The Big Heat - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Big Heat Reviews

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Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
May 22, 2012
For those who take their film black...Moral rot gets full play in Lang's 1953 police drama. [Blu-ray]
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Sean Axmaker
December 5, 2009
Fritz Lang, once the master of grand expressionist scenes, directs with a stripped down style and a lean narrative drive...
Cole Smithey
July 25, 2009
Everything about "The Big Heat" is "hard boiled."
Full Review | Original Score: A+
Top Critic
Variety Staff
April 9, 2008
Ford's portrayal of the homicide sergeant is honest and packs much wallop. Lang's direction builds taut suspense, throwing unexpected, and believable, thrills at the audience.

TV Guide
April 9, 2008
A scalding face-full of harsh reality, courtesy Fritz Lang.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4

April 9, 2008
Lang presents one of the great works of film noir. The acting is first rate, Boehm's script tough and efficient, and the whole affair is photographed with the appropriate expressionist, chiaroscuro lighting.
Top Critic
Don Druker
Chicago Reader
April 9, 2008
Brutal, atmospheric, and exciting -- highly recommended.
Emanuel Levy
April 8, 2007
One of Lang's most accomplished and influential noir crimers, with a top-notch turn from Glenn Ford as the avenging cop-angel, a role that Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry) and Charles Bronson (Death Wish) would develop in their 1970s revenge thrillers.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
July 22, 2006
Lang at his cruelest.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Wally Hammond
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Lang strips down William P McGivern's novel to essentials, giving the story a narrative drive as efficient and powerful as a handgun.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 20, 2006
That's the beauty of Lang's moral ambidexterity. He tells the story of a heroic cop, while using it to mask another story, so much darker, beneath.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television
August 13, 2005
Overwhelming crime thriller, with plenty to say and brilliant storytelling
Steve Crum
Kansas City Kansan
May 28, 2005
In-your-face tough cop-gangster noir yarn features gritty Glenn Ford and great Gloria Grahame.
| Original Score: 5/5
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
November 24, 2003
Strong noir thriller from the great Lang in his later years.
| Original Score: 4/5

Austin Chronicle
October 1, 2003
One of Fritz Lang's very best films.
Top Critic
Bosley Crowther
New York Times
May 20, 2003
Mr. Lang can direct a film. He has put his mind to it, in this instance, and he has brought forth a hot one with a sting.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
San Francisco Examiner
March 24, 2003
May be Lang's greatest American film.
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
John Petrakis
Chicago Tribune
July 20, 2002
In many ways, Fritz Lang's The Big Heat, scripted by former crime reporter Sydney Boehm, laid the groundwork not only for "Dirty Harry," but for the whole sub-genre of 'rogue cop' films that began to surface during the Vietnam era.
| Original Score: 4/4
Michael W. Phillips, Jr.
Goatdog's Movies
February 28, 2002
Relentlessly depressing and cynical, and although it was well-made, its cruelty made it an uncomfortable experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Brian Webster
Apollo Guide
January 5, 2002
Perfectly suited to film noir fans who like their stories dark, their characters dark, and their heroes decent but morally tested.
| Original Score: 85/100
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