What’s more exciting than a well executed plan with various moving parts? They can be sports, business, and we aren’t glorifying it—but sometimes heists.
Large-scale heist scenes are central to a lot of blockbuster films and some movies revolve entirely around this criminal mischief.
Disclaimer: we aren’t promoting any criminal and highly illegal activity. We suggest that business or homeowners are prepared against them, but let’s have some fun and revisit some of the best heist movies.
Coming in at first place on our list of best heist movie is the Michael Mann classic, Heat. This movie pits legendary actors against one another when Robert De Niro’s group of bank robbers and Al Pacino’s group of law enforcement clash. Val Kilmer also stars, and the film has received overwhelming praise from cinema fans.
2. Dog Day Afternoon
Al Pacino returns to take the second slot on the list to tell the story of a bank robbery gone awry that turns into a hostage situation. The film is based loosely on a similar incident in Brooklyn, and takes a few plot turns outside of the heist element.
3. Reservoir Dogs
The heist in reservoir dogs happens as a flashback in the film, but it’s plot centers around a group of would-be crooks who botched the heist, and try to figure out what went wrong. It’s an excellent example of storytelling and one of director—Quentin Tarantino’s—best works.
4. The Usual Suspects
The Usual Suspects stars Kevin Spacey, Stephen Baldwin, Benicio Del Toro and others. A group of criminals are brought in for interrogation and while they wait they form a band to attempt robberies together. There’s a few memorable heists and some exciting twists and turns in the plot.
5. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
Director, Guy Ritchie, who’s known for his outstanding Sherlock Holmes flicks, has a few heist films under his belt—Lock Stock being the most notable. This film is also known for introducing Jason Statham, and you’ll surely have fun with Guy Ritchie’s style.
6. The Italian Job(Remake)
Some viewers might not have known that the Italian Job, starring “Marky” Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, and Jason Statham’s second appearance on our list, is actually a remake of a 1970’s classic with the same title. This one centers around a gold heist in Italy, and fans of the genre love it.
7. Oceans Eleven
The Ocean’s series is known for putting a cast of famous actors in a fictional narrative (except Ocean’s Twelve when Julia Roberts plays herself). In Eleven the group attempts robberies at various Vegas casinos. These films are always fun and have to be on any heist list.
8. Inside Man
This Spike Lee film pits Denzel Washington and Clive Owen against each other, as law enforcement and criminal, respectively. This bank robbery turns into a hostage situation and the film’s clever turns will keep you very engaged.
9. The Town
The Town is directed by Ben Affleck, who also stars in it, alongside Jeremy Renner, and Jon Hamm. This tale centers around four childhood friends turned thieves in Boston and has some iconic scenes among our list of best heist movie.
10. The Sting
This classic film tells the tale of Chicago in the 1930’s. Starring acting greats Paul Newman and Robert Redford, the film centers around a young con seeking revenge and teaming up with a criminal banker, and inspired by real life events.
11. The Thomas Crowne Affair (Remake)
Rounding out our list is the remake of the Thomas Crowne Affair. This film stars Pierce Brosnan (who was James Bond at the time) and Rene Russo, centered around the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
We had to include our two favorite honorable mentions that aren’t exactly heist films, but they themselves and the thefts that occur are some of our favorites.
The Dark Knight
The Joker’s robbery of the Gotham mob in the beginning of the film is central to everything else that happens in the movie. Some even say the Dark Knight can stand alone as a crime film due to the intricate relationship the Joker has with the mobsters after he’s stolen from them.
Is there a scenario more ridiculous than Nicolas Cage stealing the Declaration of Independence? If you said, “yes, the sequels that followed,” then you are right. But nonetheless, National Treasure is too enjoyable, and timeless of a plot to not shout it out on our list of best heist movie. In a way, aren’t all these movies like National Treasure?