The 10 best bank robbery movies on our list span four decades. They are some of the best heist films ever produced. A heist film usually involves one person or a group of people trying to steal something, such as money from a vault.
In a heist film, the plot twists and turns as the thief creates a plan, attempts to follow-through and makes an escape. Most of the bank robber movies on our list are caper stories or crime fiction, although some of them are based on true accounts.
- “Bonnie and Clyde” “Bonnie And Clyde,” the 1967 movie starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, is one of the best-known bank robbery movies. The film is a romanticized account of the criminal career of real-life bank robbers, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. The couple was responsible for a number of violent robberies during Depression-era America.
- “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” Another well-known bank robber movie is “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” The 1969 film tells the story of two western bank robbers/train robbers who flee to Bolivia when the law closes in on them. Paul Newman and Robert Redford star in this Oscar-winning film.
- “Dog Day Afternoon” “Dog Day Afternoon” is a 1975 movie inspired by a real-life story starring Al Pacino and John Cazale. The film tells the story of a man who robs a bank to pay for his lover’s sex-change operation. What starts as an attempt to help someone he loves turns into a tense hostage situation.
- “Point Break” “Point Break” is a 1991 film starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves. The movie has an undercover FBI agency determined to catch a gang of robbers called the Ex-Presidents. Masks of former presidents disguise the group, who may actually be a surfer gang. The successful film has gathered a cult following since its release.
- “Heat” “Heat” is a 1995 crime film starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer. While the movie features banks, vaults and armored car heists, it really focuses on two men–a detective and a robber–on opposite sides of the law. With two distinct storylines, viewers seem to experience two different movies.
- “Bandits” “Bandits” is a 2001 movie starring Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton and Cate Blanchett. In this crime drama/comedy/romance, two bank robbers fall in love with the girl they kidnap. The outlandish story brings a change of pace to typical bank robber movies.
- “Inside Man” The 2006 movie “Inside Man” is another story about a bank heist-turned-hostage situation. Denzel Washington and Clive Owen lead a stellar cast that includes Jodie Foster and Christopher Plummer. This great movie has a plot that keeps viewers guessing.
- “The Bank Job” “The Bank Job” is a 2008 British film starring Jason Statham and Saffron Burrows. It is based on a real-life crime, the 1971 Baker Street robbery in London. The producers claim the story was prevented from being told in the past due to a gag order protecting a member of the British Royal Family. With touches of truth, the film has a lot of fictional elements.
- “The Dark Knight” “The Dark Knight” is a 2008 Batman film starring Christian Bale and Heath Ledger. Why does it make the list of best bank robber movies? The Joker and his accomplices rob a Gotham City bank and it’s Batman to the rescue. “The Dark Knight” was Ledger’s last film, released shortly after his death.
- “Public Enemies” In the 2009 crime film “Public Enemies,” federal agents try to take down John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd, notorious banks robbers and Depression-era gangsters. Although the film is based on true accounts and was filmed where certain events took place, the film is mostly fiction.