After seeing the semi-pallid Ocean's Thirteen (okay, the guys looked pretty good), we got into a discussion of the best heist movies ever. Which movies stand out in your mind? For instance, someone said Dog Day Afternoon, but would that really count? Should a heist movie be mostly about planning and executing a heist and not sidebar into other issues.

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They're competently done in their own way, but so inauthentic to me. Too slick, too smooth, too pretty. I guess the original was like that and I guess some of the films mentioned here from that era have the same sort of Bondish or New Wave feel. But now it feels slavishly imitative. And everyone is so smug and pleased with himself. If there was ever style over substance..
When I was younger I used to think that smug know-it-all types where kind of cool, but now I'm more fascinated with characters that are generally hopeless or at least have flaws other than their superiority.
Amen.
flaws other than their superiority -- well said!
Defintely THE HOT ROCK and QUICK CHANGE. INSIDE MAN was pretty well done. CITY ON FIRE was awesome, as is any Chow Yun-Fat movie. I think my avatar gives me away as a Chow fan. How about THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER? Or HEAT?
Is this our definition? (Some dude names Matt wrote this somewhere on the Internet)
Now, to qualify as a heist film, certain marks must be hit, and that's part of the beauty of the genre. Much like haiku, the constraints inherent in the form make the subtler details all the more important. A heist movie must contain: 1) The assembling of a team (the safe-cracker, the driver, the demolitions expert, the master of disguises, etc.) 2) a filmic explication of the heist itself which borders on, and often crosses over into, the sensual. 3) Uh-oh, somethings happened that we didn't plan for! And 4) I'm sorry to have to write this, but it's true: No chicks. Women only exist in the world of heist films to mess everything up. Of course, as with all rules, there are exceptions.
I have always had trouble with this one--some sort of lapse of imagination on my part. They tell me that they win at the table but don't actually come up with some clever trick to convince me. Still the guys couldn't be cuter and it's fun.
THE ASPHALT JUNGLE is certainly one of the best caper movies ever made. Brilliant! It deals with a jewel store burglary, so maybe it's not a heist movie. Speaking of movie burglaries, THIEF has a great one.
Bit late to the party but my all time favourite is Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels and if I recall correctly I think somewhere along the line it won and Edgar
Reservoir Dogs
Sneakers
The Lookout
Ronin (kinda, sorta)
Heat
Out of Sight
The Good Thief
I'm looking forward to The Lookout. It came and went here in a week. Loved Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels.
Okay, I'm late to the party, too, but has anyone seen Layer Cake? I actually liked it better than the Guy Ritchie films. It has a coolness factor that seems more genuine to me. Plus, the soundtrack is fantasic. I mean, The Cult? Doesn't get much cooler than that.

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