We studied the deformation and destabilization of thin liquid films on stationary substrates via infrared illumination. The film thickness evolution was measured using interference microscopy. We developed numerical models for the temperature evolution and the liquid redistribution. The substrate wettability is explicitly accounted for via a phenomenological expression for the disjoining pressure. We systematically measured the film thinning- and rupture dynamics as a function of laser power, which are accurately reproduced by the simulations. While smaller laser spots generally lead to shorter rupture times, the latter can become independent of the spotsize for very narrow beams due to capillary suppression.