craft, pacing, and an overall sense of proportion, three pretty rare classic virtues nowadays.
Though punctuated by bursts of virtuoso action, including a running battle in downtown LA that ranks as one of the best action scenes ever filmed, it is the unusual emphasis on character that impresses most.
A stealth epic, framing an urban jungle and making its own kind of contemporary history by pairing acting giants Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino in what has arguably become the preminent cops-and-robbers movie. [Blu-ray]