There’s nothing more pulse-pounding than a good, old-fashioned heist movie. Whether the perps are robbing a bank or a scientific breakthrough, they’re sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. Most blend the action with comedy for something truly special. There’s just nothing like a good on-screen caper to excite your senses for a couple of hours!
Heist movies have been a part of cinema forever. Who hasn’t seen an old movie where men in pinstripe suits and suave hats rob a bank? While the method has changed (how were they never caught when they were blatantly showing who they were?!), the genre has surprisingly altered very little. There’s still the motive, the man with a plan, the moment things go wrong, and the thrilling ending that can always go either way. Will the bad guys win out with their millions or be shot down as they try to escape? Find out in these heist movies that will totally steal your attention!
16. The Italian Job
One thing many heist films do incredibly well is bringing together the perfect ensembles, and this film nails it. The star-studded cast includes Mark Wahlberg, Jason Statham, and Charlize Theron in this caper about a group of thieves that plan to steal from an associate who double-crossed them. The Italian Job is truly Italian — the film is set and shot in Venice, Italy. As far as heist films go, this one nails every great thing about the genre: a diverse group of misfits, a whole lot of gold, and a villain so worth rooting against.
15. Now You See Me
This is definitely one of the most unique heist films in recent memory. The crew in this team don’t use weapons to complete their heists; they use magic. Crazy, right? A group of illusionists uses their skills to pull off heists mid-performance, rewarding their crowds with money for their unaware complicity. This film may stray from the formula a bit, but it does have one important heist element: an amazing ensemble. There’s the arrogant one, the one chasing former glory, the love interest, and, of course, the young buck of the group. Together they pull off their crazy heists while trying to stay out of the FBI’s sights!
14. A Fish Called Wanda
This heist film is full of double-crossing and devious behavior. A group of diamond thieves constantly betray each other in a quest for some stolen diamonds. At the center of it all is Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis), a con artist and total femme fatale hellbent on getting those diamonds then getting out of dodge. Her manipulation and tricks, and ability to make men fall utterly in love with her, are better than a gun or elaborate plan. Invite more women to your heists, because they always get what they want!
Not only is this a great heist film, it’s your chance to see Robert De Niro and Al Pacino go head-to-head on-screen. Pacino obsessively chases De Niro’s McCauley, a professional thief who has eluded authorities. The crime film is based on the real cat-and-mouse game between Chicago cop Chuck Adamnson and his real-life McCauley, a criminal he chased throughout the ’60s. Knowing this all is (loosely) based on real life makes it even more thrilling!
12. Inside Man
Nothing is more thrilling than zeroing in on a heist right in the middle of it! During a tense bank robbery, a cop matches up against the robber in an attempt to de-escalate the situation. But when another negotiator steps into the picture, the entire thing reaches crazy levels of intensity. Aside from the actual bank robbery taking place, there is more mysterious, and shady stuff going on behind the scenes that’ll keep you captivated. This film takes the tension of the heist genre and dials it up by about a thousand! Plus – Denzel Washington! How could you resist?
11. Logan Lucky
Some heist films can add some laughs into the mix without diluting the thrill factor at all. The film knocks the casting out of the park, putting together Channing Tatum and Adam Driver as two brothers who lead a heist of the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s a blue-collar spin on the genre. The criminals don’t have advanced technology or big plans, just an idea and their fingers crossed they don’t get caught. The silly caper is an unpolished look at what unseasoned criminals robbing a bank would, likely, really look like!
When you think of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you may not think that a heist movie is in their repertoire, but you’d be wrong. Ant-Man is a fantastic caper disguised as a superhero film. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is a former criminal with the smarts to get the job done right. When he attempts to rob Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), he shows his superior skills. Turns out Pym planned to let Scott rob him in an attempt to see the criminal’s tricks. He’s impressed enough to be enlisted for another heist, this time for some dangerous technology. The superhero film is full every great heist element (including T.I. as part of the robbing ensemble!) and it’s hilarious. Does it get any better?
