The Heat (film)

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The Heat
The Heat poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPaul Feig
Produced by
Written byKatie Dippold
Music byMichael Andrews
CinematographyRobert Yeoman
Edited by
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • June 23, 2013 (2013-06-23) (New York City)
  • June 28, 2013 (2013-06-28) (United States)
Running time
117 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$43 million[2]
Box office$229.9 million[2]

The Heat is a 2013 American buddy cop action comedy film directed by Paul Feig and written by Katie Dippold. It stars Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Demián Bichir, Marlon Wayans, Michael Rapaport, and Jane Curtin. The film centers on FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn and Boston Detective Shannon Mullins, who must take down a mobster in Boston.

The film was released in the United States on June 28, 2013. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the chemistry, and performances of Bullock and McCarthy, but called the film predictable.[3] It was a success at the box office, grossing $229 million worldwide against a $43 million budget.


FBI agent Sarah Ashburn is an expert investigator in New York City. She is disliked by other agents for her uptight and arrogant personality. Her supervisor, who is considering her for promotion, assigns her to a mission in Boston. She meets Boston Police Department detective Shannon Mullins, who is skilled but loudmouthed and hot-headed. The two women's professional styles clash horribly during their attempt to interrogate a local drug dealer. Ashburn reluctantly agrees to work with Mullins.

Ashburn and Mullins tail a local nightclub manager to his business, Club Ekko, and place a bug on his phone to get information on a drug lord named Simon Larkin. Leaving the club, Ashburn and Mullins are confronted by DEA agents Craig and Adam, who've been working the Larkin case for months. The women discover a surveillance video in the DEA agents' van showing that Mullins' brother, Jason, recently released from prison where Mullins had sent him, appears to be connected to Larkin.

Ashburn convinces Mullins to go to her parents' home to ask Jason for information on Larkin. The whole family are angry with Mullins for arresting her brother. But Jason tips Mullins off about the body of a murdered drug dealer, and chemicals on the victim's shoes lead the women to an abandoned paint factory, where they witness a drug dealer being murdered by Julian Vincent, second-in-command of Larkin's organization. They apprehend Julian but get no information on Larkin's whereabouts, despite Mullins threatening to shoot Julian's genitals.

The women spend the evening bonding in a bar. A drunk Ashburn reveals that her foster child past is to blame for her bad attitude. The next morning Ashburn discovers that she has given her car away to one of the bar patrons, but when he starts the car, it explodes.

Julian has escaped from custody and intends to harm Mullins' family, so Mullins moves them into a motel. Jason tries to join the Larkin organization in an attempt to help Mullins solve the case. He gives her a tip about a drug shipment coming in, and despite Mullins' reluctance, Ashburn calls in the FBI, who discover that it is only a pleasure cruise ship. Larkin shoots Jason for informing the FBI about the supposed drug shipment. Jason is rendered comatose. Mullins and Ashburn fall out, with Mullins vowing to bring her brother's attacker to justice. They reconcile after arresting several drug dealers as they try to ascertain Larkin's whereabouts.

The women equip themselves with assault weapons from Mullins' extensive personal arsenal, and infiltrate one of Larkin's warehouses, but they are captured and bound. Julian is about to torture them with knives when he gets called away by Larkin. Before Julian leaves, he stabs Ashburn in the leg and leaves the knife in the wound. Mullins removes the knife from Ashburn's leg and uses it to cut the rope binding her hands. However, they are discovered by Craig and Adam. Craig begins to untie the two women, but as they realise Adam is Larkin, Adam shoots Craig before he draws his gun. Adam/Larkin has been working his own case from inside the DEA for several months.

Julian returns and Larkin orders him to kill Ashburn and Mullins while he goes to the hospital to kill Jason. Mullins has put her arms behind her chair so she looks tied up. After Larkin leaves, Mullins frees herself, grabs the knife in Ashburn's leg and attacks him first. Ashburn throws herself to the floor whilst tied to her chair and he falls. Julian then grabs Ashburn's round the throat and threatens to slit her throat as Mullins raises a gun. Ashburn head butts Julian backwards and incapacitates him. The duo race to the hospital to save Jason.

Upon their arrival, Mullins searches for Jason; Ashburn, hindered by the stab wound in her leg, lags behind. Mullins finds Jason's room, but is disarmed by Larkin, who is about to kill Jason. Ashburn appears and subdues Larkin by shooting him in the genitals. Ashburn requests to stay in the FBI's Boston field office, having developed a strong friendship with Mullins.

Jason is shown having fully recovered from his coma. Mullins receives a commendation from the Boston Police Department. Members of her family are present, and they all cheer for her.

The film ends with Mullins having signed the back of Ashburn's yearbook, "Foster kid, now you have a sister".



