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Character Sheet depicting the main traits of the characters from Heat.


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    Los Angeles Police Department 

Lt. Vincent Hanna

Played by: Al Pacino

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/heat5.png
"I gotta hold on to my angst. I preserve it because I need it. It keeps me sharp, on the edge, where I gotta be."

An experienced LAPD lieutenant that becomes obsessed with finding Neil McCauley.


  • Amicable Exes: The end strongly implies he and Justine are going to divorce, with Justine asking if there's a chance their marriage can work and Vincent replying that he isn't the kind of man she wants. At the very least they end on good terms.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Hanna is the most capable shot in his unit and the toughest in close quarters. Just ask Cheritto, Hugh Benny and Neil.
  • Because I'm Good at It: The reason he gives for being a cop and hunting down guys like McCauley: he doesn't know how to do anything else and he doesn't want to. It's identical to the reason McCauley gives for pulling scores.
  • Broken Ace: He's a brilliant cop but has a very damaged man who doesn't seem able to keep his life together.
  • Cradling Your Kill: Not quite cradling but Hanna does comfort Neil by holding his hand as he bleeds to death.
  • Defective Detective: He's a very talented cop whose life is a self-described "disaster zone" as evidenced by his two failed marriages with a third on the rocks.
  • Determinator: Nate warns Neil to be careful with Hanna, because he's unstoppable.
  • Friendly Enemy: He and Neil may be on opposite sides of the law, but that doesn't mean they can't have a polite conversation. Hanna even says if he has to put down Neil, he wouldn't like it. When he does have to put him down, Hanna holds Neil's hand as he dies.
  • Functional Addict: Though it never made it into the final movie, Word of God is that Hanna habitually uses cocaine to keep his edge. Pacino continued to play him like that, explaining his hammy performance.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: The scene wherein he drink coffee with Neil.
  • Gut Feeling: "Neil is still here. I can feel it."
  • Hero Antagonist: From Neil's POV, since the movie's screen time is evenly divided between Vincent and Neil as a Villain Protagonist.
  • Hot-Blooded: He's a Rabid Cop who's brash, passionate and hot-tempered.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's brash and can be quite short-tempered and abrasive but it's clear he's got a good heart underneath it as seen in his scenes with his step-daughter Lauren to whom he's a much better parent than her biological father.
  • Large Ham: His dialogue can get bombastic on occasions. In the original screenplay he was intended to be a cocaine addict, which Pacino retained in his performance.
  • Married to the Job: What Justine considers Vincent to be and he has been divorced 3 times because of this. Vincent justifies himself that he doesn't want to share with his wife all the horrendous crimes he has seen through his career.
  • No Indoor Voice: He is played by Al Pacino, after all.
  • Not So Different: He and Neil are very similar. Both are ex-military, both are extremely intelligent at what they do, and both their personal lives suffer from their chosen line of work yet neither of them are willing to change because they don't want to and are too good at their work.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: He acts like an eccentric Rabid Cop towards his suspects until he scares/confuses them into telling him something useful.
  • Outranking Your Job: He acts as lead investigator for every crime in the film, from the climactic bank robbery to the murder of a prostitute. He does have subordinates under his command, but their duties are limited to assisting in the larger cases by running down leads, not handling cases of their own. Though we don't know if those detectives — Detectives Bosko, Casals and Schwartz, and Sergeant Drucker — are on any other active cases.
  • Rabid Cop: He is a particularly hot-tempered LAPD lieutenant when he gets his dander up.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: When Neil finds out Hanna and his men are watching him, Hanna tells the SWAT not to intervene as it would be useless to arrest the thieves for a simple burglary.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Neil's blue.
  • Semper Fi: Former US Marine which explains his excellent combat skills.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: He is a foul-mouthed cop who speaks in shrill profanities when he gets riled up.
  • Tranquil Fury: When he found a scared Ralph, Justine's lover, at home. Except when he mentions his television.
    Vincent: I'm angry. I'm very angry, Ralph. You know, you can ball my wife if she wants you to. You can lounge around here on her sofa, in her ex-husband's dead-tech, post-modernistic bullshit house if you want to. But. You. Do. Not. Get. To. Watch. My. Fucking. Television. Set!
  • Worthy Opponent: He considers Neil this, as he states he will feel sorry if he kills him. At the end, he shares a hand with a dying Neil after shooting him.

