Today: February 21, 2024

Greatest Heist Movies

Heist movies have long been a staple of modern cinema and this week sees a brilliant new addition to the genre, The Town

Heist movies have long been a staple of modern cinema and this week sees a brilliant new addition to the genre, The Town, blazing its way into cinemas on 24th September.

Directed, starring and co-written by a multi-talented Ben Affleck, the film follows a group of friends from the crime-riddled borough of Charlestown in Boston who earn their cash by nicking it from banks and armoured cars. It’s a powerful look at love and loyalty and the movie has already gone down a storm in the US, topping the box office chart. To mark the UK release of THE TOWN, here’s our rundown of the most intense and thrilling heist movies ever made…

The Killing (1956)

It may not be the best known movie on our list but The Killing is directed by Stanley Kubrick and it’s arguably the best of the bunch. It’s a dark tale about a seemingly successful robbery at a race track which takes a very dark turn when the gang get back to split the haul. Packed full of jealousy, betrayal and dishonour among thieves, if you’ve not heard of The Killing before now, you need to hunt down a copy.

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Al Pacino proves to be one of the world’s worst bank robbers in this 1975 drama. He plays inexperienced villain Sonny who is pulling a job to help pay for his transsexual lover’s sex swap surgery. But things don’t go to plan and he’s soon holed up in a sweaty Brooklyn bank with a bunch of hostages and half the NYPD outside. But the strangest thing about Dog Day Afternoon? It’s based on a true story!

The Italian Job (1969)

A genuine classic, The Italian Job sees Michael Caine and his gang of cheeky London geezers nick £4 million quid’s worth of gold from an armoured car on the streets of Turin and then sabotage the traffic system to perfect their getaway in three specially modified Minis. The perfect crime? Well it would have been had Big William been paying attention to the road!

Point Break (1991)

In this surf n’ skydive classic, Patrick Swayze and his gang of adrenaline junkie dudes fund their extreme lifestyle by doing over banks while kitted out as Ex-Presidents of the USA. Keanu Reeves is perfectly cast – for once – as the ambitious FBI agent out take them down. The most action-packed movie on our list, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that Kathryn Bigelow, who won an Oscar for The Hurt Locker, was behind the camera.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

It’s the film that made Quentin Tarantino a household name and probably the only movie on this list in which we never get to see the actual heist take place. Instead we’re treated to the set up and fall out as a gang of too-cool-for-school diamond thieves try to work out who sold them out as their blag goes spectacularly wrong. Famed for its sharp dialogue and even sharper suits.

Heat (1995)

It’s best known as the film that put Al Pacino and Robert De Niro on screen together for the first time. But let’s not forget that director Michael Mann’s movie is also a damn fine heist flick about loyalty, greed and obsessive cops. It also has a cracking supporting cast (Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Natalie Portman) and features one of the most intense shootouts ever committed to film. In fact, it’s pretty much perfect…

The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)

Pierce Brosnan is at his suave and charming best in this loose remake of the 1968 Steve McQueen thriller. He plays a bored banker who pulls off a complicated art heist at a New York museum. But his biggest test is trying to get away with it as Rene Russo’s sexy insurance investigator turns up the heat. Makes you wonder what would have happened if James Bond had taken up a life of crime?

Oceans 11 (2001)

George Clooney and his cool cat gang pull off a massively audacious – and a touch over-complicated – job on the vault of Andy Garcia’s Las Vegas casino in a raid that involves a remote control van, a huge Electro Magnetic Pulse and a very bendy Chinaman. With Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon also involved, this has to go down as the best –looking heist movie of all time.

Inside Man (2006)

Spike Lee may be best known for his political / race relations movies but Inside Man proved that he’s a deft hand at the old crime thriller game too. What starts out a seemingly straightforward bank job-turned-hostage-situation proves to be anything but in this clever movie which deals with corruption, war crimes and an ingenious bit of DIY. Clive Owen, Jodie Foster and Denzel Washington star.

The Dark Knight (2008)

Ok, it’s not strictly a ‘heist’ movie but the opening bank job of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins sequel is a crime classic. Not only does it introduce Heath Ledger’s iconic Joker as a criminal mastermind – the way he gets his crew to kill each other off is genius – but it also shows his ruthless side as bank manager William Fichtner ends up chewing on a hand grenade.

The Town is released on Sep 24th.

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia, who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years, is the Publishing Editor of KOL Social Magazine. See website:

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