Nick Bartlett at /Film came up with his list of The 20 Best Heist Movies Of All Time. Using just his list, here are my top five (in alphabetical order) and my thoughts on each.
Asphalt Jungle, The: John Huston directs a cast that includes: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore, Sam Jaffe and even a young Marilyn Monroe. Considered by many to be the best heist film of all-time! A must see for any fan of the genre.
Heat: Michael Mann wrote and directed this modern heist masterpiece with an all star cast that included Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Mykelti Williamson, Wes Studi, Ted Levine, Dennis Haysbert, William Fichtner, Natalie Portman, Tom Noonan and Hank Azaria. Just the cast alone should make you want to watch it!
Killing, The: Stanley Kubrick directs a screenplay that he co-wrote with Jim Thompson! Stars include Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Elisha Cook Jr. and (the strange but great) Timothy Carey.
Reservoir Dogs: Quentin Tarantino’s first film! Again we get another all-star cast that included Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Edward Bunker and Tarantino!
Rififi: This is probably the least known film on the list and that’s a shame because it is a classic! Some won’t give it a shot because it is a foreign film with no big name American stars and that’s a shame. If you haven’t seen Rififi, give it a shot!
Looking over my choices I was impressed by how many of the films were written or co-written by the director. They obviously had a love for the genre, created a wonderful screenplay and were able to attract an all-star cast.