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The Best Movie Thieves


Thieves in movies are usually depicted as villains, but there have been a few exceptions. Some movies set thieves as protagonists, & though they may seem sketchy at first, they often have a valid reason for what they do. However, some thieves commit theft purely for the sake of it.

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A thief can take many forms depending on the movie they’re in, but the most memorable ones usually approach their profession with a plan in mind. Whether they aim to infiltrate a dragon’s lair to steal a magical jewel or hope to rob a bank doesn’t really matter so long as they either achieve their goal or fail with style.


7/7 Harry & Marv – Home Alone (1990)


Home Alone documents the life of a young boy named Kevin McCallister who ends up being left behind when his family goes on a trip to Paris. He spends a few days celebrating his family’s disappearance, but things take a turn when his house becomes the target of two experienced thieves. Harry & Marv tend to celebrate the festive season by breaking into houses belonging to people they know have gone on vacation.

During the movie’s opening, Harry disguises himself as a police officer & visits the McCallister home to see what their plans are. When he learns they are leaving for Paris in the morning, he begins devising a plan to rob their home. Though his attempt to profit off the family’s absence fails when he & Marv fall victim to the traps Kevin set up, the Wet B&its remain among the most memorable thieves in cinema.

6/7 Luke Glanton – The Place Beyond The Pines (2012)

The Place Beyond The Pines is Ryan Gosling at his stoic best

Before the events of The Place Beyond The Pines, Luke Glanton, played by Ryan Gosling, lived a relatively peaceful life. He worked as a motorcycle stuntman at a carnival but chose to leave this profession upon discovering he was a father. He stays in Schenectady with his ex-lover, Romana, & his son, Jason, but he has a hard time surviving without work.

He eventually l&s a job as an auto mechanic, but he struggles to get by on the wages he receives. He asks his boss, Robin, to give him more work, but Robin is unable to. Instead, Robin reveals to Luke that he used to be a bank robber. He goes on to Inquire Luke if he would be interested in joining him in a few heists, to which Luke obliges. Though Robin eventually stops robbing banks, Luke gets addicted to it & is unable to stop.

5/7 Frank Abagnale – Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Leonardo diCaprio-catch-me-if-you-can

Frank Abagnale was raised by a con man & thus was always destined to become one. He ran away from home after his parents divorced, but he didn’t get very far on the money he had. To survive, he began scamming people & taking their money for himself.

Frank’s cons were small at first, but he slowly began seeking bigger & better rewards for his actions. He forged & cashed countless checks to keep his criminal lifestyle up. Sadly for him, Detective Carl Hanratty was constantly on his tail. By the end of Catch Me if You Can, Carl convinces him to lend his expertise in forgery to the FBI, to which Frank obliged.

4/7 Danny Atlas – Now You See Me (2012)

Now You See Me 2013

Now You See Me follows the story of a group of illusionists known as the Four Horsemen, led by Danny Atlas. The group regularly puts on shows for their fans, but filling the audience with joy isn’t their main objective. Instead, Atlas & his team use their skills to rob the wealthy.

Atlas spends the majority of Now You See Me using his talents in illusion to trick the rich into parting with their money. Like Robin Hood, he often redistributes the money he gains to members of the audience, but he has been known to pocket some for himself too.

3/7 Dom Cobb – Inception (2010)

Dom Cobb in Inception

Dom Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is a highly renowned thief who harbors a fascinating skill. He can infiltrate the minds of others & extract information by utilizing dream-sharing technology. Sadly for him, his past actions have rendered him a criminal, but Saito offers to clear his name if Dom does a favor for him.

Saito needs Robert Fischer, the son of his greatest competitor, to dissolve his father’s company. Instead of asking the young man to oblige his request, he employs Dom Cobb to infiltrate his mind & plant the idea there himself. Dom risks everything to plant this thought in Robert’s mind, but he succeeds in the end.

2/7 Danny Ocean – Ocean’s 11 (2011)

Danny Ocean in Ocean's 11

Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney, spares no time in organizing his next robbery after being released from prison. He meets with his old friend, Rusty Ryan, & informs him of his plan before setting off to Las Vegas to set his plan in motion. There, he receives funding for the operation from Reuben Tishkoff, a former casino owner who wishes to see Terry Benedict suffer.

Danny spends the rest of the narrative putting a team of highly skilled thieves together. Though Terry suspects Danny is planning to rob him, Danny remains one step ahead of him at all times. In the end, Danny & his crew manage to trick Terry by sneaking into his vault disguised as a SWAT team before making off with all of Terry’s money.

1/7 Bilbo Baggins – The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013)

the hobbit bilbo baggins

After being coerced by G&alf to go on an adventure, Bilbo Baggins sets off on a journey to the Lonely Mountain while in the company of thirteen dwarves. He lacks the necessary combat skills for this venture, but G&alf insists the dwarves need him to reclaim their stolen home.

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Bilbo reaches the Lonely Mountain during the sequel, The Desolation of Smaug, & learns of his true reason for leaving the Shire. The dwarves chose to bring Bilbo as they believed only he could infiltrate the dragon’s lair & retrieve the Arkenstone, also known as the Heart of the Mountain. Not only does Bilbo manage to complete this task, but he also holds onto the stone for a large portion of The Battle of the Five Armies.

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