The Big Heat - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Big Heat Reviews

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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
Rob Vaux
Flipside Movie Emporium
August 30, 2002
| Original Score: 3/5
Cole Smithey
July 25, 2009
Everything about "The Big Heat" is "hard boiled."
Full Review | Original Score: A+
Jeffrey M. Anderson
San Francisco Examiner
March 24, 2003
May be Lang's greatest American film.
| Original Score: 5/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
July 22, 2006
Lang at his cruelest.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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.
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.
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
January 1, 2000
They don't get much better in noir films than this stark and gritty classic.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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...
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
Carol Cling
Las Vegas Review-Journal
August 22, 2003
| Original Score: 4/5
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
Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television
August 13, 2005
Overwhelming crime thriller, with plenty to say and brilliant storytelling
Chuck O'Leary
Fantastica Daily
August 31, 2005
| Original Score: 3/5
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
Tim Dirks
Tim Dirks' The Greatest Films
January 1, 2000
The Big Heat (1953) is director Fritz Lang's landmark bleak, film noir crime classic and violent melodrama
Phil Freeman
November 5, 2001
The movie's heart is cold and blackened, not only by the tragedies which befall its characters but by an all-consuming fatalism and futility.
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
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
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