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The 25 Finest Heist Movies of All Time


A expedient haul. A crack team of thieves. A conception that can’t fail. Welcome to the enviornment of heist movies, a genre with a smartly-recognized setup however the endless pleasures of watching gentle criminals try to beat the odds and deal with some distance from getting caught. This week, Ocean’s eight provides its name to a list of high-profile capers, providing a female-centric dawdle on the Ocean’s franchise, which began with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and their pals 17 years ago. Nevertheless the heist movie has consistently been a favored Hollywood staple: The long-established Ocean’s eleven, which starred Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack cronies, hit theaters in 1960, and it’s only one instance of against the law movie that’s been remade over the years. (The Italian Job and The Thomas Crown Affair are the two most famed such cases, with every the originals and the remakes having their partisans.)

While selecting the 25 most tremendous heist movies, we leaned intently on the importance of the heist(s) to the movie’s plan. So, to illustrate, the crime spree itself is doubtlessly more intelligent in Impossible Mr. Fox than within the Wes Anderson movie we chose, however the used isn’t if truth be told belief of as a “heist movie.” Our alternatives span loads of a long time and aren’t all in English — most are thrillers, regardless that a pair of are comedies. In some, our anti-heroes prevail — other times, every thing goes terribly horrifying. Nevertheless what connects them all is that primal toddle of touchdown the huge ranking. Don’t try any of this at home.

25. Toddler Driver (2017)
The massive widespread success that had eluded director Edgar Wright — Scott Pilgrim vs. the World did not search out an viewers, and his Ant-Man never came to fruition — finally came about with this courageous, romantic story of a getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relationship a waitress (Lily James) whereas working for a foul mobster (Kevin Spacey). Toddler Driver boasts fizzy pleasures and slick surfaces, frosty playlists paired with stellar bolt sequences, but it indubitably’s girded by a frosty coming-of-age fable of a shutoff kid taking a scrutinize to belong. As with every of Wright’s movies, Toddler Driver is a pastiche of a hundred thousand other frosty movies, but its nearly-musical approach to the heist movie is constantly kicky, full with the forms of double crosses, plan twists, and big payoff that the genre demands.

24. The Town (2010)
While you shut up your eyes and mediate The Town, your brain would possibly well perhaps perhaps first converse up pictures of Ben Affleck shirtless cutting to helicopter pictures of downtown Boston, however the movie mild has the muscular propulsion that is an Affleck directorial trademark. (And it’s price remembering that Affleck the director has saved the occupation of Affleck the actor loads of times now.) The brothers-in-crime Boston thriller has been done to death, but The Boondock Saints this isn’t; Affleck’s emotional currents would be lunkheaded at times, but they’re mild there, and they’re mild tremendous. And how elevate out you now not cherish a Boston crime movie where they fight to clutch Fenway Park? (“Worse than Jack Clark.”)

23. The Italian Job (1969)
“You’re finest alleged to blow the bloody doorways off!” The 2003 remake ain’t too shabby, however the Michael Caine long-established is the superior Job: funnier, cooler, edgier. Caine performs Charlie, a legitimate hood honest out of jail who puts collectively a team to steal some gold. Sooner than he became Christopher Nolan’s patron saint of emotive, remorseful, aging father figures, Caine used to be a rushing onscreen rake, and in The Italian Job he’s tubby of waddle and wry comedian timing, surrounded by a killer British ensemble that positive aspects Noël Coward and Benny Hill. The Mini Cooper car bolt is simply as beautiful as you endure in thoughts, and Quincy Jones’s jaunty, jazzy ranking stays a silky-gentle pleasure. As for that ending, it’s the king of the cliffhangers.

22. Fleet Five (2011)
In divulge to produce obvious the sequence didn’t scurry veteran, the producers of the Fleet and the Indignant franchise made two predominant adjustments sooner than Fleet Five: They veered some distance from the avenue racing and towards a heist theme, and they added the Rock. Mission done: Fleet Five reinvigorated the entire hoary impress and turned it into something big, fevered and, in case you would possibly well perhaps mediate it, produce of frosty. Our approved bit in this movie is when Dom and company steal a bank vault and must power it spherical the city utilizing loads of vehicles, if truth be told turning a bolt scene into an superior physics downside. It’s more enjoyable to gaze vehicles being chased after a heist than watching them toddle every other, which, more than a billion bucks later, we all now know.

