Movies like Ocean's 11?
March 13, 2009 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Recommend to me some movies similar in style and pace to Ocean's 11, please!

I haven't seen the original, so we're talking about the remake here. Specifically what I like about it is how as something is being described, the scene will cut to what they're describing, moving the plot along at a nice, fast clip. Does that make sense? Now that I've typed it out it really doesn't sound all that helpful. Surely this style has a name (does anyone know what it's called?--someone help me out here).

Anyway, I would like more movies that tell their story in a smilar way. Clearly the style lends itself well to heist plots, but maybe not necessarily. (And The Sting, while it's awesome and has those similar "gotcha, this was our plan all along!" plot twists that Ocean's 11 has, it doesn't set up the story in the same way.)

And, sorry. This question didn't come out like I was hoping it would. I have a very clear picture in my head of what I'm looking for, but I can't seem to verbalize it. Maybe it's just one of those you know it when you see it things.
posted by phunniemee to Media & Arts (36 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
A few movies...and I hope this answers your question. Both are about heists:

1. The Score- Robert Dinero
2. Heist- Gene Hackman
3. Sneakers- Robert Redford

Those are some pretty underrated movies now that I think of it.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:05 PM on March 13, 2009

Oceans 12.
Oceans 13.

I know the style but don't know the name for it. Perhaps something like Snatch or Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels fit the bill?
posted by devbrain at 3:06 PM on March 13, 2009

Caper movies
posted by rhizome at 3:08 PM on March 13, 2009

Oh, duh. Now I read.

Goodfellas is like that, maybe Casino too.

Voiceover narration.
posted by rhizome at 3:11 PM on March 13, 2009

Get Shorty - part of the conceit is that Chili is describing the events that led him to L.A. as if it were a movie plot, when it's the true story of how he's trying to track down the thief
posted by saffry at 3:12 PM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yeah I know what you mean. Criminal Boss says something like, "The bank staff takes a lunch break at 12:15 and exits to the street, that's when we'll cut power and enter from a vent in the roof." He says a sentence or two and then suddenly you see the bank staff exiting as he describes the process and then you see his men cut the power and open the vents. Then the narration stops and the scene plays out normally.

I think there was some of this in The Thomas Crown Affair, The Italian Job, The Bank Job, definitely in Sneakers (though it has a slower pace), 2nding Snatch, and Lock Stock. As a matter of fact I think most of the movies I remember this in are British, perhaps it's a technique specifically popular over there.
posted by Science! at 3:15 PM on March 13, 2009

Two excellent Chinese caper movies--

A World Without Thieves

Crazy Stone
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 3:17 PM on March 13, 2009

You know, heist and caper movies do and don't employ this technique in almost equal measure these days. They didn't used to; editing is a lot easier these days, you know. When they don't, the use of strictly chronological narrative's an old-fashioned way to build suspense. This cross-cutting certainly appears more often in more recent pictures, and I think if I can summarize what you're describing as the merger of expository narration intercut with flash-forwards to the action described, it happens in a lot of other kinds of film too.

So, I don't have a really good answer, I'm just trying to figure out whether you're talking specifically within the caper/heist genre, or whether you would like, oh, Run Lola Run or Amelie just as well for this.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:18 PM on March 13, 2009

I think you would enjoy:

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Lucky Number Slevin
posted by roomwithaview at 3:27 PM on March 13, 2009

The Usual Suspects? There's heist and narration... And that's a great movie!
posted by ddaavviidd at 3:32 PM on March 13, 2009

It's been a while since I saw it, but I think Out of Sight is like this. Also a Soderbergh movie.
posted by adamrice at 3:33 PM on March 13, 2009

The Hot Rock
posted by Danf at 3:39 PM on March 13, 2009

I can't really comment on the editing or narration style, but what I liked about the Ocean series is that it has a breezy, casual and yet sharp style. I think the recent lighter-hearted Coen Bros movies have this quality too, specifically Burn After Reading (which was really underrated, I think) and Intolerable Cruelty. It's no coincidence that George Clooney is in both of these movies and the Ocean series.

