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Top 10 Movie Thieves

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Niki Neptune. Watch your back, or they might just steal your shadow. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Movie Thieves. For this list, we’re taking a look at cunning big screen criminals who have mastered the art of the pinch. These aren’t your average, everyday pickpockets – these movie masters of thievery know how to make a buck or two… million. And not through stocks and options. Special thanks to our users viliguns, Alexander David Bourns, tiggy_gothpaw, easywarhead, Ska D Swami and Ohaern for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Niki Neptune.

Top 10 Movie Thieves

Watch your back, or they might just steal your shadow. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movie Thieves.

For this list, we’re taking a look at cunning big screen criminals who have mastered the art of the pinch. And while some may have slightly more noble intentions, or just enjoy the thrill of it all, most are in it for the cash money. These aren’t your average, everyday pickpockets – these movie masters of thievery know how to make a buck or two… million. And not through stocks and options.

#10: Thomas Crown
“The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968; 1999)

While there’s certainly no shortage of thieves so debonair that they steal hearts just as frequently that they steal wallets, some are so impressively suave that they warrant two movies. In both the ‘60s original and ‘90s remake, we follow the story of an already wealthy and upsettingly handsome playboy being investigated by a beautiful woman. The dashing Mr. Crown is a slippery one, however, and it makes pinning any actual crimes on him that much more difficult. Plus, when you’re a thief who essentially steals millions of dollars for the heck of it, your life and the lives of those trying to catch you, become one big game of cat and mouse.

#9: Dom Cobb
“Inception” (2010)

Stealing a million dollars may be a pretty impressive feat, but stealing secrets from someone’s dreams… well, that’s an art. In this 2010 mind-bender, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Cobb, a unique type of thief who specializes in pilfering intellectual property, literally. He’s the leader of a team of dapper criminals that infiltrates people’s minds mainly at the whims of corporate types looking for an industry edge. Cobb himself is a complex man with some really confusing family issues, but it doesn’t stop him and his team from being the leading threat to secret recipes and security codes worldwide.

#8: The Wet Bandits
“Home Alone” franchise (1990-92)

Sure, their name isn’t exactly fear inducing, and their criminal efforts are repeatedly foiled by an 8-year old boy whose parents should probably be investigated by child services. But what the Wet Bandits, later known as the Sticky Bandits, lack in criminal acumen, ability, and skill, they make up for in perseverance. Not many thieves will take bricks to the face and life-threatening electrocutions and still insist on breaking into the same place. The risk of ending up behind bars isn’t enough to deter them; in fact, the lure of costume jewelry and bulky televisions is so strong that these persistent burglars are willing to risk life and limb for some quick cash.

#7: Douglas ‘Doug’ MacRay
“The Town” (2010)

When you’re a small town boy who’s only ever known a life of crime, sometimes it’s hard to turn your life around even if you really want to. Ben Affleck stars as Doug in yet another movie set in Boston. But this time, instead of playing the best friend to a low-key genius, he plays a bank robber in a sticky situation. After his team robs a bank and makes off with the loot, he ends up falling for one of the witnesses to their crime. That probably wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t also put their entire criminal enterprise at risk.

#6: Robert ‘Mac’ MacDougal
“Entrapment” (1999)

In this ‘90s heist caper, Sean Connery plays an elusive professional thief who crosses paths with a beautiful insurance investigator. While most people would be planning their retirement at his age, Connery’s character, Mac, is trying to figure out if he can trust his new protégé and get away with the robbery of a lifetime. Mac isn’t the smash and grab type; he’s got his sights set on fine art and high stakes burglaries. And when he links up with Catherine Zeta-Jones’s Gin, their criminal brains come together for an epic heist.

#5: Sonny Wortzik
“Dog Day Afternoon” (1975)

Fools in love oftentimes do, well, foolish things. Al Pacino plays Sonny, a based-on-a-real-guy first-time bank robber with pretty decent intentions, but terrible luck. He decides to hold up a bank to secure the funds for his lover’s gender reassignment surgery, but as his terrible luck would have it, the bank is out of any substantial amount of money. As he struggles to figure out how to extricate himself from the mess he’s created, members of the crowd assembled outside quickly become fans of his, in spite of the ongoing hostage situation. Things may not end that well for this newly minted thief, but at least he tried.

#4: Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow
“Bonnie and Clyde” (1967)

For some, the secret to a successful relationship may be communication, patience, and honesty. For others, like the infamous Bonnie and Clyde, bank robberies and shootouts form the foundation of their union. Based on the criminal antics of the real life couple, this 1967 classic stars Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the outlaw duo. They meet, fall for each other, and set off on a short-lived life of crime while quickly making a name for themselves. Their wild and dangerous lifestyle eventually catches up with them though, as they wind up face to face with some less than friendly authorities by the film’s end.

#3: Danny Ocean
“Ocean’s Eleven” (2001)

This remake of the 1960 Rat Pack caper flick features George Clooney as Danny Ocean. He’s a recent parolee who has his sights set on robbing a casino in Vegas. After linking up with his partner-in-crime, played by Brad Pitt, the two set about assembling a crew to help them pull off an expertly crafted, ambitious heist. Of course, things are complicated just a tad when he discovers that his ex-wife is dating the owner of the casino he plans to rob, but that’s actually just more incentive to rob the place. Plus, any illegal scheme that incorporates an acrobat and Bernie Mac as key players in the execution is bound to succeed.

#2: Frank Abagnale, Jr.
“Catch Me If You Can” (2002)

Based on a true story, this drama sees Leonardo DiCaprio playing Frank Abagnale, Jr., a teenager who went on a dream crime spree while most kids were sending their college applications out. It takes an immense amount of skill to convincingly impersonate an airline pilot, doctor, and an attorney, but to also do all that before the age of 19 is quite the feat. Not to mention, he made off with almost 3 million dollars in fraudulent checks. Sure, it was probably easier to go on a rampage of thievery back when there wasn’t a comprehensive system of checks and balances, but it’s still pretty impressive. Especially when you consider that a humble teenager was duping the almighty FBI.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Randal ‘Memphis’ Raines
“Gone in 60 Seconds” (2000)
- Charlie Croker
“The Italian Job” (1969; 2003)
- Nick Wells & Jack Teller
“The Score” (2001)
- Otto West
“A Fish Called Wanda” (1988)
- Eddie Hawkins / Hudson Hawk
“Hudson Hawk” (1991)

#1: Robin Hood
“Robin Hood” franchise (1908-)

Dubbed the “Prince of Thieves,” Robin Hood wasn’t running around stealing pensions and setting up pyramid schemes. Instead, he was the consummate criminal with a heart of gold. Most of that gold he swiped from the obscenely, or undeservingly, wealthy and then redistributed it to the less fortunate. And while this may seem like an early form of guerilla socialism, it kinda helped keep the elite in check. Or at least, those elite that Robin Hood wasn’t particularly fond of. You can’t really knock a guy trying to make sure everyone has food on the table. Thieve on, Mr. Hood, thieve on.

Do you agree with our list? Who is your favorite movie thief? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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