It’s no surprise that Army of Thieves has remained in Netflix’s top 10 most-watched films since its October 29 premiere, with its charming criminals, wisecracks, and nail-biting heists. Matthias Schweighöfer reprises his role as Ludwig Dieter, the master safecracker, in this prequel to the post-apocalyptic zombie flick Army of the Dead. In the wake of a mystery woman’s (Nathalie Emmanuel) invitation to participate in some of the most audacious safe-cracks of all time, he finds himself dragged into a tumultuous world of crime.
With pickpockets, getaway drivers, hackers, and gunmen all competing for a chance to get rich before the end of the world, Army of Thieves works like a well-oiled machine. Here are 10 films like Army of Thieves to see if you’re looking for more exhilarating heists with colorful grifters and lavish thieves seeking anything from money to retribution.
1. Jackie Brown (1997)
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Michael Keaton and Michael Bowen star as ATF agents Ray Nicolette (Pam Grier) and Mark Dugus (Samuel L. Jackson) as they bust Ordell Robbie, a cold-blooded guns dealer, and his underpaid flight attendant Jackie Brown (Pam Grier). As a reward for her assistance in catching Robbie, the agents persuade Jackie to seek the services of a bail bondsman named Max Cherry, played by Academy Award nominee Robert Forster. From there, Jackie Brown is an exhilarating, fast-paced heist movie in which old-timers and rookies alike strive to swindle each other out of a significant sum of money.
Following Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown was not as lucrative at the box office and is sometimes neglected when compared to other Tarantino films. Tarantino developed the screenplay for the film based on Elmore Leonard’s 1992 novel Rum Punch, and Grier is at the top of her career as a brave and smart con artist on the rise. In addition to Robert De Niro and Bridget Fonda in supporting roles, Jackie Brown is a gritty crime story set against a beautiful California sky that will keep you wondering until the very end and has supporting performances by both actors.
2. Logan Lucky (2017)
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Logan Lucky, the criminally overlooked heist film starring Channing Tatum and Adam Driver, tells the story of two struggling West Virginian siblings. To help support his young daughter, Tatum takes on the role of Jimmy Logan, a recently laid-off coal miner who plans to heist the season’s largest NASCAR race. One-armed bartender Clyde Logan, Jimmy’s similarly misfortunate brother, is played by Driver. Along with their sister Mellie (Riley Keough), the Logans enlist the services of a variety of local criminals, including Jack Quaid and Brian Gleeson (as two hilariously inept criminals), to assist them in their heist. This adds an extra layer of screwball humor to the film.
As a wild southern bandit known as Joe Bang, an inmate at the local prison who happens to be an expert in building bombs, Daniel Craig steals the show. With Katie Holmes as Jimmy’s ex-wife and Seth MacFarlane as an egomaniacal race car driver, Logan Lucky is the ultimate underdog narrative about outcasts who have been overlooked for too long and use it to their advantage.
3. Heat (1995)
Director: Michael Mann
One last assignment leads to all the glory in Heat, a picture that features some of the finest action showdowns ever filmed, with spraying bullets and angry criminals running amok on the streets of Los Angeles. Heat. Three hours of nonstop action and pleasure, Heat stars Robert De Niro as a clever crook and Al Pacino as the anguished detective on his tail. With Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Danny Trejo and Kevin Gage as members of Robert De Niro’s robbery gang, they hope to pull off their largest heist yet before retiring from the business for good. When it comes to Vincent Hanna, Pacino is in peak physical condition and delivers fiery monologues punctuated by his typical cries and gesticulations, making him the perfect choice for the role. Watching Heat is like attending a sporting event; it’s fast-paced and exhilarating.
4. The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
Director: Derek Cianfrance
As the father of a newborn kid and the ex-girlfriend of Ryan Gosling’s character, Romina (Eva Mendes), a professional motorcyclist in The Place Beyond the Pines, Ryan Gosling takes on the role of a bank robber. It’s an examination of the sometimes-damaging relationship between father and son in The Place Beyond the Pines, while also narrating a huge crime story about crooked politicians and police officers with no one honest in sight.
There are few redeemable characters in this picture, which is filled with petty thieves and thugs. Ray Liotta gives a terrible performance as a corrupt cop in town who faces off against Bradley Cooper’s naive newcomer to the force. Acts one through three feature damaged families doing what they must in order to survive, but simultaneously dealing with the scars of their past.
