In the Heat of the Night - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

In the Heat of the Night Reviews

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½ June 26, 2017
Though it is a great film tackling race issues, it struggles in it's crime plot and ends with sparks from flint and steel rather than a lightning bolt.
½ April 21, 2017
lol this movie was really about how crappy people were and how crappy they STILL are.
½ February 28, 2017
"In the Heat of the Night" is still an important and suspenseful portrait of racism in the south the 1960s was known for.
February 26, 2017
You had to be Poitier to get any respect back then.
February 19, 2017
10 out of 10:

Exciting, intriguing, well directed, and spectacular performances makes In the Heat of the Night a smart detective movie.
January 21, 2017
Tense, timeless, and unfortunately still timely.
January 14, 2017
IDK if i shared this last night so either way i will now cuz its a true classic and approp for MLK weekend to view a slice of American history in a movie that both feels dated and yet incredibly relevant...its certainly strongly set in its era of 60s south with heat you can feel thanks to great filmmaking and acting and Steiger and Poitier give amazing performances as does Warren Oates and the others are all good...a highly intelligent not overly didactic important i dare say film
½ December 22, 2016
A good mystery film about overcoming prejudices. Very strong performances from both Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier. (First and only viewing - 3/18/2010)
½ November 2, 2016
"They call me... Mr. Tibbs"
This quote has been parodied in the animated films 'The Lion King' and 'Sausage Party' and remains to be one of the greatest quotes in the history of film. I have heard that 'In the Heat of the Night' is a staple of modern times for its commentary on racism, leading it to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Sidney Poitier didn't win the Oscar for 'Best Actor', but his tense, angry performance is one worth mentioning when talking about one of the greatest characters in cinema. I admit that the film is laughable and doesn't hold up well at times, but it is still a great movie that is worth a viewing.
October 15, 2016
The best line in this movie is not "they call me Mr. Tibbs. The best line is "i'm a police officer"
½ October 13, 2016
Definitly a classic...especially if u relate it to the time it had been made. And the funny thing is...if u travel the south nowadays there are places still looking like Sparta...which in my view is more history
October 2, 2016
Effective crime thriller despite a limp ending and a very slow pace.
September 2, 2016
"In the Heat of the Night" has not aged a day, and stands just as applicable and important to society now as it did upon its release in 1967. I cannot think of a better film to win the Best Picture Oscar than this absorbing police thriller.
Super Reviewer
August 31, 2016
50 years later and this film still has a powerful impact. Taut, tense, and suspenseful, this well directed, well-acted mystery keeps you engrossed until the last frame.
Super Reviewer
½ August 21, 2016
A classic that oozes the Mississippi heat from every pore; brilliantly paced and fabulously acted piece that has stood the test of time.
August 9, 2016
Love Poitier of course, but his scenes with Rod Steiger are my favorite thing about this. Great movie.
July 12, 2016
A film ahead of its time.
June 30, 2016
In the Heat of the Night is as compelling as a crime drama as it is sharp on its social commentary, benefiting from outstanding performances from Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger.
½ June 12, 2016
While the pacing is a bit slow this movie is fascinating.
April 22, 2016
A very engaging and provocative movie that deals with multiple themes like racial prejudice, discrimination, carelessness of law and loneliness all engulfed inside a central crime thriller plot. What works even better is the character development which is elevated even beautifully by Rod Steiger's masterful performance. While the additional layers are well written and even well executed, the central plot lacks the required thriller element partially due to emotional disconnect with the victim, leisure progress of this plot and way too many distractions.

Officer Sam Wood (Warren Oates) comes across a deceased body of a rich business man on the road during his scheduled patrol in the night. He duly informs Chief Gillespie (Rod Steiger) who takes over and orders Sam to keep a check on some usual notorious places. Sam finds a black man with a fat purse waiting to get on a train. Coming from a racist southern town, Sam duly hauls the black man to the station without even questioning him marking him as a prime suspect. When the chief finds the black man Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) to be a police officer from North and that too one of the best Homicide experts, he reluctantly requests his help in turn mounting the wrath of the town on him.

It is a movie with extreme highs and a moderate lows. While the conversations between Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier are electrifying, the general behavior of the town is provocative and many external plot elements inducing the required urgency for a thriller, the general progression of the central plot is hampered by a leisure screenplay and too many distractions. The climax revelation needed to be a lot more intelligent given the buildup. Rod Steiger's Academy win is one the most unconventional and well deserved I have come across. Apart from Rod Steiger, Sidney Poitier and briefly by Lee Grant and Larry Gates, the host of other supporting characters performances were too ordinary.
Some of the memorable scenes that impressed me
1) Tibbs consoling Mrs. Colbert
2) Tibbs altercation with Endicott and Chief Gillespie's response to that.
3) Chief Gillespie's personal confession about loneliness
4) Climax parting scene

The complex premise and masterful performances elevates the simple dull plot
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