Bank robberies in real life are horrifying. The guys with the guns and the half-baked plan are more likely to start shooting and create a bloodbath than they are to just get the cash and get out. Plus the response time for police can vary given the situation and whether or not the bank manager or employees follow the standard procedure in calling the cops in the first place. In film though, a bank robbery is almost like poetry in motion. The plans are always just elaborate enough to work, and are hardly ever seen coming until the moment they’re being executed. It might be terrible to say, but if more crooks started learning from films and finding the holes in such plans they might be able to get away with their heists.
Thankfully Hollywood is better at staging robberies than real life crooks. Here are our picks for the top five bank robbery scenes in movies:
5. Point Break
A lot of people would rightly claim that the original version of Point Break still far outstrips the 2015 remake. Bodhi and his crew are bank robbers more out of necessity than anything else, but are constantly telling one another that they’re not in just for the money. They’re adrenaline junkies that need that next high to feel alive and to insure that they don’t become just another lemming in a sea of moderation and mediocrity. The most dangerous part about their robberies is that they are uncommonly disciplined and always have an escape route.
4. The Newton Boys
Looking back at this time period one can only imagine how easy it must have been to rob a bank. Even Hollywood couldn’t possibly make a big enough mistake to take away from the fact that the Newton boys were in fact among the most successful bank robbers in American history. Regardless of the fact that they did finally get caught and were essentially penniless for a while, they still made history in their own way.
3. Out of Sight
He’s definitely smooth and suave in this film, but George Clooney is not the absolute best bank robber there is. For one, this scene was more an impulse grab than anything. He needed some quick cash and knew how to go about it. The trouble is that his story was easily checked and his threat was neutralized the moment that the teller realized something wasn’t right. If he’d had a better escape route he might have gotten away, because in all honesty this was possibly the most successful and least damaging robbery ever.
What do you get when you put two of America’s greatest actors in a robbery film together, on opposite sides? You get a film that’s masterfully done and an epic showdown between two of the greatest actors you could ever imagine going at it. Heat didn’t last long as far as popularity is concerned, but it was one of the most elaborate and well-thought bank robbery movies in the history of film.
1. Inside Man
A lot of people did not see this coming. Who robs a bank and doesn’t take the money? Once the plot is finally revealed in full however it makes so much sense that you might have slapped your hand to your head and said “now it makes sense!”. Clive Owen and Denzel Washington don’t seem to have the greatest chemistry on screen but in truth the characters couldn’t have been much better for one another.
Bank robberies on film are uniquely awesome in that they tend to show a wide variety of human emotion. In real life they’re simply terrible, but in movies they’re typically very entertaining.