5. Out of Sight
George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez display great chemistry while respectively portraying a career bank robber who’s on the run and a U.S. Marshal working the case to find him. The dialogue is sharp and slick, and the way the plot weaves and twists through timelines is executed brilliantly by director, Steven Soderbergh, while never detracting from the funny and delightful cast of characters rounded out by Ving Rhames, Steve Zaun, Don Cheadle, Dennis Farina and Albert Brooks. It’s a smart, must-see heist film.
4. The Thomas Crown Affair
In this well-crafted, stylish remake of the popular 1968 caper film, Pierce Brosnan is well cast as Thomas Crown, a sly billionaire businessman and part-time thief. Bored with being able to buy everything he desires, he steals priceless art for sport and adventure. When a priceless Monet painting is stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, investigator Catherine Banning (played strongly and seductively by Rene Russo) is brought in to track down the thief. Banning suspects Crown is the culprit, penetrates his inner circle to get close to him, and winds up falling for him.
Inception is one of those rare films that is smart, original, and brilliantly put together with eye-popping special effects and a visionary original script. It’s the most unique heist film on this list since it also belongs to the sci-fi genre and because its plot about a thief who steals ideas; not objects, differs from classic heist film archetypes. One archetype the film does execute exceptionally well is the “one last big job” element with psychic espionage as the ultimate objective.
2. Ocean’s Eleven
The 2001 remake of the 1960 Rat Pat caper bears some resemblance to its predecessor in lead con man, Danny Ocean, his desire for a new challenge, and the eleven conmen he conspires with to rob casinos in Vegas. But the Hollywood remake is better than the original with a star-studded ensemble cast, impeccably written script, and the heist to end all heists. It’s a witty, clever, entertaining and cool tale with superb dialogue delivery, suave and smooth acting performances and an understated ending that works better than the conventional loud and splashy shootout. The remake effectively maintains the original film’s classy edge while delivering all kinds of entertainment.
It’s a Michael Mann film starring Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino. Need we say more? Though DeNiro and Pacino only share but a few minutes onscreen together, there is no denying that their very presence together in Heat is one reason why the film is so compelling. With a running time of nearly three hours, one might expect the movie to lag and drag at the two-hour mark, but it doesn’t. The action builds solidly for the first two hours and ends with a final bank robbery that features a fantastically vivid shootout scene. It’s not just an action picture. It’s a deconstruction of two men – one a cop; one a robber – and the intense devotion they have for their work and the way they need each other in order to maintain a sense of purpose in doing what they love to do.
What are your most memorable heist films? Let us know the comments section.