Det. Sammy Casals

Played by: Wes Studi
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/heat_detective_casals.png

One of Hanna's team members. He always informs Vincent about the latest news.


Sgt. Drucker

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/heat_sgt_drucker.png

Another of Hanna's team members who assists in tracking down McCauley's crew.


Det. Mike Bosko

Played by: Ted Levine

Another of Hanna's team members who assists in tracking down McCauley's crew.


  • Badass Mustache: He sports one hell of a fluffy brown mustache, in the same level of badassery as Trejo.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: He gets shot in the throat at the start of the bank heist shooting, giving him a quick but gruesome death.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: Shot in the throat by Shiherlis during the bank shootout.
  • Sacrificial Lion: The only one of Vincent's unit to die.

Danny Schwartz

Played by: Jerry Trimble

Another of Hanna's team members who assists in tracking down McCauley's crew.


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    Neil's Crew 

Neil McCauley

Played by: Robert De Niro

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/heat4.png
"Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."

A criminal mastermind and thief from Los Angeles.


  • Affably Evil: He may be a ruthless bank robber but he's not above polite conversation even with people he says he would murder if he had to, as witnessed by his genial encounter with Vincent. For example, when he takes the bank hostage, he says, "We want to hurt nobody. We're here for the bank's money and not your money. Your money's insured by the federal government, you're not going to lose a dime. Think of your families, don't risk your life, don't try to be a hero." He also tells those who are sick or have heart trouble to line up against the walls.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: He gives up a chance to make a clean getaway to get revenge on Waingro for the deaths of his crew, and by the time he tries to resume his escape plan, he sees Hanna coming right for him. He's forced to live up to his mantra of not getting attached by abandoning Eady, only to die anyway in a final showdown with Hanna. Neil lingers long enough to face death with dignity, and even Hanna is upset as he holds Neil's hand as he dies.
  • Anti-Villain: He's a Type I with some shades of a Type IV. He's a thief and he's not above killing, but he's a professional with standards, who avoids violence unless necessary and is loyal to his crew. He's also depicted as a somewhat pitiable figure as his mentality of never getting too attached to anything means he lives a very lonely life.
  • Arc Words: The quote above. He learned that from a fellow inmate and considers it a valuable lesson. To the point he had to leave Eady and escape from Vincent.
  • Badass Bandolier: Realistic version: he wears a utility vest stuffed with spare magazines for his assault rifle during the bank robbery and the shootout that follows.
  • Bank Robbery: The last job he plans with his gang.
  • Beard of Evil: The movie's a bit more complex than straightforward good vs. evil, but symbolically it's no coincidence that the violent Noble Demon bank robber sports a natty little goatee.
  • Because I'm Good at It: His stated reason for pulling jobs. He doesn't know how to do anything else and he doesn't want to either. Not unlike Hanna.
  • Big Bad: Of Vincent's story, as the career criminal who Vincent is trying to take down.
  • Consummate Professional: Just because Neil's a thief doesn't mean he isn't a professional with a strict code of conduct and a mindset that values pragmatism over personal feelings. As soon as Waingro ruins a bloodless robbery by murdering one guard, and the second guard is killed in self-defense, Neil doesn't hesitate in ordering the death of the third guard, because after two deaths, a third doesn't make much of a difference, and there's no point in leaving a living witness. Giving in to his personal feelings at the end of the movie ends up directly resulting in Neil's downfall.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He forms a relationship with a woman named Eady, who's initially unaware of his criminal activities and whom he eventually plans on running away with. When Neil sees Vincent coming for him, however, he ultimately lives up to his mantra and abandons her to try to escape on his own.
    • It's also shown that he genuinely cares about the other members of his crew, particularly Chris.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He's willing to commit murder if he thinks it's necessary, but usually tries to avoid that necessity. Of the three heist attempts we see, one is after midnight at a business with no night shift, while the other two are carefully choreographed plans that rely on intimidation, surprise, and nonlethal violence (with the clear threat of lethal escalation if someone doesn't cooperate) to cow security guards and witnesses. As Hanna points out, the third armored truck guard was murdered because at that point, a third murder would cost them less than a live witness to the first two, and Neil is pissed about those first two. So pissed, in fact, that he and his crew try to kill Waingro for it.
  • Face Death with Dignity: After being mortally wounded, he's very dignified in his final moments. He doesn't curse out his killer—Hanna—he just says, "Told you I was never going back."
  • Fate Worse than Death: He swore he was never going back to prison. He ultimately keeps his word.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: He's a retired marine who has since become the leader of a gang of armed robbers. It's also a parallel to Vincent Hanna, who is also ex-military.
