Dear readers:

Please list for me your favorite heist movies.

Okay, it’s not a contest.
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43 Responses to “CONTEST!!”
  1. Anonymous says:


    Well, it depends on your definition of “heist movie”
    The Great Muppet Caper (vastly underrated)
    The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (arguably Walter Matthau’s best role)
    Reservoir Dogs (if it actually counts)
    Bob Le Flambeur
    The Lavander Hill Mob

  2. jackmenhorn says:


    Do any others matter?

  3. eronanke says:

    “heist” movies…
    Just to give you insight into my preferences, I actually enjoyed the original “Ocean’s 11”.

  4. eronanke says:

    Does “Charade” count? It is about stealing, afterall…

  5. urbaniak says:

    Hal Hartley’s “Henry Fool,” wherein I steal the audience’s heart.

  6. clayfoot says:

    The Princess Bride!

  7. Noir-Heavy List

    Trying to think of ones not already mentioned, and breaking them down a few ways:

    The Killers (1946)
    The Asphalt Jungle
    The Killing
    Crime Wave
    Odds Against Tomorrow
    Criss Cross
    The Anderson Tapes

    Kansas City Confidential
    Gun Crazy
    The Killers (1964)
    The Underneath

    Point Blank

    Kiss Me Deadly
    Hickey and Boggs
    Key Largo

    • Todd says:

      Re: Noir-Heavy List

      Wow, I haven’t even heard of some of these, thanks.

      Do you have a similar list of caper films? “Caper” I guess being a little more light-hearted than “Heist” for some reason?

      • Re: Noir-Heavy List

        Wow. yeah, these are all damned heavy ones, now that I look at them . . . yeesh, been into this noir bag so long, I don’t always see how dark it is. Oh, I’d add into the dark group a lesser but interesting one, The Hoodlum, with Lawrence Tierney (young and years before Reservoir Dogs)

        Most of the lighter “caper” films I like have already been mentioned in the thread (Rififi, The Lavender Hill Mob, The Great Muppet Caper, Sneakers). I also like both versions of The Ladykillers for different reasons, and the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair (I have a strange, unreasonable dislike of Steve McQueen, so the original is unwatchable for me). Oh, Godard’s Band of Outsiders counts, I guess.

        • Todd says:

          Re: Noir-Heavy List

          LOVE the remake of Thomas Crown Affair. One of my favorite scripts ever. I like the original too, and while I’m a huge McQueen fan, I don’t believe him as an investment banker or whatever he’s supposed to be.

  8. greyaenigma says:

    No one’s mentioned The Italian Job? (And why haven’t I seen the original?

    I also liked Sneakers.

    I wonder if anyone’s made a science fiction heist movie. I don’t think Silent Running counts.

    • Has Sneakers, which I recall being either vaguely dismissed or completely ignored on release, wound up with an odd litle cult following?

      I can’t think of anything close to a science fiction heist/caper movie except Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home wherein the intrepid crew (in a previously stolen Klingon ship) travels to the 20th Century to lift a couple of whales from an aquarium.

      • greyaenigma says:

        I thinkit was underappreciated, I don’t know about a cult following. (Don’t mind these robes or the ceremonial mask.)

        Hmm. Does Free Willy count as a contemporary heist film?

      • Todd says:

        Yeah, weird, how did Sneakers become hip all of a sudden? I mean, I like it and all, but sheesh.

        Anybody but me find it improbable that Robert Redford and Ben Kingsley went to college together? I guess Ben plays older, but they’re from two different movie generations.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think “Sneakers” just has the perfect heist set-up that quickly brings it to mind.
          The scheme to grab the McGuffin was extremely clever

    • Todd says:

      wonder if anyone’s made a science fiction heist movie.

      Excuse me, I have to make a phone call.

    • Outland almost counts. Science fiction crime/corruption movie…

    • dougo says:

      Serenity has a heist, though I probably wouldn’t call it a heist movie.

      • greyaenigma says:

        Yeah, I wouldn’t either. To me, a heist movie is all about the planning, execution, and/or trying to get away with it afterwards. The heist in Serenity was mostly exposition. (Although exciting exposition!)

        In some ways, the Mission: Impossible TV series was a heist series, even if they weren’t stealing something. And that was lacking from the movies, which was why I didn’t enjoy them as much.

  9. glossing says:

    I have a deep and slightly shameful love for the remake of The Italian Job (2003); it’s solid and workmanlike and has a kickass ensemble. And, oh! The Taking of Pelham 123 *is* Matthau’s best role; he keeps referring to the subway system as a “railroad”.

  10. goodtoast says:

    I’m surprised no one mentioned The Sting yet. Although, I suppose looking above, it would be considered light-hearted.

  11. sheherazahde says:

    Heist movies

    I don’t tend to have favorites.

    But the only movie I could remember really liking (and watching repeatedly) that involved a theft was Office Space. Not really a “heist” movie.

    But I mention it now because you brought up how seldom the criminals get away with the crime, and that was the one thing I really didn’t like about “Office Space”. I wanted them to get away with it.

    The whole movie was about horrible and soul crushing work is and they all end up back at work. OK so the protagonist is a new profession “honest labor” that is supposed to be more spiritually satisfying. But it is just back breaking work. And his two friends are just doing the same thing they were doing before. The guy who does end up with the money is incapable of enjoying it. No one is really happy in the end.

    I prefer to just imagine that the three crooks took the money and the girl and went to that tropical paradise. That would have been a perfect movie.

    • Todd says:

      Re: Heist movies

      OK so the protagonist is a new profession “honest labor” that is supposed to be more spiritually satisfying. But it is just back breaking work.

      At the end of Big Deal on Madonna Street, two of the thieves dash into a crowd of men to dodge the police, then recoil in horror when they realize that they’re in a line for workers outside a construction site. One of the men gasps and runs in horror, but the other shrugs and goes inside the site, prepared to lead an honest life of backbreaking labor. It’s one of the saddest endings to a heist film ever.

  12. dougo says:

    Out of Sight.