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Top 5 Heist-Robbery Movies

Make no mistake about it, although Now You See Me markets itself as a movie about magic, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality Now You See Me is a movie about four magicians who do an illusion or two and then rob a bunch of people. There’s heists, car chases, explosions, and robberies, but little to no magic. In coming up with a top five list to tie to this film, I was originally going to make a list featuring the best movies about magic, but in reality, any movie is a better movie about magic than Now You See Me, even movies that aren’t about magic at all.

But in honour of Now You See Me and it’s heist-filled, robbery-obsessed plot, here’s the top five heist/robber movies.

5. The Town
After Gone Baby Gone people wanted to know if Ben Affleck had fluked his way into a good directorial debut or if Daredevil was the real deal. With The Town he proved himself. Affleck delivered a solid heist movie set in Boston (surprise, surprise) and starring himself, and up and coming Jeremy Renner, and Jon Hamm. While the script was more or less a good heist movie, it was Affleck’s stylish direction that set up The Town to be an instant classic and more than just a shoot-em-up movie with some people robbing banks.


4. Ocean’s Eleven-Thirteen
Take an all-star cast to Vegas, have them rob a casino, and then do it two more times? Sounds like a plan to me. Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen had the signature style of Steven Soderbergh with the signature coolness of… everyone in Hollywood. Pretty much every movie set in Las Vegas is a great one, so when you combine George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt and have them steal hundreds of millions of dollars with high tech gadgets all while wearing cool suits, well, you’ve got yourself a movie.

Honourable mention goes out to the original Ocean’s Eleven which was just as cool.


3. Inception
Though Inception isn’t a traditional heist movie in the sense that a group of people are robbing a bank/armoured car/Air Force One, Inception is still about a bunch of bad-ass people using cool technology to steal something while trying to avoid capture; and isn’t that where all these heist movies get their heart in the first place? Inception has the good/bad fortune to be a Christopher Nolan movie, which means that regardless of how good it is everyone will claim it’s one of the best films ever made. Luckily for Inception however, thanks to its script and direction it turned out to be a great summer blockbuster with just the right amount of action, twists, and originality to it to make it worthy of being included on this list.


2. Dog Day Afternoon
Dog Day Afternoon proves that a movie doesn’t have to have been made in the last decade in order to be considered great. Starring Al Pacino and all of his patented Pacino screaming, Dog Day Afternoon is a classic example of expert storytelling and great direction. Though there’s no futuristic gadgets or one of those things that suctions onto a window and then cuts a circle out of the glass, Dog Day Afternoon is a simple robbery movie with some great acting that proves that sometimes a little can go a long way.


1. Inside Man
Inside Man is amazing. Clive Owen is awesome, Denzel Washington is in fine form, and Jodie Foster is as great as ever. With some great twists, a very cool narrative structure, and a clever script that is always one step ahead of the viewer, Inside Man takes this list’s top spot as the best heist/robbery movie. There’s hostages, there’s hostage negotiators, there’s diamonds. Seriously, what else could you want? Whenever this movie comes on TV, which is seriously at least once a week in the summer, it’s almost impossible not to turn it on and watch the whole thing. And during the commercials it’s almost impossible not to wonder why Clive Owen isn’t in movies anymore.


Jake Horowitz

Easily the most sarcastic, snarky, and opinionated writer on Scene Creek, Jake has been a staff writer with us since 2011 where he has entertained readers with his semi-weekly segment, "All Questions Answered." After writing for Collider.com and other outlets around the web, Jake has found his home at Scene Creek where he has spawned numerous features, reviews, and recurring segments that serve to enlighten, confuse, and infuriate readers. Most of Jake's time is spent writing for television or watching television, but in his spare time he will interact with readers and fans and post witty one-liners on his Twitter account. Favorite Movies: Rain Man, Social Network, Toy Story 3