  • Gentleman Thief: A Deconstructed Character Archetype. He has the charm and all the connections, but he's painfully lonely, and won't get close to anyone for fear that the cops will be right around the corner. The one major job he's involved in goes terribly awry, and results in over half of his team being killed by the cops. Neil gets more violent as the film progresses, culminating in his revenge overriding his need to escape. He ends up proving his own adage right when he flees (and leaves his girlfriend) after he sees Hanna pursuing him, and winds up dead at the end of the film.
  • Honor Among Thieves: Despite some bad habits, his team of robbers usually watch out for each other. Except for Waingro, who is too inhuman to count.
  • It's Personal: Even when Neil has the perfect chance to getaway Scot-free with Eady, he ultimately can't let Waingro live after the latter caused the deaths of his crew. He makes time to kill him, and, unfortunately for Neil, the delay is enough for Vincent to catch up to him.
  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: He confronts Charlene at the motel where he makes the call to Van Zant's drop man and bluffs his way into her motel room by pushing a janitor's cart to outside her door. No disguise is used.
  • Karmic Thief: He and his crew only target high-value targets like precious metal depositories, banks and corporate money vans. Invoked during the bank robbery scene when Neil says, "We want to hurt nobody. We're here for the bank's money, not your money. Your money's insured by the federal government, you're not going to lose a dime. Think of your families, don't risk your life, don't try to be a hero."
  • Know When To Fold Them: Averted, despite claiming to live by this trope. His failure to escape when he has the opportunity gets him killed.
  • Never Going Back to Prison: When Neil and Vincent talk for the first time, Neil makes it clear in no uncertain terms that he will never go back to prison, and he doesn't understand criminals who commit crimes knowing they'll be caught. When he's mortally wounded during his showdown with Hanna, all he says is, "Told you I was never going back."
  • Noble Demon: He is a ruthless, violent criminal willing to commit murder when it is necessary, but he takes no pleasure in it and makes every effort to minimize innocent casualties as much as possible. This explains why after the armored car robbery, Neil is pissed at Waingro for shooting the first guard, forcing him to shoot the second guard and Cheritto to shoot the third guard: there was no reason to kill them because all of the attackers were wearing hockey masks to hide their faces. One gets the idea that he'd be a pretty decent guy in a different profession.
  • Not So Different: He and Vincent are very similar. Both are ex-military, both are extremely intelligent at what they do, and both their personal lives suffer from their chosen line of work yet neither of them are willing to change because they don't want to and are too good at their work.
  • One Last Job: He plans himself one last bank heist before his retirement.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Twice: at the beginning of the film, he wears a paramedic uniform to steal an ambulance. At the climax, he is able to walk through a hotel swarming with police merely by stealing a security guard's jacket and tie. He makes no other attempt to disguise his appearance. He knows enough that he mostly just needs a Bavarian Fire Drill and act like he belongs. Where he acquired the paramedic uniform might be an interesting Noodle Incident.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: To Waingro: "Look at me!"
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the stoic blue to Hanna's hot-blooded red.
  • Revenge Before Reason: By the near end of the movie, he has an opportunity to leave the country with Eady and leave behind his life of crime forever. However, he jeopardizes (and ultimately destroys) that opportunity just so he pay back Waingro for betraying him and killing Trejo (his friend). It goes against his personal code of dropping everything if the "heat" is on. He can't drop the revenge, and it prevents his escape from Los Angeles.
  • Semper Fi: Like Vincent, he was in the Marine Corps.
  • The Stoic: Unlike his chaser, Vincent, he doesn't chew up the scenery and is cold and calculating, though he has a few Berserk Buttons like Waingro or Charlene meeting with her lover.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: He makes sure that Waingro is really dead by giving him a Boom, Headshot! after shooting him in the heart. Twice.
  • Tragic Mistake: Neil's downfall can be directly traced back to the moment he tells Hanna about Eady while having coffee with him. After Neil kills Waingro at the hotel, Hanna arrives and picks Eady out in the crowd, a woman who looks to be waiting anxiously for a loved one. Hanna is able to put two and two together and Neil is forced to flee, setting up their final, fatal confrontation.
  • Villain Protagonist: A bank robber who is a main character, but he has an equal role with Lt. Hanna, the cop trying to catch him.
  • Villainous Friendship: Neil and his crew are a tight-knit bunch that care about each other. He lets Chris crash at his place after a fight with his wife, Charlene, then convinces Charlene to give him another chance instead of leaving him for her lover, and advises Cheritto against going on a risky job with him since he's in a financially stable place. Neil ultimately endangers his shot at freedom to get revenge on Waingro for causing the deaths of Cheritto and Trejo, and the near-death of Chris.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Neil is a terrible person, sure, but he could have left Chris behind during the big shootout after Chris took a bullet to the neck. He still goes out of his way to pick him up and get Chris out of there, even though it will mean slowing down his own escape and greatly handicap his ability to keep the police pinned down. Since Hanna already knows who's pulling the heist, there was no incentive for him to save Chris other than friendship.

