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Top Bank Robberies in Film

The Place Beyond The Pines

Compiled by Jack Foley

TO celebrate the August 2 release of The Place Beyond the Pines, starring Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper, on DVD and Blu-ray, we have put together a list of films with some of the ultimate bank robberies.

From The Joker to John Dillinger, no bank is safe from those wanting what’s locked inside.

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012): Mysterious and mythical motorcycle racer, Luke (Ryan Gosling), desperately tries to connect with a former lover, Romina (Eva Mendes), who secretly gave birth to the stunt rider’s son. In an attempt to provide for his new family, Luke quits the carnival life and commits a series of bank robberies aided by his superior riding ability.

The stakes rise as Luke is put on a collision course with an ambitious police officer, Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), looking to quickly move up the ranks in a police department riddled with corruption.

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Now You See Me (2013): Four magicians (Jessie Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco and Woody Harrelson) are mysteriously brought together by an unknown benefactor and, a year later are performing on stage together in Las Vegas calling themselves “The Four Horsemen.”

The finale of their performance involves the audience’s participation in their final trick: robbing a bank. Interpol and the FBI then start to investigate the group of illusionists, trying to figure out how they pull off their heists during show time.

The Dark Knight (2008): The opening scene of The Dark Knight (Christian Bale) shows a group of criminals wearing clown masks infiltrating and taking over a bank to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the mob.

However, each henchman received similar instructions from the man that planned the heist: kill each man as he completes his part of the job. At the end, The Joker (Heath Ledger) is the last man standing and drives off with the money in a convoy of school buses.

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Public Enemies (2009): One of the most notorious bank robbers of all time in the 1920s and 30s was John Dillinger (Johnny Depp). Dillinger had free reign of Chicago and the surrounding area without any fear of getting caught by the authorities, until J. Edgar Hoover develops the FBI to track down criminals.

Named “Public Enemy No. 1” Dillinger runs and hides constantly from Hoover’s men, specifically Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale).

The Town (2010): Just outside of Boston in the town of Charlestown, there is a code of silence among criminals. Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) plans and executes bank robberies with three friends. When they go to rob the Cambridge Merchants Bank they find out that the bank manager is from Charlestown.

Doug takes interest in the manager, but needs to first make sure she does not realize who the group is and where they are from. Receiving heat from the FBI, Doug wants to stop his life of crime, but is pressured to do one more job.

Inside Man (2006): From inside his prison cell, a man (Clive Owen) plans the perfect bank robbery and invites people to watch. A gang then takes over a bank in Manhattan, taking hostages. Detective Frazier (Denzel Washington) is sent in to negotiate with the criminals, but can’t help but think of the corruption charges against him.

The bank’s president is protecting something in a safe deposit box and a broker (Jodie Foster) has a hidden agenda of her own. With negotiations up in the air, the entire heist is at a standstill.

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Heat (1995): Surely one of the definitive bank job movies. Admittedly, only one of the crew got away with the loot. But the execution is slick, the ensuing gun battle in the street breathtaking in its raw authenticity, and the aftermath exciting in the extreme.

This was Michael Mann doing what he does best yet again, and marked the on-screen reunion of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro to blistering effect. Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, William Fichtner, Jon Voight, Hank Azaria, Natalie Portman and Dennis Haysbert rounded out a terrific ensemble.

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