The 6 Glorious Heist Movies of 2008
by Alex Billington
February 7, 2008
In the immortal words of Dane Cook, "Where's the van?! The van was supposed to be here!" Or as he better put it, "Any guy here would rather be part of a heist." That couldn't be more true. What self-righteous movie-fanatic male doesn't want to be part of a heist? But unfortunately if none of your friends are skilled criminals, you'll have to resort to watching heist movies like the rest of us. There is no Ocean's Thirteen this year, but there is a line-up of six glorious heist movies that will each provide their own amazing experience. If you're ready to get in on the plan, then let's take a look at 2008's heist movies.
The definition of heist, according to Dictionary.com, is "to take unlawfully, esp. in a robbery or holdup." So, almost anything where a robbery takes place is a heist. But if you consider at the Hollywood definition, it usually involves some elaborate plan and a team of individuals each with their own set of skills. Whether it's Heat or the Ocean's films or even The Italian Job, every guy has a favorite heist movie in his collection. This year there are six new additions that should earn a place in your collection, too.
The Bank Job
Watch the Trailer
Director: Roger Donaldson | Starring: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, James Faulkner
Release Date: March 7th
The Con: Based on the true story of the 1971 Baker Street bank robbery which was prevented from being told for over thirty years because of a Government gagging order. The real story of how one of the biggest robberies in British history took place with no arrests ever made nor money ever recovered.
British heist movies are always fun and with the one-and-only Jason Statham leading the pack, this should be quite amazing. The Bank Job is a heist movie with a governmental twist, kind of like Inside Man from a few years back, but this one involves the British government and a series of safety deposit boxes. Not only does it have a detailed story, but it looks like they've stuffed it full of cocky British humor, too. This seems like a more British and better version of The Italian Job, in a rough way. I'm certainly anxious to see what Statham and counterpart hottie Saffron Burrows uncover come early March.
Director: Robert Luketic | Starring: Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne
Release Date: March 28th
The Con: The story about six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings.
This is less of a single heist and more of a movie about how MIT students conned Las Vegas casinos for millions of dollars by counting cards in Black Jack. We can throw it into the heist movie category because any movie that involves Vegas casinos getting scammed for the money is a heist anyway. And if this doesn't look like one hell of an exciting film, with a grin-worthy concept, great actors, and Laurence Fishburne beating up poor students, then I don't know what else could make you excited to see 21. I'm partially looking forward to seeing exactly how card counting works and how they scam the casinos, and also how well Jim Sturgess does in another American lead role after Across the Universe.
Watch the Trailer
Director: Michael Radford | Starring: Michael Caine, Demi Moore
Release Date: March 28th
The Con: Set in 1960 London, where a soon-to-retire janitor convinces an American executive to help him steal a handful of diamonds from their employer, the London Diamond Corporation.
Yet another British heist movie, but maybe that's what makes 2008 special. It's impossible to go wrong when Michael Caine is leading the heist, and this time it's not a group of young, goofy kids, it's just two people: a wise janitor and a rich business woman. This wasn't even on my radar until the trailer arrived earlier this week, but it was the final kicker that pushed this article into development, because we realized there are so many great heist movies that are hidden in the cracks for 2008. This is one of those that I'm anxious to see because I want to know how Caine and Moore pull it off! And if it's as good as the trailer makes it out to be, then this will be another great heist movie to delightfully add to my collection.
Director: Marcel Langenegger | Starring: Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor, Michelle Williams, Maggie Q
Release Date: April 25th
The Con: An accountant is introduced to a mysterious sex club known as The List by his lawyer friend. But in this new world, he soon becomes the prime suspect in a woman's disappearance and a multi-million dollar heist.
I don't know too much about The List, but with a cast that great and with a story that interesting, how could this not be worth following. McGregor plays the uninformed accountant and Jackman plays his lawyer friend. I'm guessing there's some awesome twists and I can only imagine how intricate the heist will actually be, involving murder and sex and more. The director is a first-timer coming from the TV commercial world and it was filmed in New York. I've got a good feeling this could be something like David Fincher's The Game, but a lot more sexual and a lot more high class. I'll make sure to keep tabs on this once we near the release date.
Director: Guy Ritchie | Starring: Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Jeremy Piven, Idris Elba, Tom Wilkinson
Release Date: October 3rd
The Con: London's criminal underworld takes notice of a Russian mobster's shady land deal, a scam that puts millions of dollars up for grabs.
Guy Ritchie brought us, arguably, the greatest heist movie in history, Snatch in 2000, and has yet to follow it up with a comparable flick. Eight years later, Ritchie finally returns to his roots and has written and directed another London mob movie that involves numerous heists. I wouldn't be lying if I were to tell you that this is probably the one British heist movie that I'm most excited for in 2008. I love Guy Ritchie's movies and am expecting nothing but brilliant British entertainment with RocknRolla. His movies aren't entirely about the heist, at least not out in front, and yet that's why they're able to trick you in the end. I have full confidence in Guy Ritchie and really hope that RocknRolla is another classic.