Chris Shiherlis

Played by: Val Kilmer
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/heat_chris.jpg

Neil's most trusted man. He is also in trouble with gambling and drug addiction, which trembles his marriage with Charlene.


  • Cold Sniper: During the drive-in shootout.
  • Cop Killer: Guns down Bosco in the bank shootout.
  • The Dragon: Neil's right-hand man.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Whatever Chris' flaws, there's no doubt that he genuinely loves Charlene and his son and having to leave them destroys him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He's noticeably shaken after the the guards are killed in the opening robbery.
  • The Gambling Addict: The main problem he has, which is the reason his marriage with Charlene is on the rocks.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Of the crew, he and Neil are probably closest.
  • Important Haircut: He gets one when he was trying to disguise himself from the police spot check and get back with Charlene and Dominic.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He's the only member of Neil's crew (other than Nate, their fence, who in the original script was supposed to get caught,) who eludes the police, but he only does so because Charlene, whom he had been having vicious marital problems with throughout the film and had been cheating on him with Marciano, warns him about Sgt. Drucker and the other policemen at their house. Chris is able to escape, but is forced to abandon his son and wife (who he just then realizes really still does love him.)
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: He has the longest hair of Neil's crew and quite a looker.
  • Manchild: Charlene describes him as a "child growing older" and his throwing a tantrum shortly after certainly didn't help his case.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He was quite the looker of the group.
  • Oh, Crap!: When he sees Casals and Drucker as the gang walks out with the money.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Gets shot in the shoulder by Casals during the bank shootout.
  • Sole Survivor: The only surviving member of Neil's crew at the end of the film.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Charlene. Though it's technically his fault for living his criminal lifestyle in the first place.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Has a brief one when he loses his temper during his argument with Charlene and when he storms out of his house.
  • Tattooed Crook: Sports two tattoos on both his arms.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Neil asks him if he’s got anything on the side, to which Chris responds “nothing regular.” He does make it clear in the same conversation that Charlene’s the one he loves, though.

Michael Cheritto

Played by: Tom Sizemore

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/heat1.png
"Yeah, stop talking, okay, slick?"

A veteran acquaintance of Neil.


