The heist movie genre is incredibly fun, great for thrilling stories with the potential to be full of suspense and creative ideas; comedies are every bit as enjoyable, the perfect source of laughs and smiles at the movies. Whoever first thought of combining the two should get a medal.
For decades, cinephiles around the world have been enjoying heist comedies of all shapes and sizes. Many of these have great ratings on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, where critics vouch for their entertainment value.
10 ‘Tower Heist’ (2011)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%
Director Brett Ratner isn’t celebrated for doing particularly cerebral or mind-blowing masterpieces; but if a simple, fun caper is what you’re craving, Tower Heistwill do the job just fine.
One of the most underrated heist movies you could find, Tower Heist rounds up an admirably stacked cast (including a hilarious comeback performance by Eddie Murphy) and gets them in a goofy, exciting adventure that fans of the genre are guaranteed to have a blast with.
9 ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ (2015)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%
Guy Ritchie’s fast-paced, stylish action spectacles tend to be pretty hit-or-miss, but fans agree that The Man from U.N.C.L.E.is one of his best—And the Henry Cavill-led franchise that deserved a shot.
The story is pretty unremarkable and the characters aren’t particularly exciting, but Henry Cavill is full of charisma and elegance in the lead and the set pieces have an irresistible spark to them. Those with a distaste for Ritchie’s very particular style may not be huge fans of this movie, but those open to a different kind of spy adventure will surely end up siding with the critics.
8 ‘Ocean’s 8’ (2018)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%
The Ocean’s series was considerably successful and garnered its fair share of fans, so the pressure on the shoulders of the all-female spin-off Ocean’s 8was high. If critics are to be believed, it mostly delivered on those expectations.
Although critics felt that this spin-off wasn’t quite as smooth as its predecessors, and most fans found it generally disappointing, there was also a lot of praise to be found for the movie’s charming style, sardonic jokes, and especially the cast full of world-class acting talent.
7 ‘Ocean’s Thirteen’ (2007)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%
Many fans found that Ocean’s Twelve, the second installment in Steven Soderbergh‘s heist comedy trilogy, was pretty lackluster in comparison to its predecessor. Ocean’s Thirteen, on the other hand, took things back to their basic roots and resulted in a thriller as stylish and fun as the original.
The cast is as entertaining as ever, bringing in some exciting new additions like Al Pacino. On top of that, the pacing is snappy and the story is gleefully self-aware, making the movie pretty easy to enjoy.
6 ‘Snatch’ (2000)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%
Guy Ritchie’s extensive resume has proved on multiple occasions that he excels at crime comedies, and many argue that Snatch, easily one of the best multi-narrative movies in recent years, is the pinnacle of his work in the genre.
Brad Pitt and Jason Statham star in this fast-paced dark comedy. As usual with Ritchie’s filmography, this outing is mostly a case of style over substance. However, critics had a blast with the witty dialogue, interesting characters, and explosive directing that would go on to caracterize the British director.
5 ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ (1998)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%
Guy Ritchie’s feature debut is nothing short of an impressive achievement. Still remembered as one of the greatest heist films ever made, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is exquisitely dark, twistedly funny, and incredibly thrilling.
The film is chaotic and kinetic in ways that any lesser director wouldn’t be able to handle. Thankfully, though, Ritchie is up to the challenge, and the result is an expertly told crime caper with an ensemble of richly layered and memorable characters that are exciting to follow around.
4 ‘Ant-Man’ (2015)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%
Not every MCU movie has to have world-threatening stakes or über-epic climactic fights. Sometimes, a modest heist comedy like Ant-Manwith a final battle in a child’s toy train tracks is more than enough.
The film may not be as smooth or memorable as many that came both before and after it (and one can’t help but imagine what Edgar Wright‘s version would have looked like), but the charismatic lead performance by Paul Rudd, the low-key story, and the small-scale heist make this as enjoyable as any other Marvel outing.
3 ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ (2001)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%
Nothing beats the original. As entertaining as the rest of the Ocean’s franchise may be, Ocean’s Elevenremains the undisputed best of the bunch, with a dedicated cast and a riveting story.
As far as popcorn blockbusters go, it doesn’t get much better than this. The narrative proceedings of the heist and the progression toward each plot point are impossible to take one’s eyes off of, which for years has made this not just a must-see heist movie, but the quintessential film that everyone thinks of when they think of the genre.
2 ‘Sexy Beast’ (2000)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%
This British crime flick is arguably one of the most underrated heist comedies of all time, which is an absolute crime. Aside from featuring a terrifying Oscar-nominated performance by Ben Kingsley as an out-of-control villain, it has electrifying characters and a uniquely structured story.
One of the most sharply and wittily written movies in the genre, Sexy Beast takes its twists and turns with the utmost joy that the audience is along for the ride. Bold and often breathtaking, it’s one of the more character-driven heist comedies you could find—And all the better for it.
1 ‘Kajillionaire’ (2020)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
2020 may have been a bit of a dry year for movies, but it wasn’t without its hidden gems. Kajillionaireis definitely one of them, a bizarre but sweet comedy about a strange family of con artists who one day invite a new member into their group.
The movie is a bit slow and pretty modest on the thrills side for a film in this genre, which will definitely not be for everyone. But those willing to give it patience and allow themselves to be gradually immersed in its offbeat story and quirky characters, will surely find this to be one of the funniest, most endearing, most adventurous heist comedies they’ll ever see.
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