What Are the Best Heist Movies Since ‘Heat’?

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An 11.19. writeup by The Ringer's Adam Nayman and Chris Ryan titled "The Best Heist Movies Since ‘Heat’" ponders the fate of the heist genre ever since Michael Mann directed the definitive and iconic "Heat" back in 1995. Despite debuting to mixed reviews, the film's impact has turned out to be enormous, hell, even Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" was immensely influenced by Mann's dark, gritty, neon-splattered vision of the L.A. crime underworld.

In the article, Ryan states "There are heist movies before Heat, and heist movies after Heat." OK, fair enough. He goes on to add "Heat ruined heist movies. Heat has taken on a kind of biblical importance. It’s so influential —in its visceral depiction of action and its mythical portrayal of cop and robber—that it’s almost impossible to even think about another heist movie without relating it back to Heat."

I need to re-watch "Heat." Don't get me wrong, I love the movie, it landed at #5 on my 1995 ten best list, but this endless barrage of re-evaluation from millennial writers this last decade has me forced to give it another look. However, contrary to what The Ringer claims, we've had some finely tuned heist films since then: "Inside Man," "Ocean's Eleven," "Logan Lucky," "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," "Drive," "The Lookout," "Heist," and "Baby Driver" to name a few.

And so, with all due respect to Ryan and Nayman, the heist genre is very much not dead, it just hasn't had a film impact its foundation the same way Mann's epic did more than 23 years ago. The lasting legacy of "Heat" rises every new year, it's a film that was epic in scope, yet intimately attuned to character -- it achieved all that through a kind of operatic grandeur that even Christopher Nolan has had to bow down to.