  • Blood Knight: The only reason why he still does heists, despite being in a stable financial position (unlike Chris), is because it's fun for him; "it's the juice", in his words.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Shot in the head by Hanna.
  • The Brute: Cheritto's a big guy who's usually put in charge of keeping hostages in check (i.e. intimidation) during heists.
  • Death Glare: During the scene at the truck stop diner, he delivers a very cool one to dissuade fellow diners from noticing Waingro getting beaten up.
  • Dramatic Slip: Trips and falls in a fountain during the shootout.
  • Dumb Muscle: Subverted. He's competent at what he does, but follows Neil's lead even when told he has to make his own choice.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Cheritto has a wife and children, neither of whom has any idea what he does for a living before he gets killed by Hanna.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He's as put off by Waingro as the rest of the crew.
  • Failed a Spot Check: He thought he was free by using a little girl as a human shield, but forgot to look behind...
  • Happily Married: Unlike most of the other members of Neil's group.
  • Human Shield: He uses a little girl as a shield while running away from the police. Unfortunately for him, he was unaware that Hanna was pointing at him and got shot.
  • The Nicknamer: Cheritto has a habit of calling people "Slick." Unfortunately for him, this Verbal Tic is overheard by a witness and then Hanna realizes a seemingly useless informant actually has a solid lead when he refers to Cheritto using the nickname.
  • Retirony: Invoked. Neil tells him this decision is his alone, and he has a long pause of consideration. He's probably the most financially established and careful man in the crew. You can see he's weighing up the rewards against the very real risk. He decides to go for it for the thrill more than anything else. At the bank you can detect fear and desperation in his actions. Then he calms down and chuckles once inside the "safety" of the getaway car... before Hanna's team swoop in to take them down, with Hanna personally shooting Cheritto. To rub more posthumous "salt in the wound", we see his wife suddenly pay attention to the news story. She had no idea what he actually does for a living, and now she's about to lose everything she ever loved about him.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Uses a shotgun to take out the driver at the drive-in theater.
  • Tattooed Crook: Richard Torena tells Vincent that Cheritto has a peacock tattoo on his left arm.
  • Tragic Mistake: Opting to stay on the bank job (he didn't need the money at all and was just in it for the "action") didn't really work out for him either, also leading to a final, fatal encounter with Hanna.
  • Would Hurt a Child: More like "would endanger a child" since he gets his police pursuers to stop shooting at him by taking a little girl hostage.

Trejo

Played by: Danny Trejo
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/heat_trejo.jpg

Another of Neil's main team members.


  • Almost Dead Guy: He's able to utter some final lines to McCauley before demanding to be shot.
  • Badass Mustache: For a character who is named after the actor it was important to leave his trademark mustache.
  • The Driver: His role in the group is the getaway driver.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He has a wife whom he loves greatly. He's forced to turn traitor after Waingro takes her hostage, only to find out Waingro killed her anyway. When Trejo's left mortally wounded and with his wife dead, he begs Neil to put him out of his misery.
  • Happily Married: Like Cheritto, he genuinely loves his wife and losing her was the main reason he wanted to be killed.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: He begs Neil to put him out of his misery after his wife is killed and he's mortally wounded by Waingro.
  • I Have Your Wife: Waingro takes his wife hostage to force Trejo to turn traitor. Waingro, being a psychopath, kills her anyway.
  • Mercy Kill: At his request, he's on the receiving end of one from Neil since he knows he's dead anyway.
  • The Mole: He's forced to turn traitor against McCauley's crew after Waingro abducts his wife.
  • The Quiet One: Unlike Chris and Michael, he doesn't talk very much.

Waingro

Played by: Kevin Gage

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/heat3.png
"I had to get it on. He was making a move, I had to get it on!"

A vicious criminal with killer tendencies that joins up with Neil for one heist job.