The Heat is screenwriter Katie Dippold's feature film debut.[4] Dippold wrote the spec script on the side while fulfilling writing duties on Parks and Recreation and, ultimately, it sold to producer Peter Chernin for $600,000 prior to even being presented to prospective bidders.[5] Inspired by the buddy cop film genre, primarily examples such as Running Scared (1986) and Lethal Weapon (1987), Dippold set out to write a film in which the leads were portrayed by women.[6] As Dippold explains, "[In] Running Scared, they go down to the Caribbean and there's this montage of them on scooters, and there's a different hot girl on the back every time it cuts back to the scooter. And it just felt like, I don't want to be the girl on the back of the scooter. I want to be the awesome cop doing this stuff."[7]

Despite the success of Bridesmaids (2011), studio executives were still uncertain of an action film with a female-led cast. "There were people suspicious of this attempt, who thought girls won't want to see a cop action movie and guys won't want to see two girls holding guns and we'd cancel out our potential audience," said producer Jenno Topping. "But we really believed, at the end of the day, it wouldn't be about gender as much as it would be about delivering a courageous action comedy with some heart to it."[8]

I don't like women acting like men; then it's not serving anybody. That's why The Heat was really important to me. Because I didn't want to do a romantic comedy. Even Bridesmaids had the romantic elements to it with the Chris O'Dowd relationship, which worked great. What I liked about this one was that it didn't have any of that. It's just two professional women in the workforce who are great at their jobs and who are on this adventure.

Paul Feig, explaining what drew him to the film[9]

On May 19, 2012, director Paul Feig and actresses Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy signed on to the film after previously struggling to close deals due to scheduling and payment conflicts.[10] At this time, the film was called The Untitled Female Buddy Cop Comedy.[9]

Principal photography for The Heat began on July 5, 2012, at then-Dudley Square (now Nubian Square) in Boston, Massachusetts.[11]


The soundtrack is composed by Michael Andrews who previously scored Feig's Bridesmaids and Unaccompanied Minors (2006).[12] A soundtrack album containing songs featured in the film was released on June 25, 2013 by Lakeshore Records.[13] Of these songs, the album includes a brand new track entitled "Rock This" by Santigold.[14] Describing why he chose the songs featured in the film, Feig said, "My favorite part of filmmaking is finding the perfect music to complement what's happening on screen. And I wanted The Heat to feel like a party. I wanted the audience to have fun. And since I have to watch a movie hundreds of times as I'm making it, I wanted to use music that I wouldn't get tired of. Every song in this film is a desert island song for me. I will never get sick of them."[15]


Bullock at the UK gala screening of The Heat in June 2013

While originally intended to be released on April 5, 2013, Fox pushed back the release date to June 28, 2013.[16] The film held its world premiere in New York City on June 23, 2013.[17]


The first official full-length trailer of the film was released on October 27, 2012.[18]

Home media[edit]

The Heat was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on October 15, 2013. The Blu-ray features an unrated version of the film, along with several audio commentaries: one with McCarthy and director Feig; one with the actors who portray the Mullins family; and one with the original Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew.[19]


Box office[edit]

The Heat grossed $159.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $70.3 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $229.9 million, against a production budget of $43 million.[2] Deadline Hollywood calculated the film made a net profit of $61.8 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.[20]

The film earned $39.1 million in its opening weekend, finishing second at the box office.[21]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 65%, based on 181 reviews with an average rating of 6.16/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Heat is predictable, but Melissa McCarthy is reliably funny and Sandra Bullock proves a capable foil."[22] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 60 out of 100 based on reviews from 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[23] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.[24]

Mick LaSalle of The San Francisco Chronicle calls the film both formulaic and inspired "the inspiration is in the combining of these two actresses."[25] Keith Uhlich of Time Out gives a mixed review and says Bullock and McCarthy deserve better, and also criticizes the trailer for giving the bad impression that this was a less funny film.[26]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Actress Most in Need of a New Agent Melissa McCarthy Nominated
American Comedy Awards Best Comedy Actress - Film Sandra Bullock Nominated
Melissa McCarthy Won
Funniest Motion Picture Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer Movie Star: Female Sandra Bullock Won
Melissa McCarthy Nominated
Choice Movie Chemistry Sandra Bullock
Melissa McCarthy
Choice Summer Movie Comedy Nominated
Choice Movie: Hissy Fit Melissa McCarthy Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Actress in a Comedy Nominated
Sandra Bullock Nominated
Best Comedy Movie Nominated
Golden Trailer Awards Don LaFontaine Award for Best Voice Over 20th Century Fox Nominated
Best Comedy TV Spot 20th Century Fox
Open Road Entertainment
MTV Movie Awards Best Comedic Performance Melissa McCarthy Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedic Movie Won
Favorite Comedic Movie Actress Melissa McCarthy Nominated
Sandra Bullock Won
Favorite Movie Duo Sandra Bullock
Melissa McCarthy
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Best Film-Comedy Nominated
Women Film Critics Circle Best Comedic Actress Melissa McCarthy Won

