Movie Night Picks - Cinematic Heists
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Oct 10, 2012

Movie Night Picks - Cinematic Heists

Stars, Diamonds, and Cinematic Heists

There’s nothing that quite gets an audience’s blood going more than a movie featuring a big heist. It has all of the necessary elements of drama: two people (or teams of people) pitted against each other, one ultimate plan, and then an easy climax: the heist itself. A lot of movies have taken advantage of this dynamic by showing cinematic heists to great effect; others haven’t had as much luck in resonating with audiences.
That begs the question: which are the movies that have actually executed the movie-heist to a degree as precise as the heists they portray? Let’s explore just a few of our favorite Hollywood heists and explain what made them so compelling.

The Italian Job (2003)

This movie pitted Hollywood megastars Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, and Edward Norton against each other (okay – so maybe everyone was against Edward Norton in the movie, but that’s not the point) and saw Mark Wahlberg and his team working on a way to secure gold that Edward Norton’s character was keeping to himself. Along the way, there are clever uses of computer hacking, helicopter piloting, car chasing and even boat chasing to move along the plot. In this movie, the gold itself actually takes a backseat to a lot of the characters’ own stories, which is part of the reason why so many people underestimate the entertainment value of The Italian Job.

The Score (2001)

Edward Norton (he’s becoming a theme), Robert De Niro, and Hollywood icon Marlon Brando teamed up for this 2001 movie about stealing a rare treasure that would have netted the thieves some $4 million. Because this is the only time Brando and De Niro appeared together on film, this heist movie has an added level of intrigue to it – but don’t overlook the dynamic between Norton and De Niro, two of their generation’s most gifted actors.

Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)

Yes, there’s an entire Ocean series to talk about (not only the George Clooney versions, but going back to the Rat Pack days). But for our money, Ocean’s Thirteen has all of the drama of 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven with none of the filler; in essence, this is a movie almost purely about a heist – and little else. And considering the clever way in which the thieves attack the hotel owner’s (played by Al Pacino) Five Diamond awards, we can’t resist following the whole story as it unwraps from beginning to end.

Inside Man (2006)

Perhaps one of the great overlooked heist movies is Spike Lee’s Inside Man, a movie that pits Denzel Washington against Clive Owen. And what’s rare? The bad guys ultimately…well, we won’t spoil it for you. But nothing about this heist movie meets your expectations; the twists and machinations of the thieves’ plan will keep your one your toes throughout. In essence, this is one of the great heist movies that too often does not get the nod as one of Hollywood’s best excursion into a genre that is quickly becoming a crowd favorite.

Guest Author: Neville Luff is a marketing strategist for the fashion jewelry company Monica Vinader.