Nobody likes being victim to the scam of a con artist, but for some reason watching con artists on screen seems rather enjoyable. For years, there have been many con artist films that have been produced and quite a few have offered the perfect blend of anti-heroic thrills and style.
In this article we have listed five examples of movies about con artists that have sharp writing, inventive storytelling and charismatic performances.
The Sting (1973)
The Sting, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, is set in 1963. It revolves around two con men who have a mutual friend who has just been killed by a mob boss. The two team up to avenge his death by pulling off a large-scale con.
The Sting has an underlying revenge plot that is skilfully mixed in with action. Besides, the portayal of the strained relationship between the two wronged men adds depth to the narrative.
Dirty Rotten Scroundrels (1988)
Dirty Rotten Scroundels stars Steve Martin and Michael Caine. The two play con men, Freddy Benson and Lawrence Jamieson, who are trying to settle a rivalry. In order to do so, they bet on who is able to con an American heiress (Glenne Headly) first.
Directed by Frank Oz, the film shows the humorous side of con artist films. It is an absolute classic in the genre and perhaps one of those films other filmmakers could draw from.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Steven Speilberg's film, Catch Me If You Can, is loosely based on the life of a real con artist, Frank Abagnale Jr. Before the age of 19, Abagnale (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) conned millions of dollars posing as a pilot, a doctor and an attorney. In the movie, Tom Hanks plays Carl Hanratty, the FBI agent, that tries to bring the scammer down.
Besides having a stellar cast, Catch Me If You Can, is laden with chase sequences that keep audiences on the edge of their seats.
Directed by Christopher Nolan, Inception tells the tale of a thief (Leonardo DiCaprio) that uses new dream-stealing technology to steal from large companies. He is given the inverse task of planting an idea in the mind of a CEO.
Inception exploded in popularity with its cerebral twist on the heist genre. Being so high in action, it is one of those movies that you would need to watch more than once to catch everything.
American Hustle (2013)
American Hustle is a fictional film following a con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), as he is forced to enter the world of Jersey powerbrokers by an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper). He must navigate this new world with his partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) without getting caught.
This film has everything that makes it entertaining – a captivating story and impeccable taste in casting.