Heists

I love a good heist movie. Many of the elements of the genre really lend themselves well to film. Mainly, you need to tell the story with visuals (many times you need to be quiet during a heist, eliminating the use of dialogue), you can keep the budget moderate (lots of interiors, usually minimal locations since it's usually a robbery of one spot) and it will drop you into a world you've never been in before (unless, of course, you're a thief, in which case they probably act as comedies).

I've decided to rank them based not only on the overall quality of the film, but also on the quality of the heist elements themselves. While some of the films at the end of the list I like better as a film, they would have ranked higher on this list if the heist elements were stronger and lower if the heist elements were weaker or not as crucial to the plot.

Read notes
  • The Killing

    1

  • Sexy Beast

    2

  • Heist

    3

  • Rififi

    4

  • Three Kings

    5

  • Reservoir Dogs

    6

  • Inception

    7

  • Jackie Brown

    8

  • Bound

    9

  • Inside Man

    10

  • Out of Sight

    11

  • The Spanish Prisoner

    12

  • Ronin

    13

  • Heat

    14

  • Bottle Rocket

    15

  • Snatch

    16

  • Matchstick Men

    17

  • Ocean's Eleven

    18

  • Quick Change

    19

  • A Fish Called Wanda

    20

  • House of Games

    21

  • Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

    22

  • Drive

    23

  • Mission: Impossible

    24

  • A Simple Plan

    25

  • Revanche

    26

  • The Prestige

    27

  • Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

    28

  • The Bank Job

    29

  • JCVD

    30

  • The Ladykillers

    31

3 Comments

  • I love THE KILLING, a great Kubrick classic! Good choice for number one.

  • What about the Italian Job?

  • Love this list. THE HEIST and THE SPANISH PRISONER are two excellent Mamet films. While THE HEIST is a better film, I actually really enjoyed THE SCORE. I think Frank Oz deserves a lot of credit for pulling off that movie. Especially because Brando only wanted to be given direction from DeNiro and called Oz Miss Piggy through the whole shoot.

    I was not really a fan of the Coen's THE LADYKILLERS, but the original with Alec Guiness is pretty awesome. However, Tom Hanks is pretty good in it.

    I love the inclusions of the Soderberg films and INSIDE MAN, which I think is one of Spike Lee's best.

    BOUND is a great choice too. I always heard that they only made that film to prove they had the chops to make THE MATRIX. It just shows how awesome the Wachowskis are. I wonder what that conversation was like? Let's just make this film so that we can make a really big film, and if the first film comes out alright then it's a bonus. I'd say it came out pretty damn good.

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