Heist Movies Like ‘Berlin’ Series To Watch

Berlin has been the talk of the town ever since the show was released on Netflix. Shows of this genre bring back a lot of memories that allow the audience to stay on the edge of their seat and soak in the stories of the crime, which mostly glorify them. Some films are comedy heist dramas that justify the act, but there is a reason why the word ‘comedy’ is part of the genre’s name. Here is a list of movies you can watch if you like Berlin, the latest Netflix spin on the very popular Money Heist.


Red Notice (2021)

Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, this Netflix original movie was about Dwayne Johnson’s character going after a thief, portrayed by the very funny Ryan Reynolds. The film is a hilarious cat-and-mouse chase between law enforcement and an art thief. This is the premise of the movie until both are sent to prison for conspiring to steal an artifact that was stolen by another skilled thief. We see something similar in Berlin as well. Berlin is the main character, and he not only steals an antique-looking chalice but also convinces his team to steal jewels worth millions that belonged to the European Royals.

The premise of the heist drama also involves committing an act of theft that involves priceless objects. Red Notice‘s plot features a big twist involving Dwayne Johnson and the second-best art thief, who claims themselves to be the next best after Ryan Reynolds’ character. This major change in the narrative was seen at the end of the first season of Berlin as well. The lead was aware of Camille’s attempts to exact revenge for his role in her husband’s arrest. But Berlin decided to give the lady some benefit of the doubt and offer her more than just a dinner invitation, which could imply his interest in having her on his team of thieves.


Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

This Steven Soderbergh comedy-heist drama set the benchmark for many stories presented in this genre. The Money Heist and Berlin style of direction and narration mirror those of the Ocean’s series. There ought to be a lot of similarity between these two pieces of cinema, as the former is a film in the said genre that dared to be different. The screenplay involved the narrator describing the plan of action to the team, while at the same time, there was an intercut to the actual crime being conducted inside the vault. This style of direction saves a lot of time on the edit because it retains the drama around the robbery. The audience gets to witness the same style of narration intercut with the crime being conducted in the show Berlin because it allows the viewer to stay on the same page as the lead without causing any further confusion. The premise of Ocean’s Eleven, the first film in the trilogy, set the tone for Money Heist and Berlin as well because it is borderline glorifying crime, which sometimes comes across as a problematic portrayal. But Berlin exists because movies like the Ocean’s series were a huge success.


Catch Me If You Can (2002)

The Steven Spielberg film still has the biggest fan following and has received cult status over the years. The movie is based on the true story of the real-life thief Frank Abagnale Jr., who was known to have been a notorious con artist in the 1960s and 1970s of America. The movie was all about the conman trying to get away with the crime in broad daylight, while there was no advanced technology that could help the police and the FBI get hold of him. A crime of this magnitude took time for the authorities to get a handle on, and by the time they did, Frank Abagnale Jr. was out of their sight.

Berlin, on the other hand, also has these thieves working under him under fake names, which aid in hiding the real identity, making it easy to blend into the public without drawing any attention towards them. It was essential for Berlin and his team to be as normal as possible to avoid getting on the radar of the police authorities. Even though Frank Abagnale Jr. operated alone, Berlin’s team made sure their plan of action was of the utmost importance and never let anything interfere while on a mission. Berlin managed to fall in love with a woman amidst the robbery. Frank Abagnale Jr., on the other hand, was close to falling in love with a timid young nurse and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Sadly, that never worked out, and he was forced to move to another country to save himself from prosecution.


Baby Driver (2017)

Edgar Wright, the famous British filmmaker, is known for delivering films with both style and substance. The filmmaker has created a niche for himself over the years, and cinephiles always look forward to any film that has the name Edgar Wright associated with it. Even though Baby Driver might be Edgar Wright’s weakest film, there is a lot to take away from the movie, which is about a heist gone wrong and all the members of the group gathered by Kevin Spacey’s Doc.

Everyone must pick up the pieces of the aftermath of their act of crime going wrong. Though this film was about getting away from law enforcement, Berlin, in the second half of the season, was about the team getting away from the police and the border security force rather easily, but soon they were inundated by the same law enforcement team and barely managed to escape being incarcerated. Baby Driver was only about the style, not substance, which could be said about Berlin too.


American Hustle (2013)

David O. Russell’s comedy-drama was about the authorities’ using criminals to get intel on high-profile personalities, which may include politicians and local mafia, with an intent to bring them down. In American Hustle, Christian Bale is the scammer who was caught in the act by the FBI and is forced to help the law enforcement officers. As Irving and Sydney had no choice but to follow the diktats given by the FBI, a hilarious turn of events changed the course of the plot and made Irving wonder if he had helped bring down an innocent politician. It is the hustle of crime, and paying for it makes American Hustle.

The movie also involves women being attracted to men like Irving, who lives a life of crime and has an uncertain future. Something similar was seen in Berlin. Two very different women fall for men who are distinct from the female members. While one has severe social anxiety, the man she is attracted to is an extrovert. The other woman is supposed to be the go-getter, but the man she likes stays on the back foot and is mostly afraid to be daring and different. This attraction while committing a crime is an adrenaline rush, which is showcased aptly in both Berlin and American Hustle.


Special Mentions

  • Heat (1995) – Michael Mann’s greatest work has to be included in the list of films that define robbery, but this film is a heist drama as opposed to the crime comedies mentioned above.
  • Inside Man (2006) – Inside Man will always be remembered by Indians for featuring the famous Chayya Chayya of AR Rahman from the Hindi film Dil Se in the end credits. Besides that, Inside Man, directed by the legendary Spike Lee, has received cult status just like Heat. This film, unlike others, is also the tale of a perfect bank robbery, and the drama around it makes the movie different from Berlin.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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