Top 5 Movies to Watch Before a Heist

by Louis Lartigue


Heist- a robbery, a stick-up, a hold-up, a five-finger discount

If you have a few hours to kill before you embark on the most adrenaline-filled, action-packed, morally-ambiguous afternoon of your life, these five films might help you work through your nerves. Or, maybe they’ll make you reconsider every single decision that led you here —  in the company of professional criminals with a death wish.

How did you let this happen? You’re in too deep!


Drive (2011)

Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carrey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks

When you carry out a heist, it’s important to plan ahead. Sure, getting the job done is priority number one, but after a viewing of Drive you’ll realize that the hand behind the wheel is just as important as the hand that sweeps the take. In Drive a professional getaway driver who lands on the bad side of an L.A. crime boss and goes to extreme measures in order to getaway himself.  You might also want to reconsider your wardrobe;Ryan Gosling’s jacket in this film probably puts your dusty windbreaker to shame. Why not go out in style?



Thelma and Louise (1991)

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Starring: Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis

Just because you lead a life of crime doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Maybe you had dreams of white picket fences, sprinklers in the front yard and a life full of domestic bliss. But if your life revolves around evasion of the law, then you might have taken a step in the wrong direction, mon frere. But it’s okay! Thelma and Louise never planned on that either; it was the situation they found themselves in all the same. I’m sure you’ll appreciate the road trip of trials that these two coincidental outlaws face throughout their fateful journey above the law, and you might even be able to take some notes in criminal rhetoric from Brad Pitt in the process. That might help in the whole “robbery and life of crime” thing  you’ve gotten yourself into.



Band of Robbers (2010)

Directed by: Adam Nee, Aaron Nee

Starring: Mathew Gray Gubler, Aaron Nee, Hannibal Buress

Loosely based on Mark Twain’s classic crime novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, this film takes a lighthearted approach to the ever-serious nature of grand theft. Or, in this film’s case — not so grand theft. Although Mathew Gray Gubler’s and Aarom Nee’s portrayal of Tom and Huck is entertaining, it does not take away from the suspense and tension that is necessary in a good heist movie. You may not be stealing Injun Joe’s treasure from a pawn shop, but I’m sure you’ll be able to relate to this group’s inexperienced, self-sabotaging, blundering attempt at thievery and maybe even learn a little about what not to do in a robbery. An example right of the bat: don’t use plastic shopping bags as a heist mask. Invest in a balaclava or something. It’ll also give you a chance to get the gist of what Tom Sawyer was about because if you had read it when you were supposed to, then maybe you wouldn’t have turned to a life of crime.



Point Break (1991)

Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, and Gary Busey

What might be the greatest depiction of a bromance, Point Break proves you can’t have an effective heist crew without comradery. Take a moment to appreciate that you and your crew are bounded by a level of trust and commitment that is usually only found in circus acts and Senate floor debates. What you’re doing is illegal, immoral, and ill-advised, but the bond between you and your fellow outlaws is nothing but admirable. Every Swayze needs his Reeves and every thief needs his look out. Enjoy it while it lasts because pretty soon, your search for the ultimate rush with come to a crashing end…bro.



Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Steve Buscemi

After what was supposed to be an air-tight, nearly routine diamond store heist, a group of criminals with colorful aliases and even more colorful language are left to figure out who in their crew is responsible for the police ambush that royally botched their robbery. Quentin Tarantino’s film debut demonstrates that being a “rat” in the crime business can be a bloody, gasoline-soaked, tension-filled mess. Just because things should go to plan, doesn’t mean they will. Hopefully this film can give you some pointers on how to deal with you’re disheveled crew of criminals if you come back to the safe house with fewer people then you had before. You’re not a cop are you? Legally, you have to tell me if you are.


I hope these films guide you well in your endeavors, and maybe they’ll help you realize there are better, more beneficial ways to pay your rent then sticking up a 7/11. Just putting it out there.