We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion really. Here are the top 10 movie heists of all time. Don’t forget to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.
10. Ocean’s Eleven (2001) 82% at Rotten Tomatoes
A remake of a Rat Pack classic, Clooney stars as Danny Ocean, a con man who gathers a group of criminals to pull off the biggest Vegas heist in history. Their target is the vault containing money for The Mirage, MGM, and Bellagio casinos. All of them happen to be owned by Terry Benedict, who just so happens to be dating his wife Tess.
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts
9. Logan Lucky (2017) 93% at Rotten Tomatoes
Jimmy Logan has problems. He’s laid off from his construction job at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and his ex-wife is taking his daughter to another state. He and his brother decide to recruit a few criminals to rob the speedway for the money to make things better. Things get a bit sticky during the heist, however, and it takes a bit of creativity for the happy ending he hoped for.
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, Adam Driver
8. Set It Off (1996) 63% at Rotten Tomatoes
After Frankie is fired from her position as a bank teller for her connection to a robbery she had nothing to do with, she becomes a janitor. It’s not long before she embarks on a series of bank robberies herself, along with her three best friends. Things don’t always go as planned, though, and they find themselves facing insurmountable odds trying to stay afloat.
Director: F. Gary Gray
Starring: Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox
7. Reservoir Dogs (1992) 90% at Rotten Tomatoes
Mob boss Joe Cabot and his son “Nice Guy” Eddie gathered six men to help with a diamond robbery. Each of the men has an alias based on a color. It doesn’t go as planned, however, and the group is split up, desperately trying to figure out what happened. One of them is an undercover cop, and the survivors are going to figure out who one way or another.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen
6. A Fish Called Wanda (1988) 93% at Rotten Tomatoes
London gangster George Thomason plans a jewel heist with his right-hand man, along with two American criminals. After the diamonds are stolen, it becomes clear nobody can be trusted, as they each have their own plans to run away with the loot for themselves.
Director: Charles Crichton, John Cleese
Starring: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline
5. Now You See Me (2013) 50% at Rotten Tomatoes
Four magicians perform a bank robbery trick in front of a live audience on national TV. The FBI starts looking into it and we quickly learn nothing is as it seems in the world of magic. What happened to the stolen money and who will take the fall is a mystery until the end. And if you reveal the secrets, you can bet someone will be seeking revenge.
Director: Louis Leterrier
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Common, Mark Ruffalo
4. The Town (2010) 93% at Rotten Tomatoes
Four friends from Boston are lifelong criminals, but then Doug falls in love with a bank manager they took hostage in a previous robbery. Now she’s a liability and complicates everything during the gang’s planned robbery of Fenway Park. This second crime is easily one of the most epic heists ever put on film.
Director: Ben Affleck
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall
3. Heat (1995) 86% at Rotten Tomatoes
Neil McCauley is a career criminal under increased surveillance by the LAPD. This leads to the only heist to outshine The Town as an action sequence. The gunfight pictured above made Kilmer a legend and is still a cinematic joy to watch.
Director: Michael Mann
Starring: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer
2. Inside Man (2006) 86% at Rotten Tomatoes
Dalton Russell appears to be in some sort of jail cell describing how he committed the perfect robbery. We’re then led through the details as a group of masked robbers dressed as painters infiltrate a bank and take the employees and customers inside as hostages. The police surround the bank and attempt to negotiate, but it becomes difficult to understand what crime was actually committed or who was involved when everyone is dressed exactly alike and one man simply disappears.
Director: Spike Lee
Starring: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster
1. The Bank Job (2008) 79% at Rotten Tomatoes
Somewhat inspired by a true story, this heist is one for the ages. A group of criminals tunnel their way into a bank vault from a nearby building and empty its contents. Martine Love is the leader, but it seems as though she’s only interested in retrieving some photos from one particular deposit box. What’s inside may create a political firestorm, and things are only going to get worse, as both the police and the owners of the deposit boxes want their stuff back.
Director: Roger Donaldson
Starring: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, Stephen Campbell Moore