If you liked Bart Layton’s thrilling true-crime feature American Animals you’re not alone. Released largely under the radar in 2018 it already has the makings of a cult-classic. While it looked at the real-life events that unfolded at the Transylvania University library, this is a heist movie that feels very different to most others in the genre. If you’re looking for more heist movies grounded in reality or those with a stark visual style, this list has something for everyone.
Here are our top recommended picks for movies similar to American Animals:
1. I, Tonya
Starting off our list, we have Craig Gillespie’s immensely entertaining black-comedy – I, Tonya. Much like American Animals, this movie chronicles events that actually happened, intertwined with a series of unreliable and conflicting interviews from the characters in question.
Swapping out a library heist for the ice rink – it details the account of Tonya Harden and her connection to the hit job that took place on a fellow skater/rival – Nancy Kerrigan. Margot Robbie and Allison Janney are superb throughout making it next to impossible to look away. Watch if you like: Thrilling bio’s.
2. The Bank Job
Falling right back into step with a pure heist movie (another that was inspired by true events also), we have Roger Donaldson’s stylish triller, The Bank Job. If you particularly enjoyed how a team of amateurs conspired to commit a grand crime, then you’ll similarly enjoy this one.
As with American Animals, it shares a deliberate and suspenseful build up with a satisfying payoff at the end. If you never got around to seeing it, this could be the perfect choice for you. Watch if you like: Real life crimes
3. Baby Driver
Deviating away from the biographical nature of the entries above, we have Edgar Wright’s sensational hit – Baby Driver. As a movie that spent over 20 years in the making, it was worth every bit the wait. Carrying some of the most sharp and high-wire action sequences seen of late, it zig-zags from scene to scene leaving an awe-inspiring trail of destruction behind.
If you’re looking for stunning cinematography with a very distinct style then this will right be up your alley. Watch if you like: Exhilarating heists
4. The Wolf of Wall Street
Moving along, we have Martin Scorsese’s black-comedy – The Wolf of Wall Street. While it’s not considered a heist movie, there’s more than enough crime and illegal activity going on to sink your teeth into.
Like American Animals, it’s a story based on real-life events, in this case – the ludicrous shenanigans from Jordan Belfort’s days as a stockbroker and beyond. Watch if you like: Scorsese movies
5. The Town
Continuing on with our list, we have Ben Affleck’s self-written and directed crime-thriller The Town. Set in the streets of Charleston, Boston this rugged and gripping affair sprays more bullets and action than anything that we have listed before.
If you’re specifically looking for a high-octane ride that will get your heart rate thundering then look no further. Watch if you like: Irish-American crime movies.
6. King of Thieves
Returning back to another movie based on a real-life event (in this instance – the Hatton Garden safe deposit burglary), we have James Marsh’s 2018 crime-drama King of Thieves. Involving a team of old-school crooks who make off with a cache of $17m in jewelry, it’s a cautionary tale of – be careful what you wish for.
Definitely one of the lesser known entries on our list, we’re confident you’ll find more than enough entertainment in the plotting and execution of this silky-smooth heist. Watch if you like: Real life heists
7. The Old Man & the Gun
And last but not least, we have the penultimate performance of one of Hollywood’s leading men – Robert Redford. The Old Man & the Gun sees Redford play a career criminal who can’t quite shrug off the thrill of robbing banks.
As with American Animals, there are elements of violence and daring bravado present but in this case, delivered with a touch more charm and style. Watch if you like: Real life crime.