The Best Con-Artist Films

by jwoehr | created - 09 Mar 2015 | updated - 09 Mar 2015 | Public
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1. The Sting (1973)

PG | 129 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

83 Metascore

Two grifters team up to pull off the ultimate con.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning

Votes: 223,696 | Gross: $159.60M

2. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

PG-13 | 141 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

A seasoned FBI agent pursues Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully forged millions of dollars' worth of checks while posing as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and a legal prosecutor.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen

Votes: 735,277 | Gross: $164.62M

3. The Grifters (1990)

R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

A small-time conman has torn loyalties between his estranged mother and new girlfriend--both of whom are high-stakes grifters with their own angles to play.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Anjelica Huston, John Cusack, Annette Bening, Jan Munroe

Votes: 23,839 | Gross: $13.45M

4. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Crime

68 Metascore

Two con men try to settle their rivalry by betting on who can swindle a young American heiress out of fifty thousand dollars first.

Director: Frank Oz | Stars: Steve Martin, Michael Caine, Glenne Headly, Anton Rodgers

Votes: 60,215 | Gross: $42.04M

5. The Lady Eve (1941)

Passed | 94 min | Comedy, Romance

A trio of classy card sharks targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, until one of them falls in love with him.

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette

Votes: 17,527

6. Matchstick Men (2003)

PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

61 Metascore

A phobic con artist and his protégé are on the verge of pulling off a lucrative swindle when the former's teenage daughter arrives unexpectedly.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Alison Lohman, Sam Rockwell, Bruce Altman

Votes: 118,758 | Gross: $36.91M

7. American Hustle (2013)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild F.B.I. Agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and the Mafia.

Director: David O. Russell | Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence

Votes: 422,481 | Gross: $150.12M

8. Confidence (2003)

R | 97 min | Crime, Thriller

59 Metascore

Jake Vig (Burns) is a consummate grifter about to pull his biggest con yet, one set to avenge his friend's murder. But his last scam backfired, leaving him indebted to a mob boss (Hoffman) and his enforcer.

Director: James Foley | Stars: Edward Burns, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz, Andy Garcia

Votes: 32,486 | Gross: $12.21M

9. The Brothers Bloom (2008)

PG-13 | 114 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

55 Metascore

The Brothers Bloom are the best con men in the world, swindling millionaires with complex scenarios of lust and intrigue. Now they've decided to take on one last job - showing a beautiful and eccentric heiress the time of her life with a romantic adventure that takes them around the world.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rinko Kikuchi

Votes: 46,628 | Gross: $3.52M

10. Paper Moon (1973)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Drama

77 Metascore

During the Great Depression, a con man finds himself saddled with a young girl who may or may not be his daughter, and the two forge an unlikely partnership.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich | Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal, Madeline Kahn, John Hillerman

Votes: 38,591 | Gross: $30.93M

11. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Crime

80 Metascore

In London, four very different people team up to commit armed robbery, then try to doublecross each other for the loot.

Directors: Charles Crichton, John Cleese | Stars: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin

Votes: 123,762 | Gross: $63.49M

12. Maverick (1994)

PG | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

62 Metascore

Bret Maverick, needing money for a poker tournament, faces various comic mishaps and challenges, including a charming woman thief.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner, Graham Greene

Votes: 95,966 | Gross: $101.63M

13. House of Games (1987)

R | 102 min | Crime, Thriller

78 Metascore

A psychiatrist comes to the aid of a compulsive gambler and is led by a smooth-talking grifter into the shadowy but compelling world of stings, scams, and con men.

Director: David Mamet | Stars: Lindsay Crouse, Joe Mantegna, Mike Nussbaum, Lilia Skala

Votes: 19,122 | Gross: $2.59M

14. The Third Man (1949)

Not Rated | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard

Votes: 147,348 | Gross: $0.45M

15. The Color of Money (1986)

R | 119 min | Drama, Sport

77 Metascore

Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Helen Shaver

Votes: 68,712 | Gross: $52.29M

As much of a hustling film as it is about pool.

16. Six Degrees of Separation (1993)

R | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

72 Metascore

An affluent New York City couple finds their lives touched, intruded upon, and compelled by a mysterious young black man who is never quite who he says he is.

Director: Fred Schepisi | Stars: Will Smith, Stockard Channing, Donald Sutherland, Ian McKellen

Votes: 18,816 | Gross: $6.41M

17. Focus (II) (2015)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

56 Metascore

In the midst of veteran con man Nicky's latest scheme, a woman from his past - now an accomplished femme fatale - shows up and throws his plans for a loop.

Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa | Stars: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, Adrian Martinez

Votes: 195,198 | Gross: $53.86M

18. Duplicity (2009)

PG-13 | 125 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance

69 Metascore

Two ex-government agents turned rival industrial spies have to be at the top of their game when one of their companies prepares to launch a major product. However, they distract each other in more ways than one.

Director: Tony Gilroy | Stars: Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Giamatti

Votes: 45,528 | Gross: $40.57M

19. Lost (2004–2010)
Episode: The Long Con (2006)

TV-14 | 44 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Survivors fear that "The Others" may have returned when Sun is injured during a failed kidnapping attempt. Meanwhile, Sawyer is an amused, but highly interested, bystander when tension escalates between Jack, Locke, Kate and Ana Lucia over control of the hatch computer, and the storage of the weapons.

Director: Roxann Dawson | Stars: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin, Matthew Fox

Votes: 3,679

20. Heist (2001)

R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

A career jewel thief finds himself at tense odds with his longtime partner, a crime boss who sends his nephew to keep watch.

Director: David Mamet | Stars: Gene Hackman, Rebecca Pidgeon, Danny DeVito, Delroy Lindo

Votes: 31,557 | Gross: $0.05M

21. Rounders (1998)

R | 121 min | Crime, Drama

54 Metascore

A young, reformed gambler must return to playing big stakes poker to help a friend pay off loan sharks, while balancing his relationship with his girlfriend and his commitments to law school.

Director: John Dahl | Stars: Matt Damon, Edward Norton, Gretchen Mol, John Malkovich

Votes: 135,238 | Gross: $22.91M

22. The Flim-Flam Man (1967)

Not Rated | 104 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

A rural con artist and an army deserter cheat the townsfolk and are aided by a rich gal who shields the fleeing duo from the wrath of the pursuing sheriff.

Director: Irvin Kershner | Stars: George C. Scott, Sue Lyon, Harry Morgan, Jack Albertson

Votes: 1,924



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