Top 15 Funny Crime Caper Movies

Fifteen crime capers that serve up some laughs along with an adrenaline rush.

If you're looking for a fun virtual crime spree, but don't want to compromise on laughs, these are the films to add to your Netflix queue!

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"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" (1988)


Director Frank Oz brought us one of the best crime capers of the 1980s with Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Steve Martin and Michael Caine star as con artists duping witless widows in the beautiful French Riviera.

There are jokes galore in this sleek romp of a movie, not to mention infinitely quotable one liners delivered impeccably by Martin and Caine. "Why is the cork on the fork?"

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"A Fish Called Wanda" (1988)

Via Cineplex.

The diamond heist opens the story, then comes dessert, as four partners in crime maneuver to cheat each other out of their shares. A strong ensemble cast headed by Kevin Kline in his Oscar-winning role, plus Michael Palin and Jamie Lee Curtis, who seduces a henpecked barrister, John Cleese, into her scheme. Cleese's screenplay delivers loud laughs to those not offended by doses of tastelessness.

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"The Sting" (1973)

The Sting

Perhaps the quintessential crime caper, The Sting is a Hollywood classic of the highest calibre. Starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as professional grifters who attempt to pull one over on a mob boss, the story is unblemished by time and the lead actors' chemistry makes the action jump from the screen.

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"Fargo" (1998)


File this one under "Dark Humor." This Coen brothers film became an instant classic, in large part due to an extraordinary performance by actress Frances McDormand.  McDormand plays pregnant cop Margie as she investigates a series of murders in her hometown of Fargo, North Dakota.  William H. Macy plays a befuddled would-be criminal who has hired two thugs to kidnap his wife in order to extort money from his father in law.  As the plot thickens, the starkness of the subject matter stands out in full contrast with the utter hilarity of the characters as they navigate their ever-escalating predicaments.

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"Catch Me If You Can" (2002)

Catch Me If You can
Via Amazon.

Steven Spielberg directed this fun identity-swapping comedy starring loveable criminal Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio plays con man Frank Abagnale, who is single handedly managing to relieve countless people of their wealth using only his street smarts and smarmy good looks.  Tom Hanks plays the FBI agent who's charged with finding and capturing the young crook, and his hilarious straight man act is pitch perfect.

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"Raising Arizona" (1987)

Raising Arizona
Via Cinematerial.

Career criminal Nicolas Cage falls in love with the policewoman (Holly Hunter) who is taking his mugshot. The unlikely couple then find out they cannot have children (either through conception or adoption, thanks to his criminal past), so they do what any quirky character in a Coen brother movie would do; they steal one.

A cast of bizarre characters and a dark form of very physical comedy combined to make this an instant cult classic in the film world.

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"We're The Millers" (2013)


Thirtysomething weed dealer Jason Sudeikis finds himself in a bind, so he pays his stripper neighbor and a couple of juvenile delinquents to pose as his family so he can make a massive drug run in Mexico.

Lots of laughs here, but lots of gross-out humor as well! You've been warned.

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"Ocean's 11" (2001)


Danny Ocean (played to perfection by the one and only George Clooney) and his eleven accomplices create a complicated plan to rip off three Las Vegas casinos at the same time.

With a cast that includes Mr. Clooney, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, and Brad Pitt, how can you go wrong?

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"The Pink Panther" (1964)

Via YouTube.

A notorious gem thief (David Niven) charms his way to snatch the world's most spectacular diamond. Lukewarm on the trail, the deliciously bumbling Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) in his first screen case. Writer-director Blake Edwards envelops sophistication around the cartoonish silliness in a still sparkly entertainment, my darling. With Robert Wagner and Capucine as Mrs. Clouseau.

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"The Big Lebowski" (1998)

The Big Lebowski
Via TV Guide.

Another excellent Coen brother film, The Big Lebowski has amassed an enormous cult following and has only gained in popularity since its 1998 release date.

The plot centers around a case of mistaken identity, as Jeff Bridge's iconic character "The Dude" falls into a dizzying scheme involving stolen rugs, pornography, kidnapping, and above all, bowling.  The Dude's friends Walter (a freaked out Vietnam Vet played to perfection by John Goodman) and Donny (the always good Steve Buscemi) round out a crazy cast of characters who are now infamous.

Now STFU, Donny.

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"To Catch a Thief" (1955)

Via Wikipedia.

Alfred Hitchcock's sunny concoction unfolds on the French Riviera, where, in order to clear his name, a retired cat burglar (Cary Grant) must foil an impersonator's caper. Suspenseful, serious tale becomes a frothy romance whenever fireworks arrive in the shape of Grace Kelly. The script by John Michael Hayes provides crisp dialogue for the stars, a teasingly elegant pleasure.

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"Sugar & Spice" (2001)

Via moviefone.

When a beautiful and popular high school cheerleader finds herself pregnant with the star quarterback's baby, what's a girl to do but recruit her fellow cheerleaders into a life of crime?

This classic crime storyline gets a big humor boost from the cheerleaders, played with quirky perfection by Marley Shelton, Marla Sokoloff and Mena Suvari.

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"Bottle Rocket" (1996)

Via Rotten Tomatoes.
Pal nuthouse parolees (Owen and Luke Wilson) embark on their prepared 75-year crime plan, beginning with a bold robbery at Mom's house and working themselves up until they can sign-on for major scores with a crime boss/lawn care guru (James Caan). Wes Anderson ("Rushmore") directed these slacker screw-ups from the quirky script he wrote with Owen Wilson.
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"Snatch" (2000)

Via Cineplex.

Written and directed by Guy Ritchie, this is a classic caper involving boxing promoters, bookies, amateur crooks, and a Russian gangster. They're all on the hunt for a priceless stolen diamond, but which one of these hunky actors (Benicio Del Toro, Brad Pitt, and Jason Stratham) will get there first?

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"Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" (1998)

Via Rotten Tomatoes.

Another Guy Ritchie film, this one centers around four thugs who go on a raucous caper through the city of London in search of pot, cash, and antique shotguns.

This article was updated on August 23, 2016 by Beverly Jenkins.