The Most Surprising Movie Cons

We wish Universal would turn 100 years old more often. The famed production banner is commemorating its centennial with a yearlong celebration that includes the restoration of several classic films for the home movie market.

Today marks the Blu-ray release of Universal’s 1973 crime caper The Sting, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as two grifters during Depression-era Chicago that craft an elaborate revenge scheme to deplete a brutal gangster of his ill-gotten earnings. The con unfolds in an ingenious, unexpected way, the depth of it leaving audiences in suspense until the end.

Remembering the movie got us in the mood to tackle other tricksters and swindlers. What other cinematic thrill seekers braved it all and surprised us with their complex cons? We chat about a few of the best past the break. There’s plenty of room to chime in with your favorites below.

The Usual Suspects

A crippled con artist (Kevin Spacey) tells a police interrogator how a mysterious mob boss known only as Keyser Söze commissioned the criminal talents of a group of men who know all too well that “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Watching the film, the audience is caught up in the movie’s fascinating, memorable characters and their plot twists — until the final piece of the puzzle is set in place and everything changes. The Usual Suspects becomes a different movie entirely after our expectations are completely subverted, the mythology of its enigmatic villain is unraveled, and the awe-inspiring con committed is blindingly revealed.