Canceled sequel and proposed spin-off[edit]

Shortly after the film's release, director Feig announced that the film would be followed by a sequel.[27][28] In October 2013, Bullock stated that she won't come back for the sequel and the project itself was put on hold.[29][30] Instead, the sequel was reportedly being replaced by a spin-off film that will center around Jamie Denbo and Jessica Chaffin's characters Beth and Gina from the first film.[31][32]


  1. ^ "THE HEAT (15)". British Board of Film Classification. April 26, 2013. Archived from the original on May 4, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "The Heat (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  3. ^ Ryan, Tim (June 28, 2013). "Critics Consensus: White House Down Is Predictable Action Fluff". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  4. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (April 3, 2013). "'The Heat' Scribe Katie Dippold Makes 7-Figure Sale To Chernin Entertainment". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  5. ^ Zakarin, Jordan (June 27, 2013). "How To Become Rich And Successful By Playing "GoldenEye" On N64". BuzzFeed. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  6. ^ Rosen, Christopher (June 27, 2013). "Katie Dippold On 'The Heat' & How Concussions Helped Her Write The Summer's Funniest Action-Comedy". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  7. ^ Czajkowski, Elise (June 27, 2013). "Talking to Katie Dippold About 'The Heat', Female Camaraderie, and Lots of Swearing". Split Sider. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  8. ^ Kohen, Yael (April 3, 2013). "It's Kind of a Funny Story". Marie Claire. p. 3. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  9. ^ a b Rosen, Christopher (June 24, 2013). "Paul Feig On 'The Heat' & Post-'Bridesmaids' Hollywood: 'We're Not Advancing As Much As We Should'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  10. ^ Sneider, Jeff (May 19, 2012). "Bullock, McCarthy tapped for cop pic". Variety. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  11. ^ Mark Shanahan; Meredith Goldstein (July 6, 2012). "'The Heat' with Sandra Bullock begins filming in Dudley Square". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  12. ^ "Michael Andrews Scoring Paul Feig's 'The Heat'". Film Music Reporter. October 10, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  13. ^ "'The Heat' Soundtrack Details". Film Music Reporter. May 27, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  14. ^ Rahman, Ray (June 24, 2013). "Hear Santigold's 'Rock This' for the Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy comedy 'The Heat'- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  15. ^ "THE HEAT Soundtrack to be Released 6/25". BWWMoviesWorld. June 6, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  16. ^ Han, Angle (January 29, 2013). "Paul Feig's 'The Heat' Moves to Summer". /Film. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  17. ^ "Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy Hit NYC for "The Heat" Premiere". ABC News Radio. KMBZ. June 24, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  18. ^ "'The Heat' Trailer: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy Star as Awkward Police Duo". The Hollywood Reporter. November 16, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  19. ^ "News: Heat, The (US - DVD R1 | BD RA)". DVDActive. ServInt. September 4, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  20. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 18, 2016). "'Ghostbusters': How Its $46M Opening Creates A Quandary – Weekend Box Office Postmortem". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  21. ^ Subers, Ray (June 30, 2013). "Weekend Report: 'Monsters' Repeats, 'Heat' Sets Fire to 'White House'". IMDb. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  22. ^ "The Heat (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  23. ^ "The Heat reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  24. ^ "CinemaScore".
  25. ^ Mick LaSalle (June 27, 2013). "'The Heat' review: Action, comedy, buddy pic in 1 -". San Francisco Chronicle.
  26. ^ Keith Uhlich. "The Heat: movie review2013, directed by Paul Feig". Time Out New York.
  27. ^ Bradford, Evans. "There's Already a Sequel for 'The Heat' in the Works", SplitSider, Retrieved on April 23, 2013.
  28. ^ MovieInsider "The Heat 2", 04-03-2013.
  29. ^ Rosen, Christopher. "Sandra Bullock Says She's Not Doing A Sequel To 'The Heat'", Huffington Post Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  30. ^ Lang, Brent. "Sandra Bullock Says She's Not Doing A Sequel To 'The Heat': I've Done Two Horrible Ones Already", The Wrap Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  31. ^ Puchko, Kristy. "Forget The Heat 2 - A Spinoff Is In The Works", Cinema Blend Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  32. ^ Felming, Mike. "Paul Feig Hatches 'The Heat' Spinoff, Focusing On Jamie Denbo and Jessica Chaffin's Characters From Melissa McCarthy-Sandra Bullock Comedy", Deadline Retrieved November 15, 2013.

External links[edit]