9. The Bank Job
Jason Statham loves a good heist film. This time around he plays Terry Leather; a former petty criminal turned car salesman struggling financially. When an ex-girlfriend turns up with a plan to rob a bank, he can’t help but get swept up in it. A crew of misfits assembles, and like any good heist film, it’s full of crazy, clashing personalities. The film is meant to tell the true story of the 1971 Baker Street Robbery, in which the stolen goods were never discovered. Much of the film is fictionalized, but many elements are true to the crazy real-life story. Much of the robbery was kept secret by the British police with speculation that the stolen goods included some scandalous photos of someone in the British Royal Family. Now we’re intrigued!
8. The Usual Suspects
This film starts at a curious point in the heist — after it’s already done. Everything picks up in the interrogation room after a con gone wrong that left only two survivors. The film takes us through the events leading up to, and during, the heist as Roger Kint (Kevin Spacey) spins a complicated web telling the tale. It’s an intricately woven crime-mystery that puts a new spin on the genre. Definitely a little harder to watch these days considering Spacey’s involvement, but back in 1995, it quickly became a classic.
7. Fast Five
The Fast and the Furious films have strayed pretty far from their original premise, not that we’re complaining! This installment follows the crew as they attempt a heist to steal $100 million from a corrupt businessman while the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service is on their tail. This is where the series officially turned from “street racing” to “big time crime with fast cars!” Turns out the only way to make a heist more exciting is to speed into it at 150MPH!
6. Reservoir Dogs
This one is like The Real World except, you know, in the world of bank robberies. Six strangers are paired together to carry out a bank robbery that quickly goes sour. They have to shoot their way out, and the survivors get together after to find out what went so wrong — and who the traitor among them is. This film marks Quentin Tarantino’s film debut, and he was clearly a mastermind from the start. The film shows his trademarks were there right from his very first film. Violent crime, a killer soundtrack, and a whole bunch of curse words!
5. The Town
This film has some of the best accents (Boston boys!) and some of the best robber attire (nuns!) of any heist film. A group of ruthless bank robbers takes a hostage on a job to get out of the bank, dropping her off miles from where she was taken. When the leader of the group, Doug (Ben Affleck) seeks her out to see how much she knows, he finds himself falling for her. All of which happens as the group prepares for their biggest job of all time. The tension and romance blend perfectly as you actually find yourself rooting for the robbers despite their indiscretions.
4. Baby Driver
Every heist needs a few things: A good group to carry it out, a plan, and a getaway car. And if that getaway car happens to have an amazing soundtrack propelling them, well, that’s just a plus. The film tells the story of a getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort) who is silent but skilled, and always gets the criminals away safely. He signs on for one last gig to get enough money to leave town and , of course, everything that can go wrong does go wrong. And it’s all set to one of the best film soundtracks of all time.
3. Point Break
Surfers committing bank robberies, what could be more gnarly?! Keanu Reeves goes undercover with the FBI to infiltrate a group of surfers he thinks is robbing banks. There, he meets Bodhi (Patrick Swayzee), the ringleader of a group of robbers who wear ex-Presidents masks during their heists. A group of surfers/criminals may sound a little silly, but it works and makes sense: they’re coordinated and love taking risks in the water, why not in real life?
2. Bonnie & Clyde
These two were the OG King and Queen of heists. The film depicts the real-life couple as they commit robberies and live life on the run. The classic tale of the two almost makes heists look romantic, despite the tragic end to their story. The two have an almost mythical quality to them these days. Besides being personified in film, they’re also mentioned in countless songs, music videos, and TV shows. They may have been criminals, but they will be remembered forever, and even hailed as heroes by some.
1. Ocean’S Eleven
When you think of heist films, you think of Ocean’s Eleven, that’s just a fact. The film teams up some of the biggest stars in Hollywood — including Brad Pitt and George Clooney — for a hell of a fun ride. Clooney plays Danny Ocean, fresh from jail and already planning a massive casino heist. He brings his team of ragtag crazies together for the job. Ocean has his rules, though, like not stealing from those who don’t deserve it and making sure no one gets hurt. Bringing together some of the best stars in Hollywood breeds incredible results. Not as great as millions of dollars, but what really is?!