7 Awesome Heist movies and Why
Like the majority of men my age I spend a fair amount of my day-dreaming hours (i.e.work) split evenly between my fantasy galaxy of perfect female servitude and me acquiring large quantities of money that I in no way deserve.
Hence the natural appeal of the Heist movie genre.
Although the Heist genre does little for my domination proclivities it more than satisfies in the equally appealing and clearly connected money for nothing department. Seeing smart, driven, “A type” personality fellas stealing shit in variously cunning ways is good viewing fun and I never tire of it.
My line of up of the most worthwhile Heist movies and why….
7. Sexy Beast
When I first heard the title I thought “Thank god, finally a lycanthrope themed porno and starring Sir. Ben Kingsley no less!? A Clear Double Win!”.
You can imagine my joy.
Then upon watching the movie I discovered that although I would have to wait for the adult video of my dreams, I was in fact watching one of the most heavily awesome Heist movies and general displays of acting incredibleness in the history of both incredibleness and werewolves eating your soft delicious children.
Sexy Beast is Jonathan Glazer’s first go at a feature-length film and in this first attempt he put more quality on the screen than Michael Bay has ever done. Ever.
The spirited performance by Kinsley and the Dr. Jekyll/Mr.Hyde like shift from his Oscar snatching role as Gandhi to the severely potty mouthed and mean as a plumber with gonorrhea Don Logan shocked critics more than watching a vengeful chicken trying to rape a beach volleyball.
Ray Winston and Kingsley have amazing chemistry and work very well together both complimenting the opposite ends of their respective spectrums in the film.
The heist itself is well planned and well executed. Original and slick. The aftermath flows well and very little is left flapping in the wind begging for clarification.
Kingsley pulled off the necessary accent with such masterfulness that after watching Sexy Beast I had a Cockney accent for a week, which to this day occasionally surfaces during fierce bouts of angry masturbation.
Just a warning.
Don’t jump the gun: this is not a documentary about Japanese panty collectors or a Disney movie about forbidden love between identical Columbian twin brothers. No, it’s just a cool Heist movie about computers before the internet absolutely took over everything including my soul.
Robert Redford leads a team of corporate security experts/nerds when they decide to take an off the books type case thrown at them by the National Security Agency. They have to steal a “black box” chalk full of super technologies, as all black boxes are, from none other than Sir. Ben Kingsley (sans mean cockney accent). Although by today’s standards the premise sounds hokey and full of bullet holes, orifices even, but in 1992 it was clever and worked on several levels.
Two other things distinguish this movie that are worth a mention. First, it’s become something of a treat in this day and age to watch a movie about a bunch of guys doing anything at all and have them not seriously resemble the ensemble cast of a Ralph Lauren catalog. Really, every movie now, all the cast members are overly gorgeous, hell even the ugly guys are getting good-looking. Well, Sneakers doesn’t pander to the obsessive metro-sexual complex gripping America with it’s well manicured vise like talons. My proof: Dan Aykroyd is in it.
Second, this movie takes place right around a time which I think will eventually come to live in infamy. It was just before the internet literally exploded into our lives and changed everything. At some point in the future the cyborgs that will dominate us in captivity will calculate time as BI(Before Internet). All other indications of time will have been erased, Jesus Christ was born in BI 1995. That’s what the cyborgs will tell you…and you’ll agree. Oh yes you will.
So, watch Sneakers.
Like most of you, generally I save my black and white viewing energy for the collection of Serbian Snuff films I keep hidden in the sandbox at the park near my house, but Rififi is a break from tradition.
The plot is simple, aging ex cons want to steal some jewels in Paris. This is a good plot device because stealing from the French is almost as fun as stealing from the very sick or from young children; pure gratification.
The simplicity and straight forward nature of this movie is what makes it not only well-loved and admired but also banned in several countries. The techniques the crew use in the film to pull off the heist were brutally accurate and real, so much so that there’s a 28 minute safe cracking sequence devoid of music, dialogue or anything else except for a man professionally cracking into a safe.
