Between the underrated all-female reboot, the cool and slick classic, and the beloved 2001 remake, there’s no better heist franchise than Ocean’s.
While most people know the Ocean’s series for the successful 2000s trilogy, it has actually been going for over 60 years, and it’s set to continue with a Margot Robbie-starring ’60s-based Ocean’s movie. The upcoming movie has the potential to be incredible, even if fans of the franchise would have preferred an Ocean’s 14 or even an Ocean’s 9.
But it isn’t like those older films don’t still exist. The franchise is full of entertaining heist flicks, and it’s hard to not be impressed by even the worst movies’ energy and charisma. Between the underrated all-female reboot, the cool and slick classic, and the beloved 2001 remake, there’s no better heist franchise.
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5 Ocean’s 8 (2018) – 6.3
All-female reboots of beloved franchises haven’t gotten the best reception from audiences. But that’s mostly down to the reboots’ approaches, as 2016’s Ghostbusters failed because it was an all-out comedy and forgot that the original movie was a great fantasy adventure. Ocean’s 8 suffered from the same problem, as the heist wasn’t anywhere near as meticulous or clever as the ones in the previous trilogy.
However, the actual all-female team is so entertaining and the group has so much chemistry, arguably even more chemistry than Danny, Rusty, and the rest of the crew. The movie has perfect casting, as it throws together Hollywood heavyweights like Sandra Bullock and Anne Hathaway with great comedy actors like Awkwafina and Mindy Kaling. Ocean’s 8 should have been the start of a new franchise, and with a well-written screenplay and an ingenious scheme, a sequel could give Ocean’s Eleven a run for its money.
4 Ocean’s Twelve (2004) – 6.4
Following the success of the 2001 movie, it feels like Ocean’s Twelve was quickly thrown together to capitalize on how well-received its predecessor was. The 2004 film sees Terry Benedict tracking down the heist team and making them pay back what they stole from him with interest, which leads to the Ocean crew pulling off several heists on an international scale, but it isn’t as exciting as it sounds.
The movie still has the cool and funny characters that audiences loved from the remake, and that’s really what made the first film so great. But banter and one-liners can only get a movie so far before audiences start to realize that there isn’t much of a plot. However, the movie still has a large fan base and many think Ocean’s Twelve is unfairly overlooked. After all, the heists are just as intricate as ever and it takes place in Italy and Amsterdam, giving the series a fresh feel.
3 Ocean’s 11 (1960) – 6.5
The original 1960 Ocean’s 11 is certainly entertaining, but it also feels like a blueprint for the much better 2000s series than a fully-fleshed-out heist flick. The film sees the Rat Pack cast as the thieves with Frank Sinatra leading the group as Danny Ocean. It’s essentially the same narrative as the remake, as a group of conmen attempts to simultaneously rob five casinos. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t hit quite as well as its successor.
The remake brilliantly showed the reasoning behind each of the crew member’s choice for joining, and the stakes for Danny in the 2001 movie were much larger. There isn’t much of that in the 1960 release, and it’s hard to connect with any of the characters. The movie is full of wisecracks, but there are so many that it feels like it’s trying too hard to make audiences laugh than tell an engaging story.
2 Ocean’s Thirteen (2007) – 6.9
After the questionable plot and phoned-in feel of Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen is considered a return to form for the Ocean’s series. The movie feels like a greatest hits, as it’s full of what fans loved about the 2001 movie. It’s set in Las Vegas, the casino vibe is more prevalent than ever, and Danny and Rusty haven’t loved/hated each other more. At one point, they’re literally drinking wine, crying, and watching Oprah late at night.
While it might not be the highest-rated heist movie on IMDb, Ocean’s Thirteen is as jazzy and slick as the original, and it’s one of the best ever threequels. The film brings almost everyone back, even those who had small cameos in the previous movies. It sees Al Pacino taking over from Andy Garcia as the villain of the series, and it’s the most fun the seasoned actor had in a role in the 2000s. But as one of the few great things about Ocean’s Twelve was Europol detective and Rusty’s former partner Isabel Lahiri, she is noticeably absent in the film.
1 Ocean’s Eleven (2001) – 7.7
Movie stars aren’t as big of a deal as they used to be. What sells a movie these days more than anything is the property. While Chris Pratt is a bankable movie star, what makes Jurassic World a multi-billion-dollar franchise is the dinosaurs. And though Paul Rudd was voted the world’s sexiest man, he isn’t why most people showed up in droves to see Ghostbusters: Afterlife. However, Ocean’s Eleven is the prime example of a bygone era in Hollywood where casting world-class actors guaranteed box office success.
Ocean’s Eleven is one of those rare remakes that’s actually better-known than the original film. While the 1960 movie saw the Rat Pack at its coolest, the 2001 movie threw together the biggest movie stars at the time. But it isn’t just the movie’s star power that makes it so great. Between the jazz score, the frenetic editing, and the way the plot was delivered to audiences in a way that made hard-to-understand concepts clear and concise, it’s a masterclass in every aspect of filmmaking and one of the best action remakes.
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About The Author
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Currently residing in Madrid, Stephen Barker has been a staff writer at Screen Rant since 2020. Since graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University with a bachelor’s degree in Film, Television, and Cultural Studies in 2014, he has written for numerous movie and music websites. Stephen has been obsessed with movies since he first watched Jurassic Park on VHS, and with a deep interest in screenwriting, he loves 70s character-driven movies. But he’s just as much of a defender of Batman & Robin, The Fast and the Furious, and Small Soldiers.
Visit Stephen’s personal blog, Quaranste, where he writes about guilty pleasure movies, his latest musical discoveries, and how he stays creative during global pandemics, or contact him directly: Quaranstine@gmail.com.
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