I don’t know how I missed this movie back in 2020 when it came out but, oh wait, I remember now. Yes, there was this thing in 2020 that happened, yeah, I remember now. Nonetheless, great news everybody, we’ve got another excellent heist movie. The Heist of the Century AKA El Robo Del Siglo is an Argentinian movie about the robbery of the Banco Rio branch in Buenos Aires. It’s breezy, lighthearted, and exceedingly well-crafted. Everything you would want from a big heist movie is here including lots of humor. The production values are excellent and the whole movie looks and feels great.
Just think of it as Ocean’s Eleven but with a twist, a very real twist. And the structure of the movie is also the same. I think that by now you already know the drill. First comes the crazy idea, then meticulous planning, and then nerve-wracking execution. What I found odd is that they ramped up the tension only toward the very end of the heist. And when they ramped it up, they fucking ramped it up. This was also the consequence of the much smoother flow of things up until that point. This reminded me of a British heist movie also based on true events The Bank Job.
The cast of The Heist of the Century was charismatic and likable. This is the first time I saw any of them and I liked all of them immediately. However, I think that Guillermo Francella stole the show here with his pitch-perfect performance. And say this despite the fact that Diego Peretti as Fernando was smoking weed the entire runtime of the movie. Oh man, oh man, was this one difficult to sit through because of that. I got the urge so bad that towards the end of the movie, when even Guillermo took a hit, I almost cried. I know, guys, I know.
One rainy night Fernando was smoking a joint while walking home, just like he does every night. A passing car splashes him with rainwater putting the joint out but firing something up. You see that was the night Fernando got the idea to rob one of the biggest banks in Argentina. The only problem was he didn’t have a crew to help him do it. So, he started asking around and making preparations for this huge endeavor.
If you wait for the credits to roll, you’ll get the opportunity to learn more about our crew of robbers. The execution of this heist reminded me of the British Hatton Garden safe deposit burglary. There are some differences but both heists are equally crazy. If you want to know more about the real events portrayed in The Heist of the Century, I recommend you read this GQ article: The Great Buenos Aires Bank Heist. It’s a detailed account of the robbery and it might take a while to read but it’s a very interesting read.
These guys were seriously smart and thought through a lot of issues. And I’m not talking Money Heist (La Casa De Papel) smart but real smart. And if you’re wondering just how accurate The Heist of the Century was, I’ve got only thing to tell you: look at who the screenwriter is! Yup, you guessed it, it’s none other than the mastermind of the heist himself, Fernando Araujo. Despite going into details, the movie always keeps a very easygoing vibe. The humor is subtle and effective adding even more reasons for you to check out this brilliant movie.
Finally, if you’re looking for similar movies you can always check out our Rabbit Reviews selection of Heist Movies worth watching. This brings us to the Spanish movie To Steal From A Thief which borrowed some of the elements from the movie we talked about today.
Director: Ariel Winograd
Writers: Alex Zito, Fernando Araujo, Rodolfo Palacio
Cast: Guillermo Francella, Diego Peretti, Luis Luque, Pablo Rago, Rafael Ferro, Mariano Argento
Fun Facts: The second most viewed Argentine film in history on its opening day (first one is Underdogs, a 2013 animated movie also based on true events).