  • Alone with the Psycho: All the prostitutes that spent time with him and got killed.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Neil, particularly after he raped and murdered Trejo's wife, while leaving Trejo alive only to be killed by Neil out of mercy.
  • Asshole Victim: His dirty tendencies and lack of honesty won't leave any remorse for his death at the hands of Neil.
  • Ax-Crazy: Easily the most unstable and violent person in the whole film.
  • Barbarian Longhair: He's got long hair and is a vicious psychopath.
  • Beard of Evil: He has a large mustache and fewer standards than Neil.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: He teams up with Van Zant to spoil Neil's plans.
  • Blatant Lies: He claims the guard in the opening robbery was making a move. In reality, the guard was doing nothing and Waingro killed him just for fun.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Neil shoots him in the head to make sure he is really dead if he ever had a heart.
  • Dirty Coward: He acts pretty tough whenever he's threatening and killing people who can't fight back, but when Neil has him cornered he's a whimpering mess.
  • Dumb Muscle: What he is despite his belief to the contrary.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first time we see him, he demands a free coffee refill from a roadside cafe (where it's hinted he's already made himself a nuisance), then walks away as soon as he sees Cheritto's truck without either waiting for his refilled cup or telling the employees to forget it. He doesn't do much more than introduce himself before assuming he's part of McCauley's crew going forward, then glowers at Cheritto when the latter asks him to be quiet so he can concentrate. Even before his actions at the armored car heist, we already know he's an inconsiderate blowhard with anger issues.
  • Evil Is Petty: The first thing he does in the movie is grab an empty coffee cup from a local dinner, pretend he already paid for it for a free refill and then walks away without even taking it.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He can come across as polite and cheery but he's a repulsive monster underneath it.
  • For the Evulz: His main motivation for his actions.
  • Hate Sink: Easily the most hateful, vile, depraved and despicable character in the entire film. He lacks any kind of Evil Virtues or sympathetic qualities, being a petty, sadistic jerkass who is not particularly smart. And for bonus, he's also a Dirty Coward. His interference also ends up resulting in the deaths of Neil's entire crew, save for Chris, whose life is destroyed.
  • I Lied: He threatens to kill Trejo's wife hostage unless he sells out his crew. Waingro ends up killing her despite Trejo doing as he asked, then he mortally wounds Trejo as well.
  • It's Personal: He goes to work for Van Zant to get revenge on the crew for trying to kill him. McCauley later endangers his shot at a clean getaway to kill him in revenge for Waingro causing the deaths of his crew.
  • Karmic Death: McCauley gives him the Mozambique Drill (two in the chest, one in the head) treatment. Although the third guard to be shot in the armored car robbery is also killed in this way, he was shot by Cheritto with a semiautomatic rifle, while Waingro executes the first guard at point-blank range with a pistol.
  • Kick the Dog: Almost everything he does but murdering Anna and leaving Trejo alive and in pain so Neil would have to kill him really takes the cake.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: During the armored car heist, he has a differently shaped hockey mask than the rest of the crew and his long hair sticks out of it.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He has a swastika tattooed on his chest.
  • Psycho for Hire: First time by Neil, though he pushed his Berserk Button for killing one of the van's guards. Second time by Roger Van Zant as both shared a common enemy in Neil.
  • Psycho Party Member: He starts the movie as member of a professional crew of thieves, but becomes such a kill-happy madman that Consummate Professional Neil McCauley risks attempting to execute him in public after their first heist turns into a bloodbath due to Waingro's sadism. After Waingro escapes he allies with Neil's enemies in the underworld and does everything he can to bring Neil down, but then goes above and beyond when he rapes and kills the wife of a member of Neil's crew and beats the crew member to near death when the guy attempts to avenge her, all for no reason other than because Waingro is an uncontrollable nutcase. By this point Neil is so furious with the psycho that despite being the subject of a police manhunt Neil takes time out of his getaway to hunt down Waingro and kill him properly.
  • Sadist: He takes immense pleasure in causing the suffering of others.
  • Serial Killer: A coroner says that his prostitute killings are going serial.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: His impulsive ruthlessness ends up botching the armored car heist and nearly gets himself killed by Neil during the diner meeting for his troubles until a momentary distraction caused by a police car patrolling the area allowed Waingro to escape with his life. He would later be hired by Roger Van Zant, who secretly plots the elimination of Neil's team.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He thinks he's a badass and savvy thief, on par with Neil, when he's really just an idiotic thug who kills for pleasure. He also clearly imagines that he's Neil's archenemy when Neil thinks of him as a minor annoyance in the grand scheme of things.
  • Smug Snake: He clearly thinks he's a badass, but in reality he has no guts or brains.
  • The Sociopath: He kills for pure enjoyment, doesn't seem to have any feelings for anyone, and has a grandiose sense of self-worth despite having little in the way of skill or resourcefulness to back it up.
  • The Starscream: After the armored car heist, he escapes getting killed by Neil and later works with Van Zant to eliminate Neil and his crew. He even rats out the crew by informing the authorities (Hanna's unit) about Neil's bank robbery plan by tracking down Trejo and compromising his position with Neil's crew by luring him near a police checkpoint, coercing him to sell out critical information about the bank heist plan, and forcing Neil to hire a new getaway driver for the bank heist, who happens to be an ex-convict and isn't as skilled as Trejo is in that field, contributing to the heist going down badly.
  • Stupid Evil: Murdering one of the armored truck guards For the Evulz not only caused one of the other guards to try to shoot back and kill the crew, it necessitated the death of the third guard to eliminate all witnesses. He essentially turned a bloodless crime into a triple homicide, upping any prison time, for no reason.
  • Tattooed Crook: He has quite a few tattoos and he's thief and murderer.
  • Weapon of Choice: Favors a Star Megastar semi-automatic pistol.