The Thomas Crown Affair 2
Director: Paul Verhoeven | Starring: Pierce Brosnan
Release Date: Late 2008
The Con: Billionaire playboy/art thief Thomas Crown embarks on a new endeavor: to steal the Kasikci Diamond out of the Topkapki Palace in Istanbul.
Thomas Crown is back in a sequel with a new director, Paul Verhoeven, and the same actor, Pierce Brosnan. This time he's upgraded his interests from art to diamonds. Although we're unsure of the status of this project, especially with the writers strike, a sequel is more than welcome considering how sexually entertaining and intelligent the first film was. I'm hoping this gets done in time for a release by Christmas, because the Holiday season would end up looking quite barren without a good heist movie hitting theaters. As of now, The Thomas Crown Affair 2 hasn't even started filming, but hopefully that will change within the next few months.
The world just wouldn't be the same place without heist movies! Thankfully this year's line-up looks like it will deliver. Although six is a bit skimpy, none of these look like they're forgettable films, meaning out of six we should have at least one really good heist movie and five semi-good heist movies by the end of the year. And the line-up of lead actors includes Jason Statham, Jim Sturgess, Michael Caine, Ewan McGregor, Gerard Butler, and Pierce Brosnan, a powerhouse set of some fine actors. Whether 2008 goes down as an unforgettable year or not, at least we'll see some quality heists go down around the world.
Reader Feedback - 20 Comments
Looks to be a good year, in this respect.
OwlBoy on Feb 7, 2008
excellent post. looks like a nice slate of films. however i am not sure if snatch is even arguably 'the greatest heist movie in history.' that's a stretch. but it's up there.
jeff on Feb 7, 2008
Wonder if Ms. Russo will be showing her flesh again. Looks great for an older woman.
Heckle on Feb 7, 2008
Lock, Stock wasn't too shabby either. In fact, Snatch was basically just an almost perfect refinement of its style. I also hope Ritchie can get back to being awesome.
CajoleJuice on Feb 7, 2008
i'm looking forward to 21. can't wait to see it.
crAziemutant on Feb 7, 2008
I'm sorry, but all 21 has going for it is a cool first act. Everything else looks completely unwatchably stupid. It reaffirms my hatred for the biopic genre.
Vega Bro on Feb 7, 2008
What happen to The Brazilian Job?
MusicSnob on Feb 8, 2008
Snatch as the best heist movie ever? Heat... Thank you.
Aaron on Feb 8, 2008
Jeez, hung up on sex much dude?
lolz@u on Feb 8, 2008
they can at least acknowledge The Original Italian Job considering Michael Caine is on the list.
pescolly on Feb 8, 2008
Enjoyable list, and thanks for linking to the trailers. However, to write that "Guy Ritchie brought us, arguably, the greatest heist movie in history, Snatch in 2000" does make you sound a bit young. I think that's an argument that would only be made by people who haven't seen movies earlier than the 1990s. Recommended viewing list: Dog Day Afternoon The Killing Rififi Sneakers The Great Train Robbery Topkapi Heat Kelly's Heroes The Getaway (1972) Who's Minding the Mint? The Asphalt Jungle Gambit Ronin The Lavender Hill Mob Le Cercle Rouge (The Red Circle) The War Wagon If you haven't seen all of the above and many more, you're not in much a position to argue about the greatest heist movie in history. (Heck, you're not even going to get all the jokes in The Great Muppet Caper.) If you have seen all of the above, and you think Snatch is a more original and better made film than Rififi or Dog Day Afternoon ... well, you *definitely* won't get all the jokes in a Muppet movie. 😉
Carrington on Feb 8, 2008
Anyone who cites "the immortal words of Dane Cook," uses the tired cliche of "is defined as X by dictionary Y," and claims Snatch is the best heist movie ever strikes me as someone with really, really limited tastes.
Jayso on Feb 8, 2008
"21" has been covered so many times on discovery, they did a great job on it reenacting what happened and interviewing the real MIT students. I think I'll be passing on this movie.
Jason on Feb 8, 2008
Theres another British heist movie coming out this year. It's called "Tuesday" but there are no screenshots or trailers yet. http://imdb.com/title/tt1042570/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuesday_%28film%29 It has starring John Simm and Phillip Glenister from Life on Mars in it.
Charlie Lesoine on Feb 8, 2008
You got it right Aaron, HEAT best heist movie ever.
Allen on Feb 8, 2008
What about the Brothers Bloom? Might count as heist, although it is more of a con man movie.
David on Feb 8, 2008
sorry but the greatest heist movie was the sting starring robert redford and paul newman
avijit on Nov 7, 2008
no ones mentioned how to steal a million? thats a great flick
tuba on Apr 7, 2010
Lovely set of movies. Thanks a ton Alex.
Akash on Aug 21, 2010
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