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Top 10 Bank Robbery Movies

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Radina Papukchieva. It's the crime that Hollywood has glamorized for ages. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 bank robbery movies. For this list, we've assembled movies with heroes who outsmart the system and live on the edge. If a bank robbery is a central part of the plot, or if a movie revolves around it, then it could easily steel its way onto the list. WARNING: Spoiler Alert. Special thanks to our users Andrew A. Dennison and Josh3000 for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Radina Papukchieva.

Top 10 Bank Robbery Movies


It’s the crime that Hollywood has glamorized for ages. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 bank robbery movies.

For this list, we’ve assembled movies with heroes who outsmart the system and live on the edge. If a bank robbery is a central part of the plot, or if a movie revolves around it, then it could easily steel its way onto the list. Given that some of these bank robberies are the climactic scenes in their respective movies, consider this your Spoiler Alert. So sit back, relax, but don’t get any ideas.

#10: “Point Break” (1991)

This surfer-dude flick from the ‘90s is headlined by a baby-faced Keanu Reeves, who plays rookie FBI agent Johnny Utah. Johnny and his partner team up to bust a string of bank robberies committed by –you guessed it – surfers, who dress like former American presidents when they’re doing their dirty deeds. However, when Johnny goes undercover he befriends one of the criminals, played by Patrick Swayze, and the two become star-crossed bros. With some memorable action scenes, this movie also became one of Hollywood’s best bromance stories.

#9: “Die Hard with a Vengeance” (1995)

Although it sounds morally backwards, there are times when bank robberies are badass, and times when they must be stopped. In this case, John McClane has to thwart a bank robbery, and we’re on his side. When a German terrorist sets off on a plan to rob the Federal Reserve, McClane must interfere, not only because of the robbery, but also because of the spree of bad activity he’s been on. The third installment of the franchise combined all action movie tropes into one: explosions, robberies, and stunts. Yippee-Ki-Yay!

#8: “The Lookout” (2007)

This gritty indie centers on ex-jock Chris who suffers a terrible accident that leaves his memory permanently impaired. Since he has to write everything down just to get through the day, the only kind of job he can get is as a janitor at a local bank. A former classmate approaches him with a, uh, “business proposition” that involves robbing the very bank Chris works at! Brainy and full of action, this heist flick will have you doubting its characters’ decisions until the very end.

#7: “Stander” (2003)

What is the difference between a regular Joe robbing a bank, and a professional? Well, of course the professional will be harder to catch, but when he’s an ex-cop with insider knowledge, that makes it even more complex. Based on the true story of a South-African police officer turned bank-robber, this movie marked a star-turn shift for Thomas Jane. Famous for the audaciousness of his crimes, Stander often robbed banks on his lunch breaks, only to return to the scene later, as an investigator. Talk about badass.

#6: “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967)

Though their looks are likely to steal your heart, these two were more interested in stealing whatever was in the bank vaults. Often hailed as the first film of the New Hollywood Era, “Bonnie and Clyde” resonated with young audiences everywhere because of the youth and fearlessness of its stars. The movie was based on the real-life titular characters who robbed banks and rural gas stations during the Great Depression. With Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in the leads, it became a cult classic because of its openness about sex and violence. Not to mention that memorable blood-bath ending.

#5: “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969)

It’s impossible to discuss bank robbery movies without throwing a western on the list. After being abandoned by the rest of their gang, Butch and the Sundance Kid decide to rob the Union Pacific Overland Flyer on their own. The two are as funny as they are brave, which makes the movie another great bromance story. Aided by Sundance’s girlfriend, the pair is on a successful streak for a while, but things eventually go south. Literally. They escape to Bolivia, where the movie ends with one of the best shootout scenes in film history.

#4: “Inside Man” (2006)

Dalton Russell believes he has committed the perfect bank robbery. With a group of masked robbers dressed as painters, he is the mastermind behind a complex Manhattan robbery that turns into a hostage situation. The entire film represents a conversation between Russell who is inside the bank, and the detectives outside. Things get more mixed up when the chairman of the board hires a fixer to protect the contents of his safety deposit box, which includes some incriminating documents and materials. The movie is a brainy cat-and-mouse chase that keeps us at the edge of our seats.

#3: “Heat” (1995)

Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in a movie where one is running from the other only makes us wish they’ll run into each other ASAP. When a group of robbers leaves a clue after their latest heist, Lieutenant Vincent Hanna is in charge of catching them. After being informed that the feds are onto him, Neil McCauley calls off their next heist. However, he soon decides to commit one final bank robbery, worth 12 million dollars, to go out with a bang. With some of the biggest names of its time in its cast, this movie has been hailed as one of the most intelligent crime thrillers ever.

#2: “The Town” (2010)

If you were to judge the world through cinema, Boston seems like a crime-ridden, unpleasant place to live. Directed by Bostonian Ben Affleck, the film follows four lifelong friends as they rob a bank and try to deal with the consequences of their heist. Led by Doug MacRay, the gang kidnaps the bank’s manager, Claire Keesey. Torn between his friends and his feelings for Claire, Doug must choose between one last heist and starting a new life far, far away.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “The Bank Job” (2008)
- “The Place Beyond the Pines” (2012)
- “Swordfish” (2001)
- “Bandits” (2001)
- “The League of Gentlemen” (1960)

#1: “Dog Day Afternoon” (1975)

We hope any future plans you may’ve had about robbing a bank have now been crushed, as our number one pick is an example of a robbery gone terribly wrong that becomes a media circus instead. When Sonny, an inexperienced crook, and his friend Sal decide to commit a heist, they have no idea they’ve come a day too late. Losing their nerve, the two men find themselves in a bit of a pickle when the police and curious crowds begin surrounding the bank. The based-on-a-true-story movie’s anti-establishment tone and great performance by Pacino made it a hit among critics, and our top pick.

Do you agree with our list? What is your favorite bank robbery movie? For more top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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