The Heist Movie

Set it Off, Reservoir Dogs, Rififi, Ocean’s 11 & Ocean’s 11

It is a film about a team, comprised because each of them has a certain set of skills.  There is something that is priceless and is in an impenetrable safe or otherwise secure place.

There is usually strategic planning in this film, the upmost detail must be examined and contingencies in place in case of any skirmishes.

In most films, the viewer is rewarded with watching the heist take place as planned, however,  in the case Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 classic Reservoir Dogs, the viewer deals with the fallout of the heist, rather than being a voyeur to it.

What makes a good heist movie?  Is it the loot itself?  is it the planning to a tee, or is it getting to know the would-be robbers on a personal level that you end up rooting for them rather than the protagonist?

So, let’s dive in and see what cinema has to offer…

Den of Thieves (2018)

A clever little caper of cops and robbers, Gerard Butler’s character being particularly jarring as he was the cop!  Planned to perfection, almost to the point of it becoming cliched.  The last ten minutes tried to save it save though … with a cliched twist of course.

Set it Off (1996)
An all-female heist, and the women are black. The film follows four young women and shows us what they are going through, for us to condone the heist that we the viewer are participating in…

Baby Driver (2017)
More considered as a musical because of the heavy reliance of the music and the visual working together. However, who can resist a car chase set to music?

The Italian Job (1969)
A Michael Caine classic! Which involved a lot of cars to pull off this caper.

The Italian Job (2003)
The one with Mark Wahlberg! Which also involved a lot of cars to pull off this caper!

Point Break (1991)
President masks and an undercover cop … or was it a film about chasing your dream no matter what?

Widows (2018)
As the title implies, the women finish the job because their men are dead.

The Usual Suspects (1995)
Who is Kyser Soze? where is the coke?

Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
Cars, a lot of cars.

Rififi (1955)
During the heist, there is no music or dialogue for the duration, that about half an hour of just watching the men perform their craft.

Now You See Me (2013)
Magicians executing heists and a messy twist.

Ocean’s 11 (1960)
The Rat Pack (for those youngers reading, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin and Peter Lawford) decide to pull off the ultimate Las Vegas heist.

The Sting (1973)
Robert Redford and Paul Newman as two grifters teaming up to pull the supreme con.

Jackie Brown (1997)
Based on Elmore Leonard’s novel “Rum Punch”, a middle-aged woman pulling off a heist.

Ocean’s 8 (2018)
Sandra Bullock drives this vehicle of an all-female ensemble pulling off a heist at the Met.

Inside Man (2006)
Denzel Washington is a cop trying to figure out what the hell is going on during what seems to be a run of the mill bank heist. Clive Owen as the lead criminal has hatched a mastermind plan though.

The Bank Job (2008)
Jason Statham demonstrating his drama chops in this based on a true story film.

Heat (1995)
A modern classic. The first film that Robert De Niro and Al Pacino share screen time.

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Al Pacino. Attica.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)
We didn’t see the heist, we didn’t care.

Three Kings (1999)
George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube in a desert.

Inception (2010)
A heist of the subconscious mind starring Leonardo De Caprio.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
George Clooney schmoozing as Danny Ocean, leading his criminal colleagues to take a casino in Las Vegas, because the owner is dating his ex-wife.

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Based on the true story of the titular couple. They robbed a lot of banks.

So as you can see, some got away with it, most didn’t. The take away from this is crime does not pay.

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