21. Logan Fortunate (2017)
Steven Soderbergh’s “return from retirement” movie used to be in most cases a down-home, West Virginia–ized model of Ocean’s eleven, with a youthful cast facing negative financial stipulations by attempting to clutch the Coca-Cola 500 in Charlotte. Soderbergh knows he’s doing riffs on previous hits — a newscast even calls his heist “Ocean’s 7-eleven” at one point — but he knows the milieu so smartly that it’s honest a treat to gaze him fetch us thru the entire motions. The movie wasn’t smartly-behaved, but it indubitably entirely have to had been. And lord encourage us, Daniel Craig is good in this movie. It’s now not for nothing that Soderbergh lists him as “Introducing Daniel Craig” within the credit. His name is Joe Bang, for crying out loud.

20. Ronin (1998)
The heist itself in Ronin is produce of inappropriate, or on the least the case of cash they’re all attempting to steal is: All that issues is that everyone wants it and would possibly well perhaps perhaps mild elevate out whatever it takes to secure it. (The movie if truth be told have to have honest been known as MacGuffin.) Ronin is relating to the double-crossing and triple-crossing the gaggle of thieves fight thru for the cash on the movie’s heart, and, certainly, their high-toddle chases thru exotic European locales whereas attempting to display screen it, and each other, down. The key to any heist movie is the twist, the moment when the heist fails to pass down as meticulously deliberate. Ronin has about ten of these.

19. Bottle Rocket (1996)
Crazy schemes are in most cases central to Wes Anderson’s tales, and here’s where his (and his wonderstruck characters’) desires first took flight. Bottle Rocket concerns three pals (Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Robert Musgrave) who try their hand at being legitimate criminals — to restricted assemble, most of it comedic. In hindsight, Bottle Rocket if truth be told does feel fancy Anderson working with the coaching wheels on, which offers the movie a spell binding innocence. In later movies, he’d pleasurable the dollhouse-true manufacturing secure and laughable/sad tonal balance. Nevertheless here, the exploration of brotherly bonds and fragile romances has a tough-draft quality, whereas the heists have the ironic, quirky kick of a man mad to secure his shot at making a feature movie. And as with many of his future works, Bottle Rocket isn’t all that invested within the plan itself — it’s more invested within the cozy existential crises and wry observations relating to the grief of up to the moment lifestyles, which have consistently been the emotional centerpiece of his movies.

18. Horny Beast (2000)
Ben Kingsley’s big, hammy, and, yeah, sorta enticing efficiency on the center of this Jonathan Glazer thriller is mostly what of us endure in thoughts at the moment, however the explicit enjoyable of Horny Beast is Ray Winstone’s Gal, a used gangster who honest wants to retire and be left along in peace but honest can’t secure away. The formulation he pulls off the One Final Heist unearths a man who doubtlessly has done a pair of of these One Final Heists and knows how all of them cease. The movie hits the entire honest character beats; you mediate every final such a hoodlums know what they’re doing, and screw every other. Even with the carnage that turns up, in case you wished a huge job done, you’d hire them.

17. Inside Man (2006)
Spike Lee’s huge mainstream studio heist movie is so expertly done, and used to be so financially smartly-behaved, it stays infuriating and confounding that he never got the cash to elevate out one other one every other time. Right here is a gargantuan Fresh York City bank heist movie, and Lee’s familiarity with and esteem for the city shines thru in every shot, from the law enforcement officials and feds descending on the bank to the meals vendors watching along helplessly. Denzel Washington is as gargantuan as he consistently is in Spike Lee movies, but it's some distance a reminder too of what a hot hotfoot Clive Owen used to be on in 2007, when he made this and Childhood of Males. The movie is terrific leisure, more proof that Lee, when on, can if truth be told elevate out something else.

16. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
Kevin Kline can have obtained an Oscar for taking part in a boring man — Otto, the final gruesome American, so gruesome he’ll eat a man’s fish honest in front of him — however the enjoyable of A Fish Called Wanda stays that everyone else is so tidy. John Cleese’s Archie Leach sees everybody’s angles, even as he keeps leaping coronary heart-first into the center of the ongoing crime caper. Michael Palin’s Ken knows the ranking too, even though he can’t secure any individual to stamp him. And Jamie Lee Curtis’s Wanda is the neatest of all of them, the one particular person you know goes to continue to exist this entire con, it doesn't topic what happens. The true build a question to is who’s going to continue to exist along with her. Take into account: Aristotle used to be now not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is now not “Every man for himself.” And the London Underground is now not a political dash. These are all errors, Otto. She regarded them up.

