8 December 2012 2:22 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

‘Caper’ movies are a sub-genre of the crime film that in the past 50 years has created some highly entertaining, memorable pieces of cinema. Each of the classics of the sub-genre seems to follow a simple set of just three rules:

The ensemble cast, led by a strong leading actor, play a group of down-on-their-luck men (they are either criminals, ex-cons, reluctant soldiers, or unemployed) who band together to carry out a clever and audacious heist. The audience throughout cheers for the ‘criminals’ because we know they are not Really ‘bad guys’ and, until the very final moments, we hope that they will get away with the crime (any maybe afterwards). The script is as clever as the cinematic crime itself and has a strong element of black – and usually quite socially subversive – humor.

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The top five are probably The League of Gentlemen (1960), Ocean’s Eleven (1960), The Italian Job (1969), Three Kings »

- Roger Bourke

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