Best Pure Robbery / Heist Movies

To see more detailed list go to: http://bestrobberyheistmovies.blogspot.com/

The most important issue when making a listing for a genre is trying to separate apples from oranges. The genre subject to this listings, heist movies is a sub genre of crime movies. Even though it is already a sub genre, if you put all of them in same listing, you will be ending up with this apples-oranges problem.

Where to put a great heist movie intended to be a comedy, sometimes a kind of fantasy among the first class job serious heist movies? Or how can you decide if a heist movie like Inside Man is better than a Dog Day Afternoon, while the second one's concerns are completely different? Does grifting / fraud movies fall to the genre? Can we count the movies for this listing which are simply about stealing but not organized heist? What about the movies whose main action is burglary? And the ones is about trying to get a ransom by committing a kidnapping, but very well organized and told? What about the movies where the stealing action never takes place, but the characters are after already stolen (or lost while stealing) loot?

That's why I tried to divide the genre into 3 main categories to be fair at least to my cinema view. And, of course, I applied my own criteria to judge what movie falls into what group. And even that method was sometimes not enough, so I sub-grouped them with the type of the theft committed. At the end I could call all those movies as 'theft movies' without being have to skip any of them without mentioning. First group is called 'Pure Robbery / Heist Movies'. To me, they are the movies basically:

a. Their plots are serious and
b. Can happen in real life although sometimes they are pretty fantasy like and
c. And their story concentrates on -generally organized- theft, where we see at least one of first two acts in a satisfactory dose.
(Act 1: Introduction/Preparation, Act 2: Stealing, Act 3: Aftermath)

Second group is Caper Movies. They are the movies:

a. No matter what acts of the movies is told/presented in what dose, they are intended to be a comedy in first place. and
b. Their plots are humorous and what happens in the movie can't happen in real life or too coincidental to happen.

And the third group is called 'Alternative Robbery / Heist Movies'. Meaning that:

a. Although the movie is most of time absolutely about theft and thieves, it concentrates other matters more than the theft act, therefore falls other genres like drama, adventure, biography before it falls to heist genre or
b. Concentrates the thieves more than the theft, so most of the time, they are character studies or even sometimes biographies or
c. Separate themselves from other heist / theft movies by having radically different nature or a different grammar or
d. Solely concentrates on Act 1 (Preparation) or solely on Act 3 (Aftermath) or concentrates one of these acts much more than other other two acts.

In that point of view, although some movies are considered as caper (like The Sting, Ocean's Eleven) in general, to me they were Pure Robbery / Heist Movies. Or although Quick Change is a comedy heist, since it is as organized as the serious heist movies, and a heist could happen in real life, it isn't a caper movie in my opinion.

My other listings:

Best Robbery / Heist Movies:
http://www.imdb.com/list/ls055508041/

Best Alternative Robbery / Heist Movies:
http://www.imdb.com/list/ls003144920/

Best Caper Movies:
http://www.imdb.com/list/ls003144958/
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1.
Inception (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
A thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO. (148 mins.)
 
2.
Inside Man (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A police detective, a bank robber, and a high-power broker enter high-stakes negotiations after the criminal's brilliant heist spirals into a hostage situation. (129 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
 
3.
Nine Queens (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Two con artists try to swindle a stamp collector by selling him a sheet of counterfeit rare stamps (the "nine queens"). (114 mins.)
 
4.
Now You See Me (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money. (115 mins.)
Director: Louis Leterrier
 
5.
The Sting (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In Chicago in September 1936, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker. (129 mins.)
Director: George Roy Hill
 
6.
Ocean's Eleven (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Danny Ocean and his eleven accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously. (116 mins.)
 
7.
The Italian Job (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
After being betrayed and left for dead in Italy, Charlie Croker and his team plan an elaborate gold heist against their former ally. (111 mins.)
Director: F. Gary Gray
 
8.
The Art of the Steal (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Crunch Calhoun, a semi-reformed art thief, agrees to get his old gang back together to pull off one last heist. (90 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Sobol
 
9.
Maverick (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Bret Maverick, needing money for a poker tournament, faces various comic mishaps and challenges, including a charming woman thief. (127 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
 
10.
Man on a Ledge (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
As a police psychologist works to talk down an ex-con who is threatening to jump from a Manhattan hotel rooftop, the biggest diamond heist ever committed is in motion. (102 mins.)
Director: Asger Leth
 
11.
Quick Change (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Three thieves successfully rob a New York City bank, but making the escape from the city proves to be almost impossible. (89 mins.)
 
12.
Rififi (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Four men plan a technically perfect crime, but the human element intervenes... (122 mins.)
Director: Jules Dassin
 
13.
Firewall (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A security specialist is forced into robbing the bank that he's protecting, as a bid to pay off his family's ransom. (105 mins.)
 
14.
The Score (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
An aging thief hopes to retire and live off his ill-gotten wealth when a young kid convinces him into doing one last heist. (124 mins.)
Director: Frank Oz
 
15.
Ultimate Heist (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
The Malakian clan, a family of ruthless gangsters, controls the underworld of Southern France. At its head... (95 mins.)
Director: Laurent Tuel
 
16.
Entrapment (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
An insurance agent is sent by her employer to track down and help capture an art thief. (113 mins.)
Director: Jon Amiel
 
17.
The Town (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
As he plans his next job, a longtime thief tries to balance his feelings for a bank manager connected to one of his earlier heists, as well as the FBI agent looking to bring him and his crew down. (125 mins.)
Director: Ben Affleck
 
18.
Le dernier tunnel (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Based on a true story: a recently released convict dreams of one last heist with his old gang before retiring... (109 mins.)
Director: Erik Canuel
 
19.
Seven Thieves (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
In Monte Carlo, Theo Wilkins recruits his young protégé Paul Mason - just released from prison - to help him rob the famous casino of $4 million... (102 mins.)
Director: Henry Hathaway
 
20.
Ocean's 11 (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Danny Ocean gathers a group of his World War II compatriots to pull off the ultimate Las Vegas heist. Together the eleven friends plan to rob five Las Vegas casinos in one night. (127 mins.)
Director: Lewis Milestone
 
21.
Ronin (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A freelancing former U.S. intelligence agent tries to track down a mysterious package that is wanted by both the Irish and the Russians. (122 mins.)
 
22.
Le Cercle Rouge (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
After leaving prison, master thief Corey crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic former policeman. The trio proceed to plot an elaborate heist. (140 mins.)
 
23.
Ocean's Thirteen (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Danny Ocean rounds up the boys for a third heist, after casino owner Willy Bank double-crosses one of the original eleven, Reuben Tishkoff. (122 mins.)
 
24.
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel. (112 mins.)
Director: John Huston
 
25.
Trespass (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
As they're held for ransom, a husband and wife's predicament grows more dire amid the discovery of betrayal and deception. (91 mins.)
Director: Joel Schumacher
 
26.
Ocean's Twelve (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Daniel Ocean recruits one more team member so he can pull off three major European heists in this sequel to Ocean's 11. (125 mins.)
 
27.
The Con Artist (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  
An ex-con finds his plan to go straight foiled by a loan shark who manipulates his target into taking on one last heist. (84 mins.)