15. The Bank Job (2008)
Jason Statham stans the enviornment over have now spent a decade pointing to this movie as proof that our religion within the man as a sound dramatic actor wasn’t misplaced. He performs Terry, a used felony lured into one huge ranking by his alluring crush Martine (Saffron Burrows), unaware that the heist serves a deeper purpose for her. In step with a honest fable, The Bank Job is a wonder of duration detail and taut storytelling: Director Roger Donaldson savors each implausible twist whereas emphasizing the contemporary characters on the coronary heart of this caper. Largely eschewing the high-octane action that has been his bread and butter, Statham here offers us a standard advanced man disquieted by his diminished expectations and regrets, and the entire ensemble embraces the movie’s lean, imply formulation.

14. Warmth (1995)
Michael Mann gave the influence to produce Warmth out of an try to craft the heist movie to cease all heist movies — it has loads of heists, endless schemes, and a pair of million characters — and whereas his ambition in most cases will get within the arrangement in which, it’s now not doable now not to cherish the hassle. Robert De Niro is mild the emotional energy of the movie because the legitimate felony who never loses focal point till, finally, he does, and certainly Al Pacino rants and raves and screams because the fed equally fascinating about taking him down. The diner scene is mild the center-piece of the movie, however the movie is even better when it goes huge and loud: It’s advanced now not to trek thru Los Angeles in most cases and mediate the violent bank heist shootout that dominates the center third of the movie.

thirteen. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Sonny doesn’t desire any hassle. As performed by Al Pacino, he’s a contemporary schmo who’s honest taking a scrutinize for some like a flash cash to encourage pay for his lover’s (Chris Sarandon) sex-affirmation surgery. Sonny’s conception, even though, is horrifying, and it forms the coronary heart of Dog Day Afternoon, which is essentially based on true events and serves as an everlasting warning that, critically, robbing a band isn’t nearly as easy because it looks within the flicks. Director Sidney Lumet bathes the movie in Fresh York ambiance, but it indubitably’s equally cushy in its depiction of the troubles that can occur when sick-fascinating men undertake a silly, awful endeavor. Nevertheless what makes Dog Day Afternoon resonate is Lumet and his cast’s capability to erase the road between these fools and us — Pacino’s one-horrifying-day desperation humanizes his character’s neediness and growing fright, inserting the viewers within the bank with him as he tries to tap-dance his arrangement out of catastrophe.

12. The Smartly-liked Suspects (1995)
A tidy, modest limited thriller that turned true into a huge hit and meme generator — you indubitably have pals who have never viewed this movie who mild know who Keyser Söze is — doesn’t extend fully at the moment, and now not fully on myth of of what we all know now about every Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer. The plan is a chunk too twisty for no purpose, and the huge ta-da! on the cease can feel a chunk gimmicky if you occur to are mindful about it’s coming. Nevertheless the movie mild is witty and ingeniously constructed, with some terrific performances, now not least of all from, yes, Spacey, who obtained an Oscar for his Verbal Kint, and with factual purpose. This movie is an lovely litmus test to gaze in case you would possibly well perhaps mild secure pleasure from movies of those whose off-camouflage camouflage malfeasances repulse us: Spacey is indubitably gargantuan, so in case you proceed to can’t gaze him in this (a fully understandable impulse), you know once and for all where you stand.

eleven. Like a flash Swap (1990)
Controversial notion: Right here is our approved Bill Murray movie. The true movie Murray directed — co-directed with Howard Franklin — begins with Murray’s Grimm, dressed as a clown, robbing a bank and then getting himself and his accomplices (Geena Davis and Randy Quaid) launched as hostages. It’s a pleasurable conception, till, certainly, every thing goes horrifying, and every thing goes horrifying in a vogue that is uniquely Fresh York City. Right here is Murray at his deadpan most tremendous, his face a mask of bewilderment and fatigue as every thing goes mad spherical him. The movie is mostly forgotten at the moment but is indubitably lovely, moderately noteworthy open to discontinuance, even featuring a witty, committed efficiency from Jason Robards because the cop attempting to kill them. It's likely you'll perhaps mild revisit this. “If that had been our airplane, it’d be crashing.”

10. Reservoir Canines (1992)
The Sundance hit that began all of it, for Quentin Tarantino, for Tim Roth, for Steve Buscemi, for in most cases the next decade of American cinema. Tarantino wears his influences on his sleeve in his debut — presumably too noteworthy? — and it’s too talky and self-absorbed … wow, what focus on and self-absorption! Many filmmakers took the horrifying classes from Reservoir Canines, but it indubitably used to be evident, from the very first frames, that Tarantino used to be a transcendent expertise. And never forget: Steven Wright because the DJ!

