My wife and I are big fans of heist movies: Ocean’s 11, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Italian Job, and The Score are some of our favorite movies. Can anyone recommend some other good heist flicks that we might have missed?
Well, there is Kubrick’s old classic The Killing about a race track heist.
James Caan probably gave his best performance in Thief, as a ( surpise! )jewel thief.
Ummm…the Clint Eastwood vessel ( with Jeff Bridges ) about a bank robbery, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, isn’t too bad, though no classic.
Hmmm…I’m blanking for some reason on others. Might return later if my memory gets jogged.
Oh, there is John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle, another jewel heist film.
Kelly’s Heroes is a mish-mosh of genres; there’s a heist pretty high up in the mix.
Raising Arizona is basically about a heist artist who wants to get out of the business.
Heat and Goodfellas deserve some consideration.
Personally, I get annoyed at heist movies in which they use magical intrusion methods to combat magical security measures. Realistic methods are fascinating enough. The Thief is a good example, even though it’s not accurate to the biography it’s based on. They used believable means to defeat believable security. You might also check out The Brinks’ Job, which is based on a real incident. Heat is also very good, though I think the actual heist is the least interesting part of it, as though they got to the robbery because there was no way to generate any more interpersonal tension. Out of Sight and Jackie Brown were fine adaptations of Elmore Leonard books.
This is, of course, only my own hangup, but strictly speaking, it’s a heist if you use threats of physical violence (as in the somewhat archaic “Heist 'em!” which means “Stick 'em up!”). A robbery involving stealth or trickery is a caper. While I’m at it, a cat burglary is a robbery of a residence that goes undetected even though people are home. If someone wakes, and the robber uses force or threats, it becomes a home invasion. I’m the only one who cares, but at least now you know.
Heist is pretty good, as is The Spanish Prisoner. Both were written and directed by David Mamet.
I guess Deep Rising is technically a heist movie, although it’s actually a ludicrously (and amusingly so!) overdone sci-fi monster action flick… with Treat Williams!
But there’s some stealing and snatching going on, here and there. Between the monstrous tentacles and minigun SMG’s…
The Lavender Hill Mob. Any movie with Alec Guinness is golden for me.
Although maybe not classified as strictly “heist” movies.
I will go obscure and strongly recommend Diamond Men. Stars the criminally under-rated Donnie Wahlberg and Robert Forster. It is a clever, understated heist movie. I would warn you that it is not Bullitt, it relys on dialogue more than exciting action. I found it to be a pleasant surprise.
The Killing is a good one.
I’m suprised that nobody has mentioned **Reseviour Dogs ** yet. Granted, we never saw the actual heist, but I don’t think we needed to. We got a pretty good idea what happened from the dialouge.
It’s a GREAT one.
Jim Thompson worked on the screenplay. And it shows. The chess-playing Russian wrestler, the sharpshooter who falls back on a racist ploy in order to carry out his role…the film reeks of the grotesque and the exotic.
I’m assuming when you say The Italian Job you mean the original one. If you don’t, go find the original.
Check out Charley Varrick, with Walter Matthau, Joe Don Baker and Andrew Robinson. A great little sleeper directed by Don Seagal (Robinson went on to play Scorpio for Seagal in Dirty Harry). You’ll also get a kick out of finding out where Tarantino lifted one of Pulp Fiction’s more famous lines.
$ is pretty good. I second the recommendations of The Killing and The asphalt Jungle.
If you don’t mind older movies, Topkapi and Charade are fun.
Sexy Beast is about a bank job and all the maneuvering to get the protagonist to participate in the heist. It features a chilling performance by Ben Kingsley as a British gangster.
The Usual Suspects is about a crew of criminals who do a couple of jobs in the course of the movie, but it’s also a thriller that is a must-see. Kevin Spacey rules!
Are you talking about the recent versions of these films or their originals?
Matchstick Men with Nicholas Cage is very good, too. I rented it with fairly low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. Great performances by Cage and Alison Lohman.
One I would stay away from is Shade. I rented it a few weeks ago because it was being heavily promoted in the video store and it has a good cast. I found it utterly boring and predictable every step of the way.
Snatch is a pretty good time. You get to listen to Brad Pitt’s incomprehensible accent, at least. I actually knew a guy who talked like Pitt’s character…it’s my claim to fame.