Would be criminals were copying the techniques hence the film was banned in some places. Pussies.
If you’re a red-blooded heterosexual man (at the minimum a 70/30 split) than you have seen Ronin . If you haven’t then you in fact are a 13-year-old girl named Summer that still wears diapers and thinks Fellatio is an expensive french desert.
I’m almost terrified to make snarky comments here because it’s quite possible that De Niro’s character will reach out from the nether and bitch slap me with his CIA/hired gun/CIA hardened donger. A risk I’ll just have to take.
This movie is at its heart a spy movie wrapped up in a Heist movie motif and I love it for that. Spy movies are money and if you can possibly combine the two genres it’s so win/win that case of herpes you’ve been nursing starts to have a little silver lining.
De Niro, Bean, Leon…they are all masterful and the chess game taking place as they move around the board going after “the case” is priceless.
De Niro’s super hetero line from this film:
Bean: “You ever kill anyone?”
De Niro: ” I hurt someones feelings once.”
3.The Italian Job (1969)
Just like my old Grand-daddy used to say “There’s something to be said for class….where the hell are my damned peanuts?!”
Exactly. Although yes, there was a high-octane thrill ride of a remake done to this movie in 2003 starring Marky-mark and Jason Stathom (otherwise known as “airport man” from Collateral) it essentially sucked. Watching Marky-mark trying to convince everyone that he could out think Ed Norton was like trying to explain to Mike Tyson why kittens and tampons don’t bond synergistically to make a tasty Jambalaya.
Sir. Mike Caine however did it right that first time around. Everything is in this. Michael Caine is just really the personification of a somewhat intimidating swinging Londoner you don’t want to wake up in a prison cell with and he’s making plans and borrowing money from crime lords behind bars and using soccer, a well-known and scientifically proven weakness for all Europeans to pull off a huge and wonderful Heist.
All of this done with the charm and style Caine has come to be so well-known for. As opposed to Walhberg who is known for this….
If you thought DiCaprio was convincing as the retard in What’s eating Gilbert Grape then brace yourself because Edward Norton slams it out of the park as the con man acting mentally disabled in order to infiltrate a museum he intends to rob with the aid and expertise of none other than Captain Straight himself, Robert De Niro.
I love this movie and I’ve seen it at least 10 times, with every viewing my orgasm impossibly becomes more and more intensive and potent. Not only is the plot awesome, developed and swift but Angela my-sweet-ebony-Queen Bassett is in at and I have had a thing for her ever since I saw Strange Days.
Even Marlon Brandon makes an appearance and although barely audible is like frosting on a lovely suspense filled cake. The real magic in The Score is obviously between De Niro and Norton. They play off each other well and it’s interesting to see them on-screen together sizing one another up. Norton has often been compared to De Niro and even accused of mimicking some of his nuances in his performances.
Highly watchable and complete with a cool De Niro Quote:
De Niro: “Nice working with you, ace. Okay, bye-bye.”
Guess who screws who? Just take a guess….
My love for this film knows no bounds. I don’t mean love in the way you say it to a girl you’re dating that STILL hasn’t slept with you or the way you tell you Grandmother you love her so you can get in on that sweet will and testament money coming ever so soon, no….this is real, honest from the heart man love. In high school I had the audio from this movie on a tape that I would listen to whilst I was skipping school and driving aimlessly around the middle of fucking nowhere. Love Ladies and Gentlemen. I love this movie like Tom Cruise loves Unicorns. As you can see, that means a lot.
So some of you are nudging your “life partner” in the leg and giggling “Look who has a thing for Robert De Niro teehehehe”. But no, you’re wrong, oh and trouble! it seems you and your boyfriend are out of astro lube. You cycnical butt pirates…how dare you besmerch this holy film.
So De Niro…although I think he is a fine actor and straight as an arrow, the two gems in this film are clearly Al Pacino and Jon Voight.
