You know the type. A bunch of really smart criminals – usually decent people, except for the fact that they steal stuff. Complicated schemes. Usually some cool toys. Examples include Oceans Eleven, Heist, The Score, etc. I don’t generally like older movies, so let’s say nothing before… 1980.
Snatch is quite simply the king. Innovative cinematography, perfect acting (everyone just hit their roles so hard), twisting and turning but never overbearing plot, humor, drama, action, and some of the best dialogue I’ve ever heard, bar none. Only the Big Lebowski has greater quotability.
The Score, with Ed Norton, Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando: “Lemme ask you something, Jack. When did you first start thinking that you were smarter than me?” One of my favourite quotable lines, with a killer delivery by De Niro.
Ditto for The Thomas Crown affair, a rare example of a remake which is actually better than the original, which hasn’t aged well.
I second Rififi. And there is Bob Le Flambeur: another French gangster caper movie. Old friends and new are assembled for the big heist.
The heists are prettty interesting. Le Cercle Rouge (1970) is good too. Makes you realize how influential French films actually were.
IMHO it is awfully limiting to pick only movies after 1980.
However, there is Bandits (2001) with Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, Bruce Willis.
Reservoir Dogs is one of my favorite films of all time.
Doh! I haven’t posted in a few months, and I guess I got rusty with my etiquette. Sorry guys.
Caprese, the reason I limited it to post-1980 is that I generally like the use of gadgets in heist/caper movies. They don’t make the movie for me, but I feel they’re an ingredient, along with witty dialogue, tension, and the neat-o way the movie actually makes you root for the criminals.
Anyways, some good suggestions so far. Keep 'em coming!