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Top 10 GTA Moments Ripped Straight from the Movies

VO: Dan Paradis

These are the parts of the Grand Theft Auto games that were clearly inspired by, drew inspiration from, or basically straight up took and ripped off moments from movies – or film if you wanna be fancy. These are less spoofs, jokes, references or take-offs, but more moments or scenes that have been lovingly recreated. GTA doesn’t really hide where it got it’s inspiration from – being the self referential and funny franchise that it is – so keep your eyes peeled, some of your favorite crime thrillers, mafia stories and action movies are bound to make a few appearances here.

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Top 10 GTA Moments Ripped Straight from Movies

We think it's safe to say that the Grand Theft Auto series has borrowed heavily from Hollywood over the years. Welcome to, and today we'll be counting down our picks for the top ten GTA moments ripped Straight from movies.

For this list, we're looking at moments throughout the Grand Theft Auto series that borrow extensively from a particular scene in a movie. To be clear, we won't be discussing little, blink and you miss it references, like Nigel and Mrs. Thornhill doing the “We're not worthy” bow from “Wayne's World” towards Trevor. Instead, we're looking at elaborate moments from missions or random scenarios that borrow heavily from or straight up rip off parts from various movies.

#10: Say Goodnight, Mr. Diaz
“Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” (2002)

This famous moment, in which Lance Vance (don't laugh) and Tommy Vercetti kill Ricardo Diaz and take over his mansion is lifted shot for shot from the 1985 movie “To Live and Die in L.A.” In the movie, Willem Dafoe’s Eric Masters kills attorney Max Waxman in the exact same manner. In the movie and game, both shots are from the perspective of the victim looking up at the perpetrator with a gun, the barrel of the gun pointed directly at the camera. A gunshot is then heard, and a brilliant flash of white light fills the screen as the victim is shot in the head. Needless to say, it's totally badass in both mediums.

#9: Drug Deal Gone Wrong
“Grand Theft Auto V” (2013)

In the lawless rural outback of Los Santos, players can stumble across an ominous scene in which various trucks are parked in a circle, complete with dead bodies and a few stunned survivors in a drug deal gone wrong. You can also pick up the briefcase containing the money, but two trucks will chase after you in pursuit of their sweet sweet green. This is extremely reminiscent of Llewellyn Moss coming across the scene of a failed drug deal in the Coen brothers’ masterpiece “No Country for Old Men.” He too decides to take a briefcase containing drug money, wherein, you guessed it, trucks chase after him in pursuit. It doesn't end as well for him, though.

#8: Tommy Becomes Jason Voorhees
“Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” (2002)

While the GTA series borrows heavily from film, you'd never think that they would steal from a horror movie, yet here we are. During the bank heist, Tommy dresses in a dark green boiler suit and an old school goalie mask. If this looks familiar, you're clearly a fan of slasher flicks, as this exact outfit is the one Jason Voorhees dons in “Friday the 13th Part III.” If that wasn't all, a giant machete is also available as a melee weapon in the game. By throwing on the Jason outfit and running amok in Vice City with his machete, Tommy Vercetti effectively becomes the acclaimed boogeyman of the “Friday the 13th” series.

#7: Thelma & Louise Car
“Grand Theft Auto V” (2013)

This game is packed to the brim with exciting moments to stumble across, including this very clear “Thelma & Louise” reference. During a specific time of day, players can encounter a dramatic scene in which a car is parked precariously close to the edge of a cliff, with numerous police cars and helicopters behind it. Before an officer can approach the vehicle, it speeds away, careening off the cliff to the occupants’ fiery deaths. This exact scenario is the ending to Ridley Scott’s “Thelma & Louise,” in which the titular heroes drive off a cliff and into the sunset. Well, into the canyon floor, but that's not as romantic.

#6: Love Fist’s Limo
“Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” (2002)

In this pain in the ass mission, Tommy is forced to drive around Vice City at insanely high speeds because the limo he is driving will explode if it dips below a certain speed. While it makes for an exciting concept, it was found almost a decade earlier in the movie “Speed,” which saw Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock driving a bus through the streets of Los Angeles at high speed for the same reason (although there was no drunken rambling in the movie). This wasn't the first time that GTA stole from “Speed,” as a very similar mission, simply titled “Bus,” was found in the very first game of the series.

#5: Sewer Chase Through Los Angeles
“Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” (2004)

The mission “Just Business” sees CJ and Big Smoke driving a bike through the sewer tunnels of Los Angeles (or Santos, whatever) pursued by bikes and cars. While this chase borrowed heavily from the car chase found in “To Live and Die in L.A.,” the big steal comes when a black truck dramatically blows through the railing of a bridge above the heroes in slow motion to join the chase. This is lifted directly from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” when the truck driven by the T-1000 does the exact same thing in the exact same manner. Luckily CJ doesn't have to deal with a mimetic polyalloy.

#4: Michael Pulls Down A House
“Grand Theft Auto V” (2013)

We think it's safe to say that Michael has quite the temper. It's fitting, then, that when he catches his wife sleeping with her tennis coach, he goes berserk and literally rips down the coach’s supposed stilt house by tying a rope to the house’s foundation poles and driving away. Michael is a movie buff, so it's possible that he got the idea from “Lethal Weapon 2,” wherein Riggs does the exact same thing with equally destructive results. Both are a little unhinged to say the least, so we suppose it's understandable.

#3: The Puerto Rican Connection
“Grand Theft Auto IV” (2008)

In this mission, the completely annoying and totally “street” Manny asks you to kill someone who has been making fun of him and his videos. To do this, Niko must trail a train on the rails above the streets of New York (Liberty City, whatever) zipping and zagging through traffic as he tries to keep an eye on the train above. If the title didn't immediately give it away, this mission is a clear reference to “The French Connection,” in which Gene Hackman trails a hitman on an elevated train track in the exact same fashion. Except in this case, Niko is the hitman doing the trailing, not the trailee hitman. Almost the same thing.

#2: The Whole Game is Scarface
“Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” (2002)

If there's one movie that “Vice City” owes its existence to, it's definitely the 1983 classic “Scarface.” Practically the whole game is modeled after the movie, including the concept itself of a low level drug dealer turning into the cocaine kingpin of Miami (Vice City, whatever). Other clear references include Tommy and Tony's Hawaiian shirts, the bloody apartment/chainsaw killings, the Malibu Club being modeled after the Babylon Club, the Vercetti Mansion modeled after Tony's, and the final shootout in which scores of enemies raid the hero's mansion in an attempt to kill him for his betrayal. It's as if they took the script for Scarface and just scratched out Tony's name and penciled in Tommy above it in red ink.

#1: Armored Truck Robbery
“Grand Theft Auto V” (2013)

The brilliant mission Blitz Play sees all three of our heroes robbing an armored truck by blocking its route and knocking it onto its side using their own truck. This mission is a clear reference to the truck robbery from “Heat,” wherein the exact same scenario plays out. Both the film and game include the truck ramming, blowing the door with explosives, taking hostages at gunpoint, and even the navy jumpsuits with goalie masks (or a monkey head, if you prefer). Rockstar are clearly fans of “Heat,” as the bank heist from “GTA IV” is also heavily modeled after the famous shootout from the movie. They go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Do you agree with our list? What references can you think of? For more referential top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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