Now on the off-chance you’ve been living in a ditch for the last….16 years or that you’re a form of A.I. that has only recently become self aware and you don’t hate humanoids yet let me recap: Heat is a film focusing primarily on two characters, the professional criminal played by De Niro and the cop that heads the task force that is after him played by Pacino. I say “played by” but I think it’s commonly accepted that this was actually a documentary about bad-assery and all these events really happened. A side note: this movie has arguably the most impressive gun fight in the history of guns and fights.
Did I mention that I….I love it?
Heat is Michael Mann’s absolute masterpiece and frankly, the best thing both De Niro and Pacino have been involved with since. Although De Niro has done some good work, like The Score and Ronin and Pacino was in Devils Advocate and Any Given Sunday, neither has managed to find the same intensity since Heat blessed this earth with its existence.
If you like these reviews, you should check out:
|Samurai||The Eigers||Kyuss||Confessions of a Yakuza||John Frusciante: The Empyrean|
This isn’t an obvious “Because it’s heist movies!” question. I saw Heist and The Score right around the same time, but to this day I’m not sure there’s been a film (including Inception) that did the genre so well.
It’s got Ricky Jay.
And there’s that final nod…well, if you’ve seen it you know what I’m saying.
I know. “Heist” has all the players but for me it was a total miss. I didn’t enjoy it at all. Granted, I have only seen it once because the first viewing was such a let down….I might consider watching again. That having been said, the list I have here are all films that effectively slapped the shit out of me on the first viewing hence the repeat visits.
“Sneakers” is not a “heist” movie per se. “Ronin” is plain silly as a heist movie, though I enjoyed it anyway as a de Niro summer vacation project.
Never seen “11 Harrow House”? “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”? “The Usual Suspects”? “To Catch A Thief”? And if you’re going to include “Sneakers,” the shoot out scene alone in “Enemy of the State” should get it mention.
Opinions opinions….you know what they say, right? I agree, Usual Suspects is awesome, but I just don’t consider it a “Heist” movie. More along the lines of a mystery/suspense. A lot of it for me, not everything but a lot of it, is about the characters in the films actually planning and executing robberies. So both Ronin and Sneakers totally apply. Both are cool concepts on an overworked genre as well. And Enemy of the State has nothing to do with nothing and nothing here. And finally, seen all the movies you mentioned, and this is a list of SEVEN Awesome HEIST movies. Not ALL HEIST movies, not the 7 BEST HEIST movies, just a list of seven good ones.
Just found your site so I might be a little late to the conversation. While these are some decent choices, and you’ve covered the “opinion” aspect, I’d swap out “Topkapi” for “Sneakers” (though I sense a personal connection on your part to the latter). There’s an overlong Turkish wrestling scene that tests the patience, but the movie as a whole is everything a “heist” movie should be. Indeed, a “Topkapi” “The Italian Job” double feature would be excellent, as both movies share a time frame and social sense, as well as the heist and unexpected endings.
I must admit I have not seen Topkapi. But it will be downloaded.
Also, I guess I just don’t get how more people don’t see the value in Sneakers. As a heist movie it works; it came out in 1992 and had the whole hacking angle, that’s 3 years before Hackers even came out. And LIGHT years before I was trying to get laid with AOL.
Robert Redford. Ben Kingsley. River Phoenix. Sidney Poitier. SIDNEY FUCKING POITIER for gods sake.
It’s a clever movie with a great cast. I just don’t get how it’s so under rated.
I agree with you that it’s under rated, but not by me. I love that movie even with all its flaws (and being married to a computer programmer who loves to scoff at movie computer conceits, I’ve been made aware). As an old guy I really enjoy movies that have old guys doing THINGS. So believe me when I say I agree with you. Maybe I didn’t think it through. Instead of “swap out” I should have just said “add” Topkapi.
That said, I’m anxious to hear what you think of “Tokapi”.