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Bank Job
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August 25 2015

The ZINNG: Bank Heists and a Pit of Despair

Check out this beautiful infograph that breaks down the biggest bank robberies of the 21st Century, courtesy of Fast Locksmith. Over at The Lineup, True crime author Fred Rosen recounts his...
February 28 2015

Under the Radar: Genre Movies You May Have Missed — Bandits

As a reporter says in the opening prologue, Bandits (2001) is “part Bonnie and Clyde, part Barnum & Bailey.” It’s farcical comedy, crime melodrama, and a unique love story...
January 28 2015

Justified 6.02: “Cash Game”

Previously on Justified: Boyd committed murder and bank robbery (so business as usual, basically); Ava was caught between a rock and a hard place (or a Givens and a Crowder which amounts to the...
January 21 2015

Justified 6.01: Season Premiere “Fate’s Right Hand”

Previously on Justified: Art got shot (noooooo!) and Raylan promised (yet again) to be there for Winona and their daughter and promised with somewhat more vigor to help the Marshals’ Service...
July 3 2014

Orange Is the New Black 2.08: “Appropriately Sized Pots”

One of the true classics of the prison genre flick is the 1947 Jules Dassin noir Brute Force. The movie helped establish many of the archetypes and motifs (and, yes, clichés) that we’ve...
April 25 2014

Fresh Meat: Sex Criminals Volume I: One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

Sex Criminals Volume 1: One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky is a graphic novel about Suzie and Jon, a couple who both share the same gift: time stops when they have sex (available April...
March 27 2014

Lost Classics of Noir: Scratch a Thief by John Trinian

In the last of these columns I wrote about an author whose work I said would have to be represented in any of list of the great heist novels of all time. This time I’m covering another scribe...
March 23 2014

Lost Classics of Noir: The Big Caper by Lionel White

I enjoyed Wallace Stroby’s recent Criminal Element post about some under-seen heist films. It got me thinking about a sister post that would cover some standout examples of heist novels. I’ve...
February 17 2014

Nice Mug (Shot), Butch Cassidy

He doesn’t look much like Paul Newman, but he is Butch Cassidy—the real Butch Cassidy—and that’s his mug shot. It was issued by the Pinkerton National Detective Agency some time...
January 14 2014

The Five Best Heist Films You’ve Never Seen

You may know the classics of the heist genre—John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle, Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing, Jules Dassin’s Rififi, etc.(for an overview of the essentials, check...
November 25 2013

Fresh Meat: Hostage by Kay Hooper

Hostage by Kay Hooper is the sequel to 2012's Haven, featuring Bishop and the Special Crimes Unit, using psychic gifts to hunt a dangerously unstable felon through the Appalachian wilderness (available...
October 2 2013

Lost Classics of Noir: Violent Saturday by W.L. Heath

In a previous Lost Classics of Noir column, I wrote about a book that is an example of its author doing a genre jump: writing in a vein that is something other than that for which he/she is generally...
May 10 2013

How to Build a Heist Team Step 1: Piranhas

We here at Criminal Element are quite appreciative of a good heist tale. So if you have a crack team of criminals and con men that double as illusionists and magicians, you have our attention....
April 29 2013

Adios, Bonnie and Clyde

As our rented land barge skirts the Arkansas state line in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, we round the curve of scrub-speckled highway and nearly blow past it. I pull the mineral-gray Taurus onto the...
March 9 2013

Now You See Me: Magicians Turned Bank Robbers?

Magicians seem to be the thing this movie season what with Steve Carell’s The Incredible Burt Wonderstone coming out March 15 and magician-cum-heist movie, Now You See Me, which comes out...
March 8 2013

Fresh Meat: Criminal Enterprise by Owen Laukkanen

Criminal Enterprise by Owen Laukkanen is the second thriller in the Stevens and Windemere series (available March 21, 2013). When first you meet Carter Tomlin, you assume he’s the protagonist...
September 28 2011

Jeremy Renner will be the King of Heists

Via Geek Tyrant, we learn that Jeremy Renner is co-producing and starring in an upcoming film about a bankrobber who, in 1878, formed a crew to steal almost $3 million in cash and securities from...
August 2 2011

I Searched Cooper! Not Trooper or... Anything Else.

According to the Daily Mail,  the FBI has a new suspect in the infamous , 40 year-old bankrobbery and parachute escape of D.B. Cooper.  You can read there about the case’s history and its...
June 22 2011

Flypaper Trailer: The Latest Comic Heist?

Since Jake Hinson’s been discussing the 5 best classic heist flicks, we share this trailer for a thoroughly modern entry among comic bank capers.  Flypaper stars Patrick Dempsey, Ashley Judd,...
June 21 2011

Classic Heist Flicks: The Art of the Steal

Unlike most classic film noir, heist movies are not about passion but process. If all noir taps into its audience’s guilty desires—to murder or lie or commit adultery—the heist film...
June 3 2011

The Art of the Heist: Caper-Lovers Will Never Be ‘Out of the Game’

If the detective mystery is the father of crime fiction and noir the alcoholic uncle, then the caper is the lovable nev’r-do-well cousin. Well, I take that back. Capers are doing quite well,...