40 Most Likeable Movie Criminals

Road To Perdition (2002)

The Movie Criminal: Mob enforcer Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks), whose wife and younger son are killed when his other son witnesses Michael carrying out a hit for his boss.

Fearing for his life and the life of his one remaining son, Michael goes on the run…

Why We Like Him: It's pretty much impossible for Hanks to play a character we don't like, and that's definitely true here.

Also, the guy just wants to protect his son, which automatically has us rooting for him.

Eastern Promises (2007)

The Movie Criminal: The driver of Russian Mafia boss Semyon (Armin Mueller-Stahl), Nikolai Luzhin (Viggo Mortensen) is also responsible for cleaning up Semyon's messes - which includes dumping bodies in the Thames.

Why We Like Him: Beneath that scowling, tattooed exterior, Nikolai is really a sweet little pussy cat looking for happiness.

Stir Crazy (1980)

The Movie Criminals: Skip (Gene Wilder) and Harry (Richard Pryor) who, alright, aren't actually criminals, but that doesn't stop them getting chucked in the slammer when bank robbers frame them for their wrongdoing.

Why We Like Them: They're regular guys attempting to get by in a maximum-security prison.

Also, the fact that they've been framed means they're not REALLY bad guys, so we're allowed to like them.

Bonnie & Clyde (1967)

The Movie Criminals: Bonnie (Faye Dunaway) and Clyde (Warren Beatty), a pair of bank robbers who go on a crime spree during the Great Depression.

Why We Like Them:
Alright, so they're robbers, but instead of targeting innocent people, Bonnie and Clyde only take on the banks.

Hell, during one robbery, Clyde even refuses to take money from a regular guy, instead pinching the bank's…

Heartbreakers (2001)

The Movie Criminals: Mother and daughter con artists Max (Sigourney Weaver) and Page Conners (Jennifer Love Hewitt), who use their feminine wiles to trick rich men (like Ray Liotta and Gene Hackman) out of their millions.

Why We Like Them:
Anybody who sings The Beatles' 'USSR', as Weaver does when asked to sing a traditional Russian song on stage in a restaurant, is A-OK in our books.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

The Movie Criminals: Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta), who are employed by a gangster to do his dirty work.

Which includes, basically, killing people.

Why We Like Them: In typical Tarantino style, these guys talk a lot - we love their infamous 'Royale with Cheese' discussion, plus Jules' terrifying sermon as he interrogates a terrified Brett (Frank Whaley).

Inception (2010)

The Movie Criminal: 'Extractor' Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a dream spy who infiltrates the subconscious of his targets (alongside business partner Dominic Cobb) and steals important information for wealthy clients.

Why We Like Him:
He's quick with a one-liner, and in his dreams, he's often an action-movie badass - as we see when he takes on two gun-wielding baddies in a hotel room that's forgotten how gravity works.

Oliver! (1968)

The Movie Criminal: Yeah, he's the spitting image of Pete Doherty, but the Artful Dodger (Jack Wild) can't help that fact.

He also can't help being stuck on the streets, where he works for penny-pincher Fagin.

Why We Like Him: He's just a kid - and he's a cheeky one at that.

He also gets to sing one of the film's standout numbers ('Consider Yourself') and is basically a victim of his own circumstances, which means we can't hate him.

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

The Movie Criminal: Crime newbie Sonny Wortzik (Al Pacino). He attempts to rob a Brooklyn bank, only to find he's come too late in the day - all the money's already been picked up by a cash van.

Why We Like Him: Sonny's totally inept. And his reason for wanting the money is surprisingly unconventional - he needs it so his lover (Chris Sarandon) can have a sex change.

Which is shockingly modern for a film made in the 1970s.

Heat (1995)

The Movie Criminal: Career criminal Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro). His life basically consists of taking on big heists - his first in the movie lands him $1.6m in bearer bonds...

Why We Like Him: McCauley's not bloodthirsty like most big screen bad guys - he's particularly upset when a gang member kills a guard during a heist.

Yep, this is a criminal with a conscience, and one that sort of demands our (and Al Pacino's) grudging respect.