    Family 

Justine Hanna

Played by: Diane Venora

Vincent's third wife. While she still loves him, she is growing a bit tired of Vincent's workaholism.


  • Amicable Exes: The end strongly implies Vincent and Justine are going to divorce, with Justine asking if there's a chance their marriage can work and Vincent replying that he isn't the kind of man she wants. At the very least they end on good terms.
  • Ms. Fanservice: As played by Diane Venora. Her first scene is a sex scene between her and Vincent.
  • Your Cheating Heart: She cheats on Vincent mainly to get a reaction out of him while their marriage is crumbling.

Lauren Gustafson

Played by: Natalie Portman

Justine's daughter from her other marriage and Vincent's stepdaughter. She's driven to depression because of her father's neglect.


  • Bath Suicide: She tries to do this, after she got seriously distraught that her biodad wouldn't give her the time of day. When he gets home from work Hanna finds her lying in his bathtub with her wrists cut. He immediately ties her arms and legs to stop the bleeding, and rushes her to the nearest ER. It's got more Squick than when Bosko gets shot during the bank robbery shootout, or when the three guards are killed in the armored car robbery.
  • Break the Cutie: She's a teenage girl who just wants to be loved by her father but suffers from depression because he keeps neglecting her. This eventually causes her to try to take her own life.
  • Driven to Suicide: She slits her wrists in the bathtub. Fortunately, Hanna gets there in time.
  • Establishing Character Moment: She panics because her deadbeat father's half an hour late, then dissolves in tears when she realizes he's probably not coming. Her overreaction to her father's absence presages her suicide attempt late in the film.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Vincent found her in his hotel room's bath with some cuts in a wrist and a leg. Luckily Vincent got her to the hospital and she survived just in time.
  • Parental Neglect: By her natural father, which drives her to the aforementioned.

Charlene Shiherlis

Played by: Ashley Judd

Chris' wife who is getting tired of his difficult life. She has a little son with him named Dominic.


    Neil's Associates 

Nate

Played by: Jon Voight

An old associate of Neil that provides him with key information for his schemes.


  • Affably Evil: He is related to the criminal underworld but he is quite a Cool Old Guy.
  • Badass Mustache: One of the few instances you will see a Jon Voight character with a great mustache.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's an old crook with a pragmatic mindset and an almost fatherly relationship with Neil.
  • Evil Genius: He suggests targets for Neil to hit.
  • Karma Houdini: Though according to the script, he was later arressted by Hannah.
  • Knowledge Broker: Neil consults him for intelligence on potential heists and police opponents. When Neil asks him where he gets this stuff he replies that it just comes to him through the air (his house is festooned with antennae and located on a hill above Los Angeles).
  • What You Are in the Dark: Helps Neil and Chris after the botched heist when it would have been far safer and easier not to do so.

Donald Breedan

Played by: Dennis Haysbert

A young man on parole that works in a restaurant with a nasty boss.


