12 best heist movies that you should add to your watchlist
Scroll down to check out the best heist movies of all time.
Who doesn't like a good heist film? The heist thriller is a crowd favourite for good reason, whether it's a bank robbery, a jewellery heist, a protracted con, or any combination of the three. Sure, we all understand and respect the norms of orderly, law-abiding living, but it's simply so much fun to watch people violate them for profit and power. It's no surprise that there are so many outstanding heist movies out there: Few cinephiles can resist the genre's sure draw.
However, Heist films have been one of cinema's most enduringly outstanding genres since they sprung out of film noir. They've had a completely platinum-plated structure since day one, and the great thing about such a solid skeleton is that it gives writers and directors a great platform to subvert and innovate while knowing that no matter how far off base they go, it'll be there to keep things moving in the right direction.
Interestingly, this base also provides a great deal of creative flexibility. For every bright, breezy escapade in which the criminals have gold hearts, there's a grim, blood-splattered look into the criminal world's darkest corners. Characters may range from inexperienced beginners to seasoned pros and everything in between. The movie is accomplishing its job as long as it keeps us interested and maybe makes us think about whether or not we might pull this off ourselves. In any case, here are our recommendations for the top 12 heist movies of all time.
Here's a compilation of the best heist movies of all time
The 'master of heists' behind the Oceans trilogy, Steven Soderbergh, is at the helm of this dark criminal comedy about two guys attempting to steal their way out of the middle of nowhere America. The plot revolves around the Logan brothers, portrayed by Adam Driver and Channing Tatum, who plot an intricate scheme to loot a racing circuit in North Carolina, and the tangled web they become trapped in while attempting to elude the FBI. The movie also proved, before he did so in Knives Out, that Daniel Craig can be incredibly humorous.
Now You See Me
Now You See Me's talent pool rivals that of any other film on this list. The movie is directed by Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk) and written by Ed Solomon (No Sudden Move), Boaz Yakin (Remember the Titans, director), and Edward Ricourt (Jessica Jones). It's a hilarious, effects-driven heist film that reunites Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson from Zombieland as two of the Four Horsemen, a troupe of magicians who steal banks as a theatrical show. Dave Franco (The Disaster Artist) and Isla Fisher round out the Four Horsemen (Hot Rod). The Horsemen are pursued by law authorities for frequently stealing and donating money from banks all across the world.
A former getaway driver is blackmailed into participating in a job or else his girlfriend would be harmed, but things go horribly wrong when their guns dealers turn out to be undercover cops. Baby Driver, a treasure from Edgar Wright, the cult filmmaker behind Spaced and Shaun of the Dead, is a high-octane pursuit with really powerful music behind all the screaming brakes.
Ocean's 11 is still regarded as one of the finest remakes, ensemble casts, and heist films of all time, even after more than two decades. The all-star ensemble of attractive criminals, their daring break-in of the Bellagio vault, and the use of nonlinear narrative combine to make one of the most elegant and entertaining films of the new century.
Shimmer Lake is one of Netflix's finest undiscovered treasures. It recognises that sometimes it is not the narrative that is important, but how the subject is delivered. The bank heist, killings, and following smalltown manhunt play out in reverse over the course of a week. Everything, as in Memento, is a mystery, and occurrences make little sense until the audience is given context for them.
With Widows, writer/director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) and writer Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) collaborated to create one of the most aesthetically stunning, nerve-wracking heist films in recent years. The film begins with a failed job and the spouses of the thieves left to pay the loan. Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder) contacts each widow to advise them of their debt and their alternatives before carrying out the final heist her husband planned in his notebook, which she received after his death.
The Asphalt Jungle
Jean Pierre Melville once named John Huston's film noir "the greatest film ever made." There's no denying the influence John Huston's film noir had on cinema. It has all of the heist film stereotypes, from Doc (Sam Jaffe) as the genius with a fondness for gorgeous females to Sterling Hayden's Dix, a heavy with hidden depths. "Asphalt Jungle," with the memorable phrase "just a left-handed form of human endeavour," is the quintessential heist picture and an obvious influence on "Reservoir Dogs," among many others.
As wonderful as Spike Lee's second golden run of films have been, it's a little disheartening that Inside Man is his last big-budget popular hit. The heist begins early, and it's a complicated one involving robbers disguised as decorators, an intricate hostage-swapping system, and recordings of the late Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha. As a result, it swiftly shifts from a whodunnit to a whydunnit, with Denzel Washington and Chiwetl Ejiofor pursuing Clive Owen's criminal kingpin. It's a great, cerebral blockbuster thriller, as you'd expect from Lee, and nobody shoots New York with the intensity and wit that he does.
While Edgar Wright's Ant-Man will be remembered as one of the finest contemporary "what if" comic-book films, Peyton Reed's Ant-Man will be remembered as one of the most underappreciated Marvel origin tales. It combines the subgenres of comic book movies and heist movies into an engaging display of visual effects and superhuman action. As Scott Lang, a robber with a heart who is charged by Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) with sneaking into Hank's former corporation and taking back his life's work, Paul Rudd validated his casting.
Army of the Dead
Army of the Dead is a bloodthirsty, inventive, and action-packed zombie-heist mashup. It's audacious in its reimagining of what a zombie and a heist film are. Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) gathers and leads a squad of mercenaries and miscreants on a mission to break and clean out a safe under the Las Vegas strip—a zone isolated from the rest of the United States due to a zombie infestation.
The neo-noir crime and heist thriller starring Ryan Gosling remains a gem of modern filmmaking, bolstered by Cliff Martinez's searing music and spectacular illumination by cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel (X-Men: Days of Future Past). The driver, played by Ryan Gosling, is a stuntman who moonlights as a wheelman for LA's criminal underworld. His past, motivations, and aspirations are all left up to interpretation, making his persona as enigmatic as he is effective.
Hell or High Water
Hell or High Water is a tale of two Texas brothers who steal money when their mother dies. It is both contemplative and exhilarating. It was one of the greatest films of 2016, receiving four Oscar nods, including best original screenplay, best performance by an actor in a supporting role (Jeff Bridges), and best picture. Taylor Sheridan's (Sicario) screenplay is a vehement indictment of the present situation of the American capitalist system and how it fails the majority of the working class. It's smart and amusing, and the ensemble of superb character performers adds warmth and life to the piece, making it something remarkable to see.
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