Body Heat (1981) - Rotten Tomatoes

Body Heat (1981)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Lawrence Kasdan's first directorial effort is a throwback to the early days of film noir. The scene is a beastly hot Florida coastal town, where naive attorney Ned (William Hurt) is entranced by the alluring Matty (Kathleen Turner in her film debut). Ned is manipulated into killing Matty's much older husband (Richard Crenna), the plan being that Ned's knowledge of legal matters will enable both conspirators to escape scott-free. This might have been the case, had not Matty been infinitely craftier than the cloddish Ned. Just when it seems as though the film has run out of plot twists, we're handed yet another surprise.

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William Hurt
as Ned Racine
Kathleen Turner
as Matty Walker
Richard Crenna
as Edmund Walker
Ted Danson
as Peter Lowenstein
J.A. Preston
as Oscar Grace
Mickey Rourke
as Teddy Lewis
Kim Zimmer
as Mary Ann
Lanna Saunders
as Roz Kraft
Michael Ryan
as Miles Hardin
Carola McGuinness
as Heather Kraft
Larry Marko
as Judge Costanze
Thom Sharp
as Michael Glenn
Ruth Thom
as Mrs. Singer
Robert Traynor
as Prison Trustee
Ruth P. Strahan
as Betty, the Housekeeper
Filomena Triscari
as Hostess at Tulios
Bruce A. Lee
as Man on the Beach
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Critic Reviews for Body Heat

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (6)

Lawrence Kasdan's 1981 noir fable is highly derivative in its overall conception, but it finds some freshness in its details.

February 8, 2008 | Full Review…
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Though Lawrence Kasdan's film is set in today's South Florida, its characters move through an atmosphere that suggests the confluences of decor and demeanor in a 1940s film noir.

February 8, 2008 | Full Review…
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

There's no denying the narrative confidence that brings the film to its unfashionably certain double-whammy conclusion.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

While Body Heat involves murder, fraud, a weak hero led astray and a seductive, double-dealing broad, it also incorporates something new: a sexual explicitness that the old films could only hint at.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5
New York Times
Top Critic

Body Heat is good enough to make film noir play like we hadn't seen it before.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Amusing as this may be, there's something a bit studious about "Body Heat." Kasdan's ceiling fans and Venetian blinds often come across as film school affectations.

February 8, 2016 | Full Review…
The ARTery

Audience Reviews for Body Heat


Finally got round to watching this as heard it was a great thriller and Kathleen Turner's first film role. It looks very old and dated more like an early 70's film. It starts far too slow for me with not much happening for the first half of a long run time. Once the pace picked up towards the end and plot unraveled I did like it a lot more. It has some neat twists in it and I can see how this influenced the likes of the Wild Things thrillers just for one example. If you like thrillers it's worth sticking with for the 2nd half of the film.

Dean King
Dean King

Super Reviewer

Oh my goodness it is so Dramatic wit a capital D, but in a good, film noirish, sweat-dripping-off-the-body kind of way.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer


Perfectly woven erotic thriller, made from the same cloth of noir classics "The postman always rings twice" and "Double indemnity". Sensuality fill its air thanks to great writing, John Barry's jazzy score and the debutant Kathleen Turner's presence. Destiny and greed always step on a murderous pact between lovers.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

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