10 Best Heist Movies of All Time

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Are you searching for action-packed movies that keep you on edge and guessing the whole time? Then, we’ve got you covered. Recently, someone asked, “What’s the best heist movie you’ve ever seen?” Here are the top-voted responses. 

1. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Dog Day Afternoon is a biographical crime drama following an inexperienced criminal, Sonny Wortzik (Al Pacino), who leads a bank robbery in Brooklyn. 

After things go wrong, a hostage situation develops, and Sonny and his accomplice, Sal Naturile (John Cazale), fight for control of the problem. 

Meanwhile, the FBI and media arrive, causing more friction in a volatile situation. Ultimately, revelations about Sonny’s motive behind the robbery are divulged as the standoff with police pushes to its end. 

2. Heat (1995)

Michael Mann’s Heat is a crime drama following the conflict between Lieutenant Hanna (Al Pacino), an LAPD detective, and Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), a career thief, while also depicting its effect on both their professional and personal lives. 

While McCauley and Hanna attempt to thwart each other’s plans, they find mutual respect. It also stars Diane Venora and Natalie Portman. 

3. Thief (1981)

Michael Mann’s feature film debut, Thief, is a neo-noir heist action thriller following a highly skilled jewel thief named Frank (James Caan). Frank wants to settle down with his love Jessie (Tuesday Weld) and leave the dangerous shenanigans behind. 

However, a powerful gangster, Leo (Robert Prosky), wants him on his payroll, and when he attempts to abandon his criminal activities, Frank finds himself in a showdown with Leo. 

4. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox is an American stop-motion animated comedy following the titular character Mr. Fox (George Clooney), breaking a twelve-year promise to his wife (Meryl Streep) by raiding his human neighbor’s farm. 

The farmers hunt and drive him, his family, and his animal friends underground. So he must use his uncanny wits to get them out of the pickle he’s put them in. It also stars Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, and Owen Wilson.

5. Ocean’s Eleven (2011)

Ocean’s Eleven is a heist comedy remake of the 1960 Rat Pack movie of the same name. It follows buddies Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) planning a $160 million heist from Terry Benedict (Andy García), a casino owner and Ocean’s ex-wife’s (Julia Roberts) new lover. It also stars Matt Damon and Don Cheadle.

6. The Killing (1956)

Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing is a film noir following career criminal Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden). After one final heist, Johnny plans on going straight and marrying his fiancée (Coleen Gray). 

So he recruits a crooked cop, bartender, sharpshooter, and racetrack betting teller, George (Elisha Cook Jr.), to rob the racetrack he works for out of millions. However, after George informs his wife (Marie Windsor), she cooks a new scheme of her own.

7. Sexy Beast (2000)

Sexy Beast is a British crime film following former gangster Gal Dove (Ray Winstone) retiring to a Spanish villa paradise with his loving wife (Amanda Redman). 

However, Don Logan (Ben Kingsley), a violent gangster and Gal’s nemesis, demands he participate in an extraordinary underwater bank heist. Gal is pulled in and risks everything to protect his wife from Logan’s wrath.

8. Dead Presidents (1995) 

Dead Presidents is a crime movie partly based on the experiences of Haywood T. Kirkland, whose true story is depicted in the book Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans by Wallace Terry. Dead Presidents follows the struggles of returning war veterans of color who the US government neglected. 

For example, many Black and Latino veterans were denied compensation, benefits, and recognition for serving their country. It’s also loosely based on the Brink’s armored truck robbery involving the Black Liberation Army.

9. American Animals (2018)

American Animals is a heist film following four college friends in Kentucky (Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, and Jared Abrahamson). 

After visiting Transylvania University, one devises a plan to steal the library’s most valuable and rarest books. It’s based on the actual Transylvania University book heist in Lexington, Kentucky, in 2004.

10. Inside Man (2006)

Spike Lee’s Inside Man is a heist thriller following a Wall Street bank heist over 24 hours. NYPD’s hostage negotiator, Detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington), finds himself in a battle of wits with criminal mastermind Dalton Russell (Clive Owen). 

Additionally, the bank’s founder (Christopher Plummer) hires a Manhattan power broker (Jodie Foster) to guard his safe deposit box during the heist. 

We hope you enjoyed this Reddit picks list of the greatest heist movies of all time. Also, check out these best free sites to watch movies.

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This article was originally published on Ash & Pri.

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Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of AshandPri.com and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.