5. American Animals (2018)
Director: Bart LaytonIn 2004, four college students, Warren Lipka (Evan Peters), Spencer Reinhard (Barry Keoghan), Chas Allen III (Blake Jenner), and Eric Borsuk (Jared Abrahamson), decided to steal extremely valuable books and art from the library at Transylvania University in Kentucky. The film American Animals is based on these events. It’s Peters who plays the deranged mastermind of the heist, Warren. He’s terrifying as he manipulates his friends into participating in the dangerous theft.
Interviews with the four men who perpetrated the crime are interspersed throughout the film, giving viewers a dose of reality as they try to come to terms with their acts and the circumstances surrounding them. All four men and one librarian are forever affected by the robbery, which is depicted in an exhilarating third act of American Animals, which begins slowly and builds to a terrifying crescendo before the robbery itself. This should be your next crime fix if you’ve binge-listened to all the newest real crime podcasts and docuseries.
6. The Perfect Score (2004)
Director: Brian Robbins
In order to get into the college of their dreams, a group of high school students team together to steal the answers to the SAT exam from each other. They were just two stressed-out kids planning a crazy robbery in the 2004 comedy-heist film, The Perfect Score, before they became Captain America and The Black Widow. Evans plays Kyle, a high school senior who is frightened of failing the SAT and therefore figures it would be easier merely to take the answers. The loner Scarlett Johansson (Scarlett Johansson), his aimless best buddy Matty (Brian Greenberg), star athlete Desmond (Darius Miles), straight-A student Anna (Erika Christensen), and stoner Roy (Erika Christensen) all join him in his quest to pass (Leonardo Nam). The Perfect Score is a good time and has fun parodying the many caper movie tropes as it follows the band of misfit youngsters on their quest for success.
7. Thief (1981)
Director: Michael Mann
A neo-noir thriller, Thief, was Michael Mann’s directorial debut, and starred James Caan as a safecracker who grows disillusioned of the criminal lifestyle. It is during Frank’s hunt for a way out of his current predicament that the waitress Jessie comes into his life and offers him a solution (Tuesday Weld). Once married, they intend to establish a family in a pleasant suburban home but Frank’s old life demands one last job before the end of his criminal career for good. This is the plot of the film.
Thief, a thriller tinged with paranoia, makes full use of the neo-noir genre’s characteristics, including sleazy crime leaders, smart-talking criminals, and late-night chats under neon lights in Chicago diners. One of Caan’s most memorable roles as Frank is in this film, and it predicted Mann’s great career, which included future crime films like Heat and Manhunter.
8. The Sting (1973)
Director: George Roy Hill
Paul Newman and Robert Redford reunited for The Sting, a classic crime drama, after their buddy adventure hit Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. When Henry Gondroff and Johnny Hooker, two Chicago crooks in their late twenties and early thirties, decide to pull off a high-risk robbery from Doyle Lonnegan, a nasty mob lord, Newman and Redford are cast as their partners-in-crime (Robert Shaw).
The film was critically acclaimed and earned seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for George Roy Hill, who wrote and directed the movie. Hill had previously directed Newman and Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and he struck gold once more as the two playful conmen share an unmistakable connection in search of their next big payday.
9. The Bling Ring (2013)
Director: Sofia Coppola
The Bling Ring tells the story of a group of bored youngsters in Los Angeles who become enamored with the rich and famous and begin looting their homes. Burglaries in the Hollywood Hills, where celebrities like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Megan Fox lived, earned the Bling Ring the moniker in the press. Actresses Katie Chang (who plays Rebecca Ahn) and Emma Watson (who plays Israel Broussard) and Claire Julien (who plays Taissa Farmiga) star in the film based on the events detailed in a Vanity Fair story about the gang’s behavior.
In The Bling Ring, she plays Nickie, a self-absorbed snob who has no remorse for her deeds and is a silent but lethal shark. She had recently finished her final Harry Potter film when she featured in the film. Kirsten Dunst and Paris Hilton make appearances in this humorous take on youth in revolt, which is adorned with jewelry, purses, and narcotics.
10. Baby Driver (2017)
Director: Edgar Wright
A lethal music and murderous wheels accompany Edgar Wright’s spectacular action-crime movie Baby Driver. Baby, the getaway driver for a hazardous gang of bank robbers, is played by Ansel Elgort. They plan to flee their small-town lifestyles when he falls in love with Debra (Lily James), a local waitress. As the cunning bank robbers, played by Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, and Elza González, Baby faces a number of challenges as he attempts to complete one final job before driving off with Debra.
The automobile chases and bank robberies are synchronized to the songs playing in the scenes, giving the film a musical-like aspect. Wright has said he’s already written a story for a Baby Driver sequel, so we may expect more high-speed action in the future.