The Hollywood dream factory always churns out exciting movies. And there’s nothing more exciting than seeing a mysterious heist story. This is the tale of Now You See Me. This intriguing 2013 film features Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco as modern-day magicians who have their own specializations, ways of building up a spectacle, egos, and insecurities. Some are stage magicians with a loyal following, some are traveling magicians, while some are struggling to break in.
Now what’s interesting with a bunch of magicians doing a heist? With their given sleight of hand, a mysterious person contacted all of them one day and recruited them to a new life. Hence, they started working together under the name “The Four Horsemen.” Their specialty? Making huge sums of money disappear, inside a bank in another country, without a trace! Enter Mark Ruffalo as the relentless FBI agent after their tail. Morgan Freeman also appears as an ex-magician who became more popular as the person who exposes the secrets behind the magicians’ tricks. Will they catch the magical cons?
Other movies like Now You See Me that are worth watching for the elaborate heist and surprise ending. Check them out!
1. The Thomas Crown Affair
Topping our list of movies like Now You See Me is the very exciting 1999 film The Thomas Crown Affair, starring Pierce Brosnan.
This film remake completes our requirements to the hilt: there’s a creative heist, a mysterious character maneuvering it, a law enforcer on the hunt or trail of the case (the investigator Catherine, played by Rene Russo), the perpetrator is hard to catch, there are very elaborate set-ups, and a very enjoyable big twist for an ending.
You could say that the heist here is very creative indeed, because it involves artworks. The crime scene is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The heist involves robbery of precious paintings, specifically by Claude Monet. Issues of high-level art forgery later surfaces in the film, as well as illegally buying and selling such artworks.
The story also throws in some charming elements with the help of billionaire Crown’s character. He appears as mysterious as he is dapper, and the investigator wants to take a closer look at his affairs. She suspects the billionaire as the one behind the heist, so she goes at great lengths to get proof of that.
This is one exciting 1990s film that holds its place with this latest caper. Go watch it!
2. The Italian Job
Another remake film that earns its rightful place here in our list of movies like Now You See Me is the high octane-fueled action film called The Italian Job.
This 2003 film is a remake of a 1969 British film, but the plot is largely the same. A group of high-end thieves, who stole gold bars, pulls off a successful heist in Venice, Italy. The team is led by the veteran Bridger, only to be betrayed later on by one of his teammates, Steve.
The all-American heist team’s gold bars loot was stolen by Steve. A scuffle ensues, leading him to kill their original leader, Bridger. The rest of the team were overthrown from a bridge, so Steve assumes they were all killed already.
However, the remaining team survives. Now being led by Bridger’s good friend Charlie, they decide to lay low for a while, back in America. Charlie also gets in touch with Bridger’s daughter, Stella. Charlie decides to avenge Bridger’s death by stealing back their gold bars from their former colleague.
Now this is where it really gets interesting. The planning stages of the new heist, how they stake Steve, and how they involve Stella, will definitely make you sit on the edge of your seat. And of course, the appearance of the famous Mini Cooper cars to pull it all off will definitely give you great satisfaction in watching this classic.
3. The Prestige
The 2006 film The Prestige might be the one closer in theme to our film in feature. However, there are many variations as well, which makes this one stand out on its own.
The Prestige is counted as one of the movies like Now You See Me because, primarily, it also involves an interesting twist of events towards the end. It’s not exactly a huge heist with a payoff, but it feels just the same.
The film stars Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, two magicians living during the 1890s. They employ the latest technologies of the time to pull off their tricks. But they have a longstanding feud. Their objective is always to upend the other, to come out as the better magician.
Since magic is all about keeping secrets, both men indeed kept some. But both of them are also eager to discover the secrets of the other. This competition of theirs has been affecting their personal lives, as well.
And without revealing the ending, the twist here – plus the biggest secret – will be one that will make you go “Oh, so that’s why – because Christopher Nolan directed this!” Indeed, it has his signature suspense moves and mind-blowing ending trademark. Go see it!
4. Ocean’s Eleven
Another classic happy heist film is Ocean’s Eleven.
Hollywood really likes their heist remakes, don’t they? The 1960 original starred the dapper Frank Sinatra, in the titular role of Danny Ocean. This 2001 remake has George Clooney playing the role.
The story is about how a smart strategist, Danny Ocean, plans to run a heist targeting Las Vegas casinos. It is theorized that the casinos are mandated by the state of Nevada to have enough cash in their vaults any given day to cover what their customers/players might bet. So Ocean plans to target three of the largest casino vaults in town during one of the biggest and most crowded nights in town: the night of a big boxing match.
To pull this off, he needs people who are familiarly roaming around such casino areas. Plus he also recruits a former casino owner as part of his team. And this former casino owner also has a beef with current casino owner Benedict, who now owns the three casinos Ocean is targeting to rob.
Loving the complications so far? Here’s another one. It turns out that there’s a catch here: current casino owner Benedict is now the husband of Ocean’s ex-wife, Tess. So Ocean’s trusted assembled crew now doubts whether their leader would be able to think straight during the heist, or if Tess’ underlying presence will ruin things for them.
Well, watch this and find out! Then you can also marathon the other sequels in this franchise, before the all-female spinoff film Ocean’s 8 comes out!
5. Catch Me If You Can
Another enjoyable heist-like film with a never-ending chase is Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film Catch Me If You Can. What’s interesting here is that this is based on a real-life story!
This film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, counts as one of those movies like Now You See Me because it involves a very clever con. DiCaprio plays Frank Abagnale Jr., a young American kid who fooled the Pan Am Airways during the 1960s. He was so good at it that the FBI chased after him, with agent Carl Hanratty, played by Tom Hanks, taking the lead.
