When it comes to the discussion about style-over-substance, Michael Mann’s is not a name that should be spoken in the same breath as that phrase, which is apt for filmmakers who have a keen eye but a tin ear and an empty soul. For Mann is not only a dazzling stylist, but he began his […]

Read More PUBLIC ENEMIES (2009)


Upon the absolutely conventional fade-out of the Universal logo, desaturated to reflect the film’s overwhelming cool, blue and white color scheme, director Michael Mann has the audience in his grip by throwing them into the middle of a scrum of sound and color. A club scene that throbs with pulsating music makes almost all of […]

Read More MIAMI VICE (2006)


Eschewing the sprawling narratives of every film previously helmed by Michael Mann, 2004’s Collateral is a spartan thriller in which a shadowy and silver-fox contract killer named Vincent (Tom Cruise) pours into a random cab driven by Max (Jamie Foxx), a good-hearted man and erstwhile dreamer. Vincent then forces Max to chauffeur him to his […]

Read More COLLATERAL (2004)

ALI (2001)

Ali, Michael Mann’s towering biopic from 2001,writs large a minor theme the filmmaker had introduced way back in the nascent days of his career; namely, the notion that rigid idealism to a greater cause can transform a man into something more. In Mann’s first film, The Jericho Mile, convict/athlete Murphy becomes a Cool Hand Luke-like […]

Read More ALI (2001)


Much like he began the decade in 1992 developing seemingly unconventional material to fit his cinematic vision with The Last of the Mohicans, Michael Mann followed the success of 1995’s Heat and closed the 90’s out with The Insider (1999), a taught, thinking-person’s thriller that, like The Last of the Mohicans, seemed worlds away from […]

Read More THE INSIDER (1999)

HEAT (1995)

On the grandest throne at the center of Michael Mann’s universe, relatively undisturbed, sits 1995’s Heat. While one can argue all day about every one of his films’ merits and haggle about what represents his greatest work, it is without question that Heat gave Mann the ability to see a long-simmering dream project finally realized […]

Read More HEAT (1995)

THE KEEP (1983)

There is a scene in Michael Mann’s Thief where James Caan’s professional cat burglar takes up the standing offer from a crime syndicate to work packaged scores (ie, jobs that have already been set-up and are mostly ready to execute) in exchange for big dollars. Frank doesn’t like the idea as his is a fully […]

Read More THE KEEP (1983)

THIEF (1981)

“I have run out of time,” Frank softly says to Jessie, almost begging her to listen to him. He wants her to know that his time on this earth has been abnormally disrupted due to incarceration and that his life as a professional criminal has rendered a regular, natural existence impossible. In Jessie, the lady […]

Read More THIEF (1981)


Tracing his incremental steps that ultimately led to theatrical features, it makes sense that Michael Mann would create his first feature film for network television. Coming off two paying gigs that made 1978 a pivotal year for the filmmaker (namely his uncredited work on Ulu Grosbard’s Straight Time and his credited creation of the television […]

Read More THE JERICHO MILE (1979)