You'd probably also like some of the other Soderbergh films like Traffic and especially The Limey.
posted by mullacc at 3:47 PM on March 13, 2009

Traffic and The Limey were great but have a completely different style from Oceans 11, 12 and 13.
posted by randomstriker at 4:07 PM on March 13, 2009

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

I think the Limey, Traffic and Ocean series were all sharp and snappy. Of his movies, I'd say movies like Schizopolis, Solaris and Erin Brokovich were a "completely different" style.
posted by mullacc at 4:16 PM on March 13, 2009

If you don't mind TV recommendations as well as movies, you might enjoy the BBC series Hustle. The first 4 series are all out on DVD on both sides of the Atlantic.
posted by afx237vi at 4:19 PM on March 13, 2009

Robert Downey Jr.'s narration in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang does this rather well.
posted by carsonb at 4:25 PM on March 13, 2009

I think Boondock Saints does it like that....but it also ties in scenes of the detective working through the case to track down the's a pretty good flick.

I would also recommend the movie has the narration aspect....and it's a pretty funny movie.

I wanna say Memento has that same style to it also, but can't remember for sure.
Good flick either way.
posted by AltReality at 4:32 PM on March 13, 2009

Here's a few movies that I've enjoyed that have a similar vibe as Ocean's Eleven:

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Layer Cake
Big Lebowski
Thomas Crown Affair
posted by TJGuy at 4:36 PM on March 13, 2009

Smokin' Aces with Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds, and Ray Liotta. By no means a film masterpiece, but an entertaining violent romp. It does a bit of jumping around with the editing that is similar to Oceans.
posted by shinynewnick at 4:40 PM on March 13, 2009

lucky number slevin
posted by Black_Umbrella at 4:45 PM on March 13, 2009

This might not be exactly what you're looking for but Entrapment was pretty good, I thought, and there are scenes where someone is describing something happening and the scene goes to event being described.
posted by jasminerain at 4:59 PM on March 13, 2009

The Sting
The Italian Job
Thomas Crown Affair (Steve McQueen/Faye Dunaway not Pierce Brosnan/Rene Russo)
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
posted by birdwatcher at 5:03 PM on March 13, 2009

I see your Topkapi and raise you one Gambit.
posted by Ranucci at 5:26 PM on March 13, 2009

Inside Man.
posted by biscotti at 5:35 PM on March 13, 2009

Thanks for the suggestions so far! I'm going to go veg out with some of these. Will report back.
posted by phunniemee at 5:38 PM on March 13, 2009

If you're open to subtitles, Nine Queens is, if I'm remembering it correctly, pretty much in the Oceans Eleven mould and is excellent.

(Link is to IMDB; Wikipedia describes it better, but with BIG HONKING SPOILERS in the Plot section, and notes that it was remade as Criminal (IMDB again), which was produced by... dah-dum! -- Soderbergh and Clooney...)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:18 PM on March 13, 2009

Oh yeah, Nine Queens is a perfect suggestion. Don't get spoiled first!
posted by dfan at 6:32 PM on March 13, 2009

Someday they'll remake The Great Muppet Caper in this same flashy, whiz-bang style.
posted by wobh at 8:45 AM on March 14, 2009

Well they've already been mentioned, but just to ditto:

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Layer Cake
Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (watch with the friggin subtitles on, their accents are outrageous!)
posted by radioamy at 9:48 AM on March 14, 2009

Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (watch with the friggin subtitles on, their accents are outrageous!)

At least, the accents in LS&2SB are authentic, if a little bit exaggerated.

The accents in Snatch (essentially a remake of LS&2SB for American audiences) are charicatures...especially that of Brad Pitt.
posted by randomstriker at 2:13 PM on March 14, 2009

Nthing Guy Ritchie movies.

Also, the first Mission Impossible movie might fit the bill. That "narration as the scene is being shown" style is there in the safe-computer-room scene.
posted by carpyful at 10:37 PM on March 14, 2009

I know it isn't a movie, but the TV show Leverage may fit the bill.
posted by adamwolf at 6:55 AM on March 15, 2009

Watched Nine Queens this morning... pretty entertaining.

Layer Cake is another good, well-mannered crime movie... featuring Daniel Craig, no less.
posted by ph00dz at 7:33 PM on March 15, 2009

And I'm back.

I've already seen most (ok, nearly all) of the ones that you guys listed (perhaps I watch too many movies?), so I know there's some good stuff in there. Since we last spoke, I've watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Lucky Number Slevin, Burn After Reading, and Get Shorty. Of those, the only one that got at what I was looking for was Lucky Number Slevin. (Not to call out the folks who suggested the others, they were fine movies, I'm just saying it for the benefit of others who come to this thread.) I'm having trouble locating Nine Queens with subtitles, but I'm looking forward to it.

Interestingly, I also recently watched Dial M for Murder. I think it fits the bill pretty well, though it accomplishes it in a less flashy way than the Oceans movies.
posted by phunniemee at 1:30 PM on March 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

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