Top Heist Movies, Part 3

A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

John Cleese wrote the clever script for this merciless send-up of English propriety, American crudeness, stutterers, old ladies, little dogs, and ornamental fish, starring himself and three comic virtuosos (Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis, and fellow Monty Python alum Michael Palin). Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Kline as the toxically moronic Otto.

Goldfinger (1964)

Bond flicks aren’t normally classified as heist adventures but this one fairly can be, as epically greedy Auric Goldfinger plots to knock over Fort Knox while his Korean bodyguard Odd Job wards off the curious with a steel-brimmed bowler hat. The film also debuts Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 with its tire-shredding hubcaps, machine gun headlights, and passenger seat that disinvites unwanted passengers. And then there’s Shirley Bassey belting out the movie’s iconic song, almost as famous as the series’ theme itself.

Die Hard (1988) / Director: John McTiernan / Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman

Terrorist thief Hans Gruber (the magnificently sinister Alan Rickman) leads a ruthless gang out to steal a fabulous sum of money from the Nakatomi Corporation in Los Angeles. One of the employees held hostage happens to be the estranged wife of indefatigable New York police officer John McClane (Bruce Willis, in his signature, career-making role), who is constitutionally unable to let the bad guys get away with it. Yippie ki-yay!

Office Space

Yes, this movie is a hilarious send-up of the anxious, jargon-addled, soul-crushing bull**** of American corporate life. But it is also a heist movie: three friends out to steal a fortune from their employer, while trying to assert a little control over their own destiny by putting one over on “the man.” The corporate rat race gets the heroes it deserves.

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) / Director: Guy Ritchie / Stars: Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jason Statham, Vinnie Jones, P.H. Moriarty

Four lifelong, working class friends in London blow a card game and have a week to pay a mobster half a million pounds, so they scheme to rob some other thieves. This movie marks the auspicious debuts of director Ricthie and Statham, a former underwear model Ritchie discovered. Twists and turns, sardonic humor, crazy violence, and gangster style to spare.