Prior to Michael Mann's stylish crime epic, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro had appeared in only one film together, The Godfather Part II, in which they never appeared in the same scenes. Their combined star power was one of Heat's major selling points, but there's also more to the film than their onscreen meeting. As he did in Thief, Manhunter, and Last of the Mohicans, Mann ladles on a rich, visceral atmosphere. The impressive shoot-out sequence on the streets of Los Angeles has an operatic resonance that would make Sam Peckinpah, Sergio Leone, or even John Woo proud. Mann's slick direction is matched by Elliot Goldenthal's driving score and the glistening cinematography of Dante Spinotti.