There is nothing like a good heist film. Not only do they have great action scenes, but they usually involve fascinating plots, cool gadgets, and interesting characters. The stakes are extremely high in a heist film due to the risk of death and imprisonment. It takes a lot of planning to pull off a good heist, and sometimes the planning make up the most interesting aspects of the film. When it comes down to the heist, sometimes the robbers get away, and sometimes they don’t. Although many of the heist films out there involve men, some of the best heist films are centered around women.
These heist films are filled with empowered women who know how to create some chaos. In films like Widows and Ocean’s 8, we watch the characters meticulously plan the robbery down to every detail. It is fascinating to see them gain the resources they need, and it is always great to be introduced to some cool gadgets. In Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, which celebrated its 20th anniversary a few years ago, we watch as the main character, Jackie, pulls off a heist while controlling the whole situation through manipulating the police and other criminals. Throughout the years, there have been several great heist films carried out by smart, and sometimes deadly, women — let’s take a look at the best ones, ranked.
8 Sugar & Spice
In the black comedy, Sugar & Spice, we watch as a group of high school cheerleaders plan and carry out a bank robbery after one of them becomes pregnant. Diane (Marley Shelton) is desperate for money, and she talks to her fellow cheerleaders to help her with the heist. Each member of the cast has distinctive character traits to match their role in the heist. Along the way, there are several comedic moments, and the disguises that they use in the actual robbery are top-notch.
7 The Bling Ring
Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring tells the true story of a group of privileged teenagers who begin to track celebrities on the internet and rob their homes. The film features an ensemble cast, with Emma Watson takes the leading role. It is a fascinating story that follows the group of teens throughout their heists as well as the aftermath. The Bling Ring also focuses on thought-provoking topics such as celebrity obsession. Coppola’s direction is unsurprisingly on-point, and she delivers a solid heist film.
6 Spring Breakers
Harmony Korine teamed up with A24 to make a highly original heist film. Spring Breakers follows four woman college students who rob a restaurant to fund a spring break in Florida. After getting involved with a criminal named Alien (James Franco), they commit a series of robberies. The film is a fascinating look into party culture and features great performances from the cast. At the same time, the cinematography is vibrant and colorful, and the film features a fantastic soundtrack.
5 Ocean’s 8
Ocean’s 8 is a spin-off of the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy, this time focusing on Danny Ocean’s criminal sister Debbie (Sandra Bullock). The film features an all-star cast including Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Awkwafina, and more. The group of women all have their own distinct talents, and they plan an ultimate heist at the Met Gala. The performances are on-point, and the film is a great blend of comedy and drama. It is a lot of fun to see them plan and execute the heist through their gadgets, cons, and manipulation.
4 Set It Off
Set it Off follows four inner-city women who decide to commit bank robberies after being extremely desperate for cash. The film shows you the lengths some people go to when they are pushed into a corner. As the plot thickens, the women become more and more suspicious of each other, and the film leads to an epic climax. The movie was directed by acclaimed filmmaker F. Gary Gray and features an all star cast including Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, and more.
Widows tells the story of Veronica Rawlings (Viola Davis), who brings a group of women together for a heist after their husbands are killed. The stakes are high, and their lives are on the line unless they rob a corrupt politician to pay back their dead husbands’ debts. The cast is fantastic and Steve McQueen’s direction makes for an excellent heist film. The story focuses on women empowerment and freeing themselves from abuse and financial turmoil. The film received positive reviews and currently holds a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.
2 Jackie Brown
Quentin Tarantino’s follow-up to Pulp Fiction was an adaptation of the novel, Rum Punch. The story follows a middle-aged flight attendant, Jackie Brown (Pam Grier), who is backed into a corner by the police. In order to get out of trouble and free herself financially, she conducts a plan to rob an arms dealer played by Samuel L. Jackson. The dialogue is exceptional in Jackie Brown, and the ensemble cast are all on-point. Jackie is ten steps ahead of everyone the entire time and ends up pulling off an epic heist.
1 Thelma & Louise
Thelma & Louise tells the story of two friends (Geena Davis & Susan Sarandon) who ditch their lives and embark on an epic crime spree on the road. The film is filled with high stakes and some great actions scenes. At the same time, Thelma & Louise is a story that centers on friendship and women empowerment. Although Louise and Thelma may be anti-heroes who rob and kill, the audience is rooting for them every step of the way. It is a classic movie that features two legendary characters.
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About The Author
Jonny Hoffman (78 Articles Published)
Jonny Hoffman is an evergreen writer for Movieweb. He graduated from Point Park University with a degree in Cinema and Digital Arts. Jonny also works as a screenwriter, filmmaker, and SAG-AFTRA actor. He currently resides in New York City.