The 5 Best Heist Films

Heist movies are as much a part of cinema as psychological thrillers and romantic comedies. We all know what's about to happen when t...

Reservoir Dogs faceoff

Heist movies are as much a part of cinema as psychological thrillers and romantic comedies. We all know what's about to happen when the protagonist decides to do "one last job", but these movies take the simple concept of pulling the big one, and turn it on its head... often times violently.



Inside Man vault scene

5. Inside Man

Inside Man is not Spike Lee's usual fare, but stellar performances by Denzel Washington, Clive Owen and Jodie Foster, as well as an extremely clever screenplay make this film one of the most ingenious heist movies out there. Unlike many other films of this genre, the heist happens at the very beginning and lasts almost the entire movie without ever showing the planning that took place beforehand. The brilliant use of misdirection and unique motive for the crime keep you guessing the whole time.

Snatch Bullet Tooth Tony

4. Snatch

Somehow, British director Guy Ritchie followed up his debut heist film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels with the even better Snatch. This hilarious crime comedy follows a multitude of colorful characters on a crash course with one another as they try to secure a large diamond and deal with a ruthless gangster. Along with a now famous performance by Brad Pitt playing a "pikey" (because he couldn't get down the British accent), Guy Ritchie brought the world the ever-scowling badass that is Jason Statham, whom he discovered pawning wares on a street corner. Very few films have developed a cult following quite like Snatch, and for good reason. You'll be quoting this one long after it's over.

Ocean's Eleven van

3. Ocean's Eleven

Ocean's Eleven is the perennial heist movie. A remake of the 1960 classic of the same name, Ocean's Eleven features one of the best casts of all time, including heavy hitters George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. Every character is perfect and adds to the movie in their own way. An ode to classic heist movies, the film focuses on the planning before the big job leading up to a climax full of twists and turns. It's become the gold standard of modern heist movies, and director Steven Soderbergh's best film.

Reservoir Dogs Trunk Shot

2. Reservoir Dogs

What is there to say about Quentin Tarantino that he hasn't already said with his unprecedented filmography? Pulp Fiction. Kill Bill. Inglourious Basterds. Django Unchained. His first film Reservoir Dogs is equally brilliant. Unlike traditional heist movies, the majority of the film takes place after the job. It follows six guys with color code names after a diamond heist goes horribly wrong. The film acts as both a re-imagining of the crime genre, and the starting point for the man who would arguably become the world's best director.

Inception hallway fight scene

1. Inception

I consider Inception the best film of all time. Now, while that is undoubtedly a bold claim, director Christopher Nolan is notorious for making astonishing films, and Inception is his magnum opus. After taking the world by storm with the commercially and critically acclaimed The Dark Knight, Nolan released the film he had been writing for nearly a decade, and it was easy to see why it took him that long. This film sports one of the most complex and mind-bending screenplays ever written, and some of the most amazing practical effects ever done. The exceptional score by Hans Zimmer and wonderful acting by an all-star cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page and Michael Caine (among others) make this the clear winner for the greatest heist film ever made.

See ya Space Cowboys...

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