If you exclude science fiction and fantasy, is there any other genre more fitting of “wish fulfillment” than heist films? Romantic comedy, perhaps, but we all know that heist films are way cooler. Pulling off a multi-million dollar robbery and getting away with it? Come on, who wouldn’t want that!
Unfortunately, not all heist films are well-made or even worth watching—and a lot of the good ones are dated and hard to find on modern streaming platforms. Here are the best heist films that came out after 2000, and if available, where you can stream them right now.
1. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Even after all this time, Ocean’s Eleven still reigns as the best heist film of the century. It has the star power, the characters, the music, the direction, the plot twists—one might even say that Ocean’s Eleven pioneered the modern idea of what a heist film ought to be. So good, and one of the most rewatchable films of all time.
2. Inception (2010)
When a movie comes up with a term like “mind heist,” you know you’re in for a ride. Inception made waves when it first came out because nothing quite like it had ever been done before (yeah, I know all about Paprika). The dreamscape, the multiple levels, the incredible visuals all came together in one of the wildest rides in film history.
3. Baby Driver (2017)
Has Edgar Wright ever released a flop? Not that I know of. All of his films are just so good, and his latest in Baby Driver keeps the trend going. The stunts, the music, the genre bending, the small details that you miss on first watch but catch the next time around? Classic Wright, and it doesn’t disappoint. One of the sleekest heist films around.
4. The Town (2010)
The Town is the movie that really sold me on Ben Affleck. When he’s serious about his work, he really can deliver, and The Town is proof of that. As both director and star, Affleck elevated the concept of a heist film to new heights, taking an ordinary story—based on actual events—and crafting it into a dense, riveting experience.
5. Logan Lucky (2017)
Steven Soderbergh of Ocean’s Eleven fame comes back to the heist genre with this killer film. Logan Lucky is like a backwoods Ocean’s Eleven, where instead of glamorous casinos and suave men we get NASCAR and rednecks. But it works! Somehow it does, and it’s one of the funniest films that came out in 2017.
6. Drive (2011)
Pretty boy Ryan Gosling, a man crush for the ages, stretches his acting range in this slow-burning thriller about a stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway man for heavy heists. Thanks to its excellent direction, Drive packs some of the coolest car action scenes of any film. A must-watch for heist thriller enthusiasts.
7. Inside Man (2006)
A good heist films needs to be smarter, even smarter than the audience, and Inside Man knows how to get it done. With the combined star power of Denzel Washington, Clive Owens, and Jodie Foster, Inside Man is a heist film like no other in that it slips into certain tropes of the genre while subverting others, deftly understanding which way to go at every turn.
8. Ant-Man (2015)
Didn’t think you’d find a Marvel Cinematic Universe film on this list, did you? Ant-Man is indeed a heist film, and a creative one at that. What I love about this one is that it’s a bit of a step away from the usual comic book fare: less serious and more personal. Plus, Paul Rudd kills it in the role.
9. Bad Santa (2003)
I watched Bad Santa a few Christmases ago and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it despite the silly premise: every year, a professional thief lands a gig as department store Santa and exploits the position to rob the mall at night. Maybe not the kind of heist you were expecting, but a heist nonetheless—and a fun watch if you’re into black comedy of the darkest kind.
10. The Italian Job (2003)
What happens when the perfect heist goes wrong—because someone double-crossed you? Well, nothing left to do but get even. With a standout cast that includes Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, and Donald Sutherland, plus all the awesome action sequences, The Italian Job is an entertaining watch through and through.
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