Whether you're a wheelman, the stickup guy or the muscle, everyone has a part to play in the intricate Swiss watch that is a heist. Sometimes jobs go awry, as they do in the new Brad Pitt thriller "Killing Them Softly," which is why we thought we'd put together a comprehensive list of the do's and don't's of armed robbery.
Remember, kids, we're not condoning the numerous monetary and personal rewards of pulling off a heist, not to mention the rush which we understand is thrilling.
1. If You're an Undercover Cop, Don't Tell the Other Robbers
In the final moments of Quentin Tarantino's debut masterpiece, Harvey Keitel has just wasted his employer to defend the life of the wounded Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), but with the cops swarming in and Keitel cradling him in his arms like a baby, Orange just up and says, "Larry … I'm so sorry … I'm a cop!" Why? Apparently Orange was red with embarrassment over the whole situation, but winds up with a bullet for his honesty. Keep your trap shut, stoolies!
2. Don't Spend More Than What the Caper Will Earn
The whole object of any criminal enterprise is to MAKE MONEY, but if you were to watch any of the George Clooney "Ocean's 11" movies, you may get the sense that a bottom line isn't that important. Over the course of three zippy, improvy flicks, the gang knocked out all power to Las Vegas, used holograms to replicate a priceless art piece and caused a frickin' earthquake. That doesn't even take into consideration Danny Ocean having to split the take eleven ways, so it would be a miracle if the boys broke even on the whole ordeal.
3. Never Leave a Man Behind
In "Raising Arizona," recent prison escapees John Goodman and William Forsythe start what they plan to be a whole spree of hayseed bank plundering, but in their momentary zeal they leave behind little baby Nathan Junior. Once they realize their error, they begin one of the most momentous screaming fits in motion picture history ... though, thankfully, they find the baby unharmed. And then they do the same thing again. Idiocy.
4. Bad Choice of Accomplices = Amateur Hour
Owen Wilson's Dignan has big dreams of becoming a master thief, but his grandiose 50-year plan is cut pathetically short when his two pals (played by Luke Wilson and Robert Musgrave) get cold feet halfway through their Cold Storage heist. Pun intended. Their safe cracker Kumar can't crack the safe and their security man Applejack has a heart attack. Next time use professionals, Dignan.
5. Don't Let Your Getaway Driver Get Shot
This one is seems straightforward, but we can't stress this enough: You need your driver to get away. Robert De Niro and his gang of (supposedly) professional thieves got tripped up on this little detail when their wheelman Donald (Dennis Haysbert) gets blown away by Al Pacino during a power weapon standoff outside their target bank. While this ultimately hurt the gang's chances of escape significantly, it did allow Haysbert to eventually take up the mantle of Allstate Insurance spokesman.
6. Avoid Wisecracking Hero Cops
Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) was no slouch in the terrorism department, using some harsh tactics under the guise of political aims to walk out of L.A.'s Nakatomi Plaza with a fistful of bearer bonds. Unfortunately for him, he did not notice the "Tough New York Cop With An Attitude" on the guest list for the Christmas office celebration, allowing good ol' John McClane to party-crash Gruber's plans … and waste most of his long-haired Euro henchmen.
7. Stay Away From the Vault
Patrick Swayze and his merry band of Ex-Presidents successfully pulled off dozens of robberies without being identified. That is, until they decided to kidnap a federal agent (Keanu Reeves) and bring him along for one of their jobs ... and Swayze had the hubris to tell his boys to empty the vault, which cost them valuable time and ultimately their lives. It was probably just surfer attitude, but we blame Reaganomics.
8. Don't Skimp on Evacuation Plans
One of Bill Murray's most underrated comedies (and only directorial effort thus far) is his 1990 film "Quick Change." In the movie, Murray executes a letter-perfect bank robbery dressed as a circus clown, along with incognito pals Geena Davis and Randy Quaid. They escape with the money, but the seemingly simple task of getting out of New York becomes a journey through the Five Boroughs of Hell. This scene of a street jousting match is just one of the many unlucky incidents they run into on their desperate trail to Kennedy Airport.
9. Try Not to Sleep With An Insurance Investigator
What we really mean is, "Try not to sleep with an insurance investigator … if avoidable." When said investigator is as smokin' hot as Faye Dunaway was in 1968's "The Thomas Crown Affair," it would be damn near hard to resist — especially if you're a cocky master thief like Steve McQueen and you just wanna brag your head off about your next job while getting some kinky cop-on-crook nooky.