9. Three Kings (1999)
Launched less than a decade after the first Iraq War — with out a idea that a deadlier, more disastrous one used to be on the horizon — this snarling updating of The Love of the Sierra Madre emphasizes that traditional’s coldest lesson, which is that sick-gotten plunder destroys all those it touches. In Three Kings, even though, that theme is more metaphoric, serving as an indictment for American distant places policy’s toxic self-ardour. The movie stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Ice Dice as U.S. troops on the tail cease of the Gulf War who stumble onto a pile of gold, deciding that they’ll protect it for themselves. Clearly, the conception doesn’t scurry with out problems, but along the arrangement in which director David O. Russell crafts one of many kookiest antiwar movies of most modern times. Three Kings isn’t precisely a comedy, but it indubitably is bitterly laughable — about masculinity, about gruesome Americans, relating to the chaos that can occur in wartime. This used to be the muse of Clooney’s smartly-behaved transition from E.R. heartthrob to serious movie actor, and the movie (in particular in hindsight) feels fancy an unheeded warning relating to the limits of The United States’s impact in one other country.

eight. The Sting (1973)
Exceedingly, shamelessly suave, this Finest Image–winner flaunts its wittiness, whether within the produce of Paul Newman and Robert Redford’s self-gay performances or thru Marvin Hamlisch’s skipping Scott Joplin tunes. The Sting is the cinematic identical of that one friend who honest got into magic and if truth be told can’t wait to enable you to perceive the entire programs he’s learned: It’s too desirous to delight and a chunk pushy about insisting that you just be charmed by the entire thing. And now that we’ve acknowledged all that, we’ll scurry ahead and yelp that the rattling movie works fancy gangbusters anyway. Reuniting with their Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Child director George Roy Hill, Newman and Redford play con men out to damage a atrocious gangster (Robert Shaw), devising an define rip-off with quite lots of twists, turns, contrivances, and double crosses. Deep as a thimble but eminently luscious, The Sting is the roughly used-college Hollywood leisure powered by movie-huge name enchantment and inserting-on-a-divulge pizzazz.

7. Jackie Brown (1997)
Amongst Tarantino enthusiasts, Jackie Brown is on the entire a dividing line. It’s certainly his most used, less overtly fanboy movie, an Elmore Leonard adaptation that is exact to Leonard’s vision and tone but additionally unmistakably Quentin Tarantino. On the opposite hand it’s also the first movie after Pulp Fiction and one which didn’t secure the exquisite notices of that movie … and would possibly well perhaps perhaps mild have ended in Tarantino to pass back to viewers-beautiful whiz-bang action. That’s beautiful, certainly: The flicks after this are gargantuan too, but this is the one Tarantino movie that feels relaxed, mild, wise and even a chunk pensive, fancy he wants to secure it precisely honest. He wouldn’t be that disciplined in his later movies. Whether or now not or now not you believe you studied that’s a factual thing is your have personal taste. Nevertheless Tarantino’s occupation used to be never the identical after this, for better or for worse.

6. Out of Discover (1998)
The true purpose this is lower than one other Steven Soderbergh–George Clooney movie on this checklist is that it’s now not completely a heist movie, but know that we supply out protect in thoughts this Soderbergh’s most tremendous movie. It’s sensuous and seductive and tidy and funky and appropriately irregular, an beautiful combination of Soderbergh being mischievous and consistently doing his most tremendous, after a chain of missteps, to converse the studio smartly-behaved. You gaze this movie now and accumulate it now not doable to mediate that Jennifer Lopez didn’t develop into the largest celeb within the enviornment. After years of failing to adapt Elmore Leonard accurately, this and Jackie Brown got him precisely honest … in dramatically quite lots of how.

5. Inception (2010)
Creator-director Christopher Nolan’s dazzlingly labyrinthine thriller took years for him to crack, his aha moment coming when he deduced that his movie’s very genre used to be conspiring towards him. “I finally realized that heist movies are on the entire unemotional,” he stated on the time. “They're likely to be glamorous and deliberately superficial. I desired to deal with the enviornment of desires, and I realized that I if truth be told needed to present the viewers a more emotional fable, something that represents the emotional world of any individual’s thoughts.” Inception is the cerebral filmmaker’s most tormented work, casting Leonardo DiCaprio because the chief of a team of criminals who enter of us’s subconscious to steal (or implant) treasured ideas. The reason of how that every works is spell binding ample, but on top of it Nolan layers a pained esteem fable wherein our hero is anxious by the spectral presence of his tiresome wife (Marion Cotillard). Phase action blockbuster, fraction existential exploration of the soul, Inception is a groovy, cutting-edge spectacle with a brooding poignancy beneath.

