Movies involving heists and con artists are always box office favorites, and it’s no wonder why. The feats that con artists pull off as they trick, mislead, and earn the confidence of their marks only to leave them swindled in the end is a popular story arc.
Sometimes, movies about con artists are based on true events and crimes, all of which makes them all the more entrancing to the general viewer. If you’re curious about one of the characters’ real criminal history, you can look up their criminal history on Information’s record check platform.
What Makes a Great Movie About Con Artists?
Con artists make great movie characters and the heists or scams they carry out are always popular topics to watch. Most of the time, there is a large financial or material gain involved in the con artist’s plan. Movie-goers love watching the steps of a plan come together in order to carry out a heist.
A great movie about con artists will have believable characters with complex motivations. Other great con artist plots include intricate heist or scam plans, double-crossing, twists and turns, and, typically, a great financial gain for the characters involved.
The Most Popular Movies About Con Artists
The following movies are some of the most popular films about con artists, and they feature a range of stories and characters completing heists and scams with impressive results.
This 2015 film featuring Will Smith and Margot Robbie is a cross between a traditional con artist film and a romantic comedy. Veteran con artist Nicky (Smith) teaches Jess (Robbie) tips and tricks to improve her con artist way of life. The two battle affection for each other while simultaneously not trusting each other in this movie filled with twists and turns.
A Fish Called Wanda
A Fish Called Wanda is a 1988 crime comedy movie about a British gangster and the con artists he recruits to help him complete a massive diamond heist. Things go wrong and double-crossing ensues as the con artists each attempt to grab all of the financial gain for themselves.
Now You See Me
A con artist movie with a new twist, Now You See Me features a cast of scheming magicians that complete schemes and heists with the help of their illusions during a professional magic show. The film follows an FBI agent working to bring down the magicians and stop their impressive heists, all while the magicians work to avoid capture and pull off their planned robberies.
Inspired by real-life con artists brothers Fred and Charley Gondorff and the schemes they perpetrated, The Sting is a 1973 crime film. It follows characters Johnny Hooker and Henry Gondorff as they work to get revenge on a crime boss that murdered their friend.
The movie stars Robert Redford and Paul Newman, and it is frequently considered one of the most iconic con artist movies around.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Another film from 1988, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels features Steve Martin and Michael Caine as con artists. They decide to settle their rivalry by betting on who can complete an impressive swindle of an heiress first. The film is complete with lots of comedy and an interesting plot that keeps you watching to see how the swindle plays out.
Matchstick Men is a dark comedy film from 2003. It features Nicolas Cage as Roy, a depressed con artist struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Sam Rockwell as Frank, his partner. Roy’s daughter makes an appearance and insists on learning con artists’ skills from Roy, and the three swindlers collaborate on conducting a major scam on a businessman.
Ocean’s Eleven is one of the most popular and recognizable movies about con artists. It features an impressive cast playing characters with specific skills that are all integral to the main heist of robbing a Las Vegas casino. The plot has plenty of twists and turns, and the cast in this film has a natural chemistry that makes the characters all the more interesting to follow.
Ocean’s Eight is a spin-off of the original Ocean’s movie series that started with Ocean’s Eleven. The cast is all-female this time and stars Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean. The cast of female con artists with unique and specific skills is gathered early on in the film, and they work together to complete the heist of a valuable diamond necklace.
Catch Me If You Can
Catch Me If You Can stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale, Jr. The 2002 film is based on the real-life story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. who became the United States’ most successful bank robber by the age of 17. The film follows Abagnale and FBI Agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) as he attempts to capture Abagnale and put a stop to his schemes.
This 2013 film features two con artists, Irv and Sydney, who fall for each other and are subsequently caught by the FBI. The two characters are forced to set up a sting operation by the FBI, and things get twisted as Irv’s wife becomes involved. American Hustle is loosely based on the real-life 1970s Abscam sting set up by the FBI.
Get Ready for Con Artist Movie Night!
If you’re interested in getting your con artist movie knowledge up to date, don’t worry – our list gives you the most popular movies about con artists for you to check out.