Ben Affleck’s Eleven Favorite Heist Movies

With Oscar nominations less than two weeks away, one of the films that’s slowly been gaining momentum is Ben Affleck‘s fall hit The Town. The Boston-set heist movie was a hit with audiences and critics alike and, due to the fact that it’s been on DVD for a few weeks, it’s getting more buzz as a possible Best Picture nominee and for its supporting performances, most notably that of last year’s Best Actor nominee Jeremy Renner.

Being as it’s that time of year to not only give out awards, but also do top ten lists, Affleck – who not only starred in, but directed the film – put together his top eleven heist films of all time for The Daily Beast. It’s a very cool list that not only has a bunch of more modern films, but a few more obscure ones as well.

The Daily Beast has trailers and writes up by Affleck himself for each one of these films, but while we’ll give you the full list and a few of the write ups, head over to their site to check it out the whole shebang.

11. Point Break

The Town owes a lot to Point Break. In that movie, they found the bank robbers because whenever the, I don’t even know what the expression is, the “big, great” waves would move around to various locations, the robberies would move with them. It was fun, it was really specific to a certain environment and world, which is what we were trying to do with The Town. And it had this really creative, interesting, visual way that these robberies would happen, that didn’t undermine the film’s sense of realism.

10. Snatch
9. Reservoir Dogs
8. The Killing

I don’t know if that was one of Stanley Kubrick’s favorite of his movies, but I felt, watching it, even though it’s an older movie, the brutal realness of what was happening. It never felt like a movie, it always felt like you were watching something real, a documentary about it or something. And I think that is the best feeling you can get. Obviously, there are Kubrick scholars who go on and on about it, but to me it’s just a question of impact and the dramatic integrity of it, and in that sense it ranks up there with anything.

7. The Usual Suspects
6. The Bank Job
5. Oceans 11
4. Inception

Inception is about heisting something really different; they’re breaking into someone’s mind. Leonardo DiCaprio’s really, really good in the movie, and Christopher Nolan is an extraordinary director. It’s virtually entirely visual effects, and yet you never think about it. There’s never a moment when you’re going, “OK, here’s the dragon that flies over, or here’s the robots,” or whatever. It all feels real. It’s the perfect example of story driving the visuals and the way, if the story’s working, it’s seamless, no matter how many pyrotechnics are going on.

3. Heat
2. Rififi
1. The Friends of Eddie Coyle

That’s probably my No. 1. It definitely is vis à vis The Town. Same setting—they even had the same safe front in one of the bank robberies, like, the actual safe was the same in ours as it was in Eddie Coyle. I don’t know what that says except that they don’t update safes very much. We put a little piece of dialogue from The Friends of Eddie Coyle on the television that someone’s watching in The Town. It’s an exceptional film. It does what I try to do, which is to make it seem real. It’s not sexed up, it’s not glam. You feel like these are real guys, who really are doing this. And the stakes feel kind of dangerous and real in a sort of slightly scary, upsetting way; I think the way it would in real life.

Are there any that you think Affleck missed? What are some of your favorite heist movies?

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