four. Ocean’s eleven (2001)
No longer the one with Frank, Dean, and Sammy: This 2001 remake has more suave huge name energy, funnier jokes, and a cooler idea. George Clooney performs Danny Ocean, the smoothest cat who’s on the opposite hand mild kinda hung up on his ex (Julia Roberts), recruiting all his hip buds to clutch three Vegas casinos toddle by the jerk (Andy Garcia) who took his gal. After the twin triumphs of Erin Brockovich and Web page website online visitors — Oscar-winning dramas about most significant topics — director Steven Soderbergh plan free, bright audiences to take benefit of the company of his chummy ensemble whereas playing sleight-of-hand as Ocean’s team with out considerations executes its heist. Ocean’s eleven is a movie a pair of preposterous plan that is, itself, a ridiculous proposition: A majority of these huge name-studded affairs on the entire drop flat on their face due to toxic smugness. As a replacement, Soderbergh, Clooney, Brad Pitt, and the relaxation of the crew got away scot-free, turning in a caper as dry as a martini and as appealing because the boys’s suits. And the sequels are better than they’ve been given credit.

Three. Rififi (1955)
The pleasure of watching experts elevate out their job impeccably attracts viewers to carrying events, ballets, and live efficiency recitals. Within the same vogue, with Rififi, American director Jules Dassin lets us bask within the stone-chilly brilliance of his gang of criminals as they scurry about robbing a jewelry retailer dependable. In step with Auguste Le Breton’s unique, this French thriller positive aspects one of cinema’s most famed sequences — an almost 30-minute scene appealing the hoods stealing the goods that positive aspects no tune or dialogue — and it stays a wonder of hushed intensity. (When requested to point to his rationale within the back of the kind of nervy resolution, Dassin would yelp, “These are legitimate guys who work in silence. Noise is an enemy.”) The forged, led by Jean Servais, exudes no-nonsense efficiency, which makes the characters’ unraveling after the heist the entire more bittersweet. They would possibly well perhaps perhaps smartly be comely thieves, but they’re deeply unsuitable human beings.

2. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Bonnie and Clyde wasn’t the first movie to romanticize the doomed esteem of outsiders combating towards the system. (Screenwriters David Newman and Robert Benton had been massively influenced by Godard’s Breathless.) Nevertheless for The United States and Hollywood, this story of Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) and Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) became floor zero for a current current arrangement of fascinating about onscreen heroes. Anti-authoritarian and amoral whereas deliriously classy and enticing, Bonnie and Clyde clutch banks for the fun of it, and on myth of it makes them celebrities, and on myth of they’ve got nothing better to elevate out. It’s laborious to focus on about Bonnie and Clyde’s impact with out lapsing into lifeless Movies That Matter stridency, but that goes away as soon as you open indubitably watching the movie. As directed by Arthur Penn, it's some distance a youthful, exuberant limited corker, rewriting movie-biz rules with out ever giving it a second belief. Funnier than you endure in thoughts, but additionally sadder, Bonnie and Clyde made the heist movie feel fancy freedom —which, as Janis Joplin would later hiss, is simply one other be aware for nothing left to lose.

1. The Killing (1956)
It's some distance ideal that a director as meticulous as Stanley Kubrick would produce the finest heist movie ever. In any case, the suitable crime needs pleasurable planning. Nevertheless this early movie in Kubrick’s oeuvre would also focus on to a predominant truth permeating his work: Our huge ambitions are in most cases undone by our unshakable failings. In step with Lionel White’s Clear Fracture, The Killing stars Generous Hayden as Johnny Clay, a felony who’s eyeing the quintessential Final Expansive Ranking so he can are residing gay and rich along with his gal Fay (Coleen Grey). A racetrack would be the scene of the crime, and Johnny’s conception looks foolproof —what would possibly well perhaps perhaps scurry horrifying? As spectacular and sprawling as later Kubrick movies reminiscent of 2001, Barry Lyndon and The Intellectual are, there’s a feverish kick to his grittier, tauter earlier work, which isn’t to claim that The Killing isn’t a marvelously orchestrated and supremely confident exploration of hubris, future, and poetic justice. Reservoir Canines is deeply indebted to this caper traditional, as is Nolan and everybody else who belief it will most certainly be enjoyable to tinker with their movies’ timeline in divulge to hit at something profound about inevitability and destiny. And regardless that many of heist movies possess sad endings, none is so gentle, so cruel, so pleasurable.

Grierson & Leitch write in most cases relating to the flicks and host a podcast on movie. Conform to them on Twitter or focus on over with their website online.


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