  • Black Dude Dies First: He's the first of the crooks to die, which happens after bullets fired from Casals and Drucker pierce the windshield and hits him in the head.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: He is presented as a man on parole with a new job at a restaurant with no clear signs of relation to the plot. But after Trejo leaves because he is supposed to be chased by the police, Neil, who met him at prison, finds him in the restaurant and proposes him to be the runaway driver.
  • Chronic Villainy: When Breedan's introduced, he's determined to go straight. Unfortunately, the constant abuse he suffers from his boss in an unfulfilling job leads him to jump at the chance to join Neil's crew.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Breedan gets character presence and importance on the same level as Neil, Vincent or Chris. Then, he's suddenly shot and killed driving the car after the bank heist.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Gets shot in the head by Hanna, Casals and Drucker. All at once. And keep in mind that Drucker has a shotgun.
  • Sacrificial Lion: He gets screen time and development in a seemingly unrelated storyline until he crosses paths with Neil who recruits him for a job. Unfortunately, Breedan doesn't end up surviving the heist.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: After getting out of prison, he's working a dead end job with a Bad Boss. Then he gets brought back into the criminal life when Neil needs a getaway driver. This leads to him getting shot in the head while driving his new comrades away from a bank.
  • Tragic Villain: He makes an honest effort to reform and make an honest living but his mistreatment by his boss drives him back to crime.

    Roger Van Zant 

Roger Van Zant

Played by: William Fichtner

A money launderer who holds a grudge on Neil for robbing him and re-selling his stolen bonds to him.


  • Asshole Victim: He tried to mess up with Neil only for the master thief to shoot him in the chest.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: He teams up with Waingro to spoil Neil's plans.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He's a businessman who uses Malibu Equity Investments to handle investment portfolios for offshore money laundering and drug money. He's also not above killing people who steal from him to send a message.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Or resignation, at least.
    Neil: [With a gun aimed] Waingro. Where is he? Where is he?!
    Van Zant: [Resigned] How the hell would I know?
    [Gets shot]
  • Improperly Paranoid: Normally after a master criminal promises to kill you for your betrayal, it would be smart to take action to kill him first. What Van Zant doesn't realize is that the police pressure put on Neil has caused him to put vengeance on the back burner. At least until Van Zant hires Waingro in an effort to get Neil and his crew killed, at which point Neil kills him in retribution for the death of his friends.
  • It's Personal: He backfires Neil with an assassination attempt and fake money for trying to re-sell his own bonds to him. Then it backfires on him horribly when Neil later found out about his plans and had him killed personally.
  • Make an Example of Them: His reason for trying to kill Neil to reclaim his bearer bonds instead of just making a profit by both buying them back and collecting the insurance for them. Even if it's more profitable, he doesn't want the underworld to think it's okay to steal from him.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: He's one of the main antagonists of the film but he's not even close to a combatant and relies on hired muscle to do his dirty work for him.
  • Oh, Crap!: When his attempt to kill Neil for stealing from him fails, Neil gives him a call and lets him know in no uncertain terms that he will be coming for his head. Van Zant's reaction is one of utter horror and he spends the next few days hiding out of his office.
  • Revenge Before Reason: He would have collected 100% on the insurance for his stolen bearer bonds and made an extra 40% by buying back the bonds from Neil and his crew at a discount. Instead, he tries to have them killed as a message to the underworld that stealing from him is a bad move. Unfortunately for him, this backfires horribly and Neil not only had survived the assassination attempt, but eventually hunted van Zant down and killed him for his troubles.
  • Smug Snake: He badly overestimates his own skill against Neil.
  • Swiss Bank Account: He's a money launderer, of course he has one of these.

Hugh Benny

Played by: Henry Rollins

Van Zant's bodyguard and the one who informs the police that Neil was planning a bank heist.


    Others 

Eady

Played by: Amy Brennaman

A graphic designer and Neil's love interest.


  • Age-Gap Romance: She is quite a deal younger than Neil.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Averted. She didn't know Neil was a criminal and master thief, and is quite shocked after learning the truth.
  • Break the Cutie: She was shocked when the news talked about the bank heist and Neil's involvement in it though she gave him a chance. Then the poor girl is completely speechless when Neil abandons her when Vincent chases him.
  • Satellite Love Interest: She's given a little backstory but mostly her role revolves around her relationship with Neil and opening the possibility of him growing attached to someone enough to give up his "looking out for number one" mentality. Unfortunately, he doesn't.
  • Stalker with a Crush: She tells Neil that she saw him various times in the bookshop where she works.

Alan Marciano

Played by: Hank Azaria

Charlene's lover from Las Vegas.


  • Jerkass: Living with Chris is a hell for Charlene. But with Alan? He insults her and he clearly only wanted her for sex.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Along with the Torena brothers and Vincent's Large Ham, he also provides the funniest moments of the film.
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