The last few years gave us an overabundance of news stories and documentaries the featured scammers and con artists. I can still remember scrolling through my Twitter feed one summer night in 2017 and being inundated with pictures of cheese sandwiches and complaints about tents on a sandy beach. That was the first time I heard about Fyre Festival, a saga that would spin out from gleeful Twitter mocking into two documentaries (FYRE is available on Netflix, which you can stream using one of our Roku Ultras). We love to see a scam artist get caught (think Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos), but we also love seeing them get away with it – especially in movies. Here are some of my favorite films about scammers and con artists from the last decade.
Two con artists (Richard Jenkins & Debra Winger) have spent 26 years training their only daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) to swindle, scam and steal at every turn. During a desperate and hastily conceived heist, they charm a stranger (Gina Rodriguez) into joining them, only to have their entire world turned upside down. Rated R.
Kim Ki-teak’s family are all unemployed and living in a squalid basement. When his son gets a tutoring job at the lavish home of the Park family, the Kim family’s luck changes. One by one they gradually infiltrate the wealthy Park’s home, attempting to take over their affluent lifestyle. Parasite is the first non-English language film in Oscar history to win the award for Best Picture, Writer, Director and the first film from South Korea to win the Best International Feature Film Oscar. Rated R.
Inspired by a true story, Hustlers follows Destiny (Constance Wu), a young stripper struggling to make ends meet. Then she meets Ramona (Jennifer Lopez), the club’s savvy top earner, who shows her the way toward making big bucks. But when the 2008 economic collapse hits their Wall Street clientèle hard, Destiny and Ramona concoct a plan with their fellow strippers to turn the tables on these greedy power players in this wild, modern-day Robin Hood. Rated R.
The Wolf of Wall Street
In 1987, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) takes an entry-level job at a Wall Street brokerage firm. By the early 1990s, while still in his 20s, Belfort founds his own firm, Stratton Oakmont. Together with his trusted lieutenant (Jonah Hill) and a merry band of brokers, Belfort makes a huge fortune by defrauding wealthy investors out of millions. However, while Belfort and his cronies partake in a hedonistic brew of sex, drugs and thrills, the SEC and the FBI close in on his empire of excess. Rated R.
Five years, eight months, 12 days and counting, that’s how long Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) has been devising the biggest heist of her life. She knows what it’s going to take—a team of the best people in the field, starting with her partner-in-crime Lou Miller (Cate Blanchett). Together, they recruit a crew of specialists, including a jeweler, street con artist, suburban mom, hacker, and fashion designer. Their target—a necklace that’s worth more than $150 million. Rated PG-13.