The 13 Best Heist Films Of All Time

There is nothing more exciting about a thriller film than having a heist a the center of its narrative. Heist films give the audience a rush as we sit at the edge of our seats, wondering if the criminal masterminds can effectively pull off their very dangerous plans.  From classic heist films like Ocean’s Eleven to those with a comedic twist like Masterminds, here are 13 of the best heist films of all time.

Warner Bros./Everett
One of David O. Russell's earliest films is still one of his best. Three Kings stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube, US soldiers during the Gulf War who attempt to smuggle some of Saddam Hussein’s gold out of Iraq. It's the perfect heist film about discovery and desperation.
What happens when some British gangsters and some American grifters team up for a diamond heist? Nothing good, that's what. A Fish Called Wanda is a film about what happens when things don't go according to plan and things need to be "fixed" on the back end.
Warner Bros.
With Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in the same film, Heat is everything that you want a heist film to be. De Niro plays master criminal Neil McCauley, trying to control his unruly men in order to pull off one final heist before his retirement. Pacino stars as a detective trying to take McCauley down. Though the duo are at odds with each other, they also find that they have a mutual respect for one another.
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20th Century Fox
Bruce Willis stars as John McClane, an NYPD police officer who while attending his wife's holiday work party has to take charge when the office building is commandeered by terrorists. Though this is more of an action thriller film, the elements of heist are still quite prevalent.
Warner Bros./Everett
Ben Affleck's second venture in the director's chair was a thrilling success. The Town follows Affleck's character Doug MacRay and his band of ruthless bank robbers. Everything changes when Doug finds himself falling for a hostage of his latest botched robbery. In an effort to reinvent himself, Doug finds himself at odds with his lifelong friends.
Spike Lee's Inside Man is one of the best heist films to date. Clive Owen stars as a charismatic criminal who takes control of a New York bank, while Denzel Washington plays the detective trying to deal with the media circus surrounding it. Though Inside Man seems like a straight forward heist film at first, it's way more complex than you could have ever imagined.
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Relativity Media
Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiigand Owen Wilson star in this hilarious comedy, based on the 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery. Galifianakis stars as David Ghantt an armored truck driver who along with the rest of his gang manage to steal $17 million and begin to boldly spend their loot on lavish extravagances.
Warner Bros.
Ocean's Eleven is still one of the greatest heist films around. George Clooney stars as Danny Ocean, a dapper con man who, fresh out of a stint in prison, gathers his crew to try and pull off the biggest heist in casino history. Ocean has just three rules, Don't hurt anybody, don't steal from anyone who doesn't deserve it, and play the game like you've got nothing to lose.
Warner Bros.
Admittedly, we're still confused about what actually went down in Inception, but the Christopher Nolan film is iconic. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Dom Cobb, a thief who can enter people's dreams and steal their secrets. Though he wants to redeem himself, Cobb must perform one last dangerous task before he get's out of the game for good.
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Warner Bros./Everett
Sidney Lumet’s 1975 Oscar-nominated film, Dog Day Afternoon follows Sonny and Sal, a couple of criminals who find themselves backed into a wall when their Brooklheistnk heist on a hot summer's day goes left. Though things aren't going to go well for them, Al Pacino's Sonny still makes it really hard not to root for the criminals.
Though not a "typical" heist film, Quentin Tarantino's 1992 debut, is about the aftermath of a heist gone terribly wrong. It's one of the most masteryfully poetic heist films out there.
Kevin Spacey is iconic in The Usual Suspects as a con man named Kint who along with four other crooks gets mixed up with a criminal mastermind in a multi-million dollar heist that goes balls to the wall.
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With a narrative concerning revenge and betrayal, The Italian Job doesn't exactly focus on simply getting the gold. Instead, the film focuses on the close-knit group of thieves who want what was taken from them.