Now Frank is strictly a one-person “heist team” because the FBI initially thought that this kind of heist might be ran by a syndicate, since it’s so good. The heist? Forging and cashing checks. Frank was able to pull it off by passing himself off as a Pan Am pilot. He even hitches free rides from plane to plane, to get across the country.
The film is a very entertaining watch, since it’s interesting to see how a teenage boy could run away like that, untraced by the FBI. Spielberg’s touch is also evident here, helming Hanks and DiCaprio’s witty cat-and-mouse chase. Watch it to see why we included it here in our list of movies like Now You See Me.
6. Inside Man
Innovative director Spike Lee also made one of the most intriguing heist films to date. The film is the 24-hour bank robbery film called Inside Man. It stars Academy Award caliber actors: Denzel Washington as Detective Frazier assigned to the ongoing case, Jodie Foster as a New York power broker Madeleine White, Christopher Plummer as the chairman and founder of the robbed bank Arthur Case, and Clive Owen as the heist leader Dalton Russell.
The 2006 film centers on a Wall Street bank robbery, where a very old bank was the subject of the crime in progress. The robbers take on hostages, elaborately brought costumes and props to cover their tracks successfully, while police and Detective Frazier try to negotiate with the bad guys. Their demands are given a 24-hour turnaround time.
Now this would be just another humdrum bank robbery saga of a film, if it were not for the deftly handled material by Spike Lee. The robbers seem to be doing something within the vault, but the police outside are unsure. Add to this the “professional paranoia” that gripped the bank’s founder, Case, who ordered power broker White to get into the thick of the action.
Apparently, the bank owner is hiding something in a safety deposit box. Power broker White is tasked to protect it, and to negotiate with Detective Frazier about it. This leaves the officer baffled and intrigued.
Now what’s in that box and what the robbers did next would be the perfect qualifiers on why this is one of those movies like Now You See Me. Go ahead and discover its interesting twist.
7. The Score
Hollywood heavyweights sure are attracted to a good heist film! It’s the same for Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Angela Bassett, and legendary actor Marlon Brando, who all teamed up for The Score.
This 2001 heist film has an interesting story good enough to pull together these Hollywood greats. Brando is the “co-worker” Max, one who lays out the price of the heist, for good buddy Nick: multi-million national treasure relics from France, locked inside a Canadian Customs office. But the thing is, Nick already wants out of this business already. But Max is able to seduce him back into it.
A younger and eager thief, Jack, is already working within the customs office. Jack is Max’s contact, who later gets in touch with Nick. To see the younger Norton and the older De Niro play these roles well, together, is enough reason to see this film.
Any heist film is not without its hitches and glitches. And this is the main reason why this story belongs here in our list of movies like Now You See Me. It’s hard to work with a small team, but even harder to see if you can trust everyone there. What maneuvers will surprise you towards the end? Will the heist be successfully pulled off?
We’ll leave that up to you to find out!
8. Gone in 60 Seconds
When you got Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie driving the action of a heist film, you know it’s gonna be good, and bad! Yes, at the same time! You can find them all in the 2000 film Gone in 60 Seconds.
The film is about a heist alright, and an elaborate one at that. Plus it also has a pressing time limit for the crew who needs to execute it. For those elements alone, this film earns it rightful place in this list of movies like Now You See Me.
So what will we see in this heist, as the object of their ambitions? How about 50 beautiful expensive sports cars? And this one involves a thief stealing back from the police what they originally stole, making the story more interesting.
The story opens with a younger car thief, who’s mostly on the aspirational level. He’s Kip, played by Giovanni Ribisi. He plans to steal 50 cars as part of a job for a British gang leader. But he messes things up, so the police were able to impound the targeted cars.
When Kip failed the job, his British gangster boss threatens to kill him. Kip solicits the help of his older brother Memphis, played by Cage, who was a great car thief back in the day, but already retired. Because it’s his brother’s life on the line, he rides this heist path once again.
9. The Sting
One of the more enjoyable classic heist-like films is The Sting, starring Hollywood legends Paul Newman and Robert Redford.
Granted that this film was released in 1973, its story is set during the 1930s. It was the Great Depression era, and it’s also a perfect time for grifters to do some tricks. Grifter is their earlier term for a con man, who does small-time or big-time cons. In The Sting, the con is huge though, because the lead grifter characters are planning to con a mob boss.
Who cons a 1930s mob boss, in Chicago no less? That would be a younger grifter named Kelly, played by Redford. When his initial smaller con catches a snag, he seeks the help of elder con man Shaw, played by Newman. Together, they recruit “colleagues” to pull off a bigger heist involving card games. And the FBI is sniffing at their every move, no less.
So do they pull it off? Watch this classic and see how, and why it’s on this list of movies like Now You See Me.
10. To Catch A Thief
We couldn’t end this list of movies like Now You See Me without mentioning at least one film by the great master of suspense thrillers, Alfred Hitchcock. The film he directed, which perfectly belongs in this countdown, is the 1955 hit To Catch A Thief.
The story is about a small-time heist, but it’s still notorious enough for the bourgeoisie to notice. The location of the story is in the French Riviera, where a jewel thief seems to be preying on the upper elite of this very illustrious region.
Now the default suspect for such high-end crimes used to be John Robie, also known as “The Cat.” The police naturally suspect him, even if he has already retired from this scene, living a quiet domestic life somewhere nearby. But when the robberies became active again, he knew he had to slip out of the police watch to protect himself.
Now this caper becomes a double caper, in the way only Hitchcock can maneuver. While the police are trying to figure out how to catch The Cat’s supposed jewel heists, The Cat himself decides to help catch this thief in order to clear his name!
With the help of lead star Cary Grant as The Cat, and his co-star Grace Kelly, this is one classic heist film that shouldn’t be missed!