The 2022 action thriller film Ambulance, directed and produced by Michael Bay, premiered in select theaters in Australia, France, UK, the Philippines, and many parts of the world. The film is based on the 2005 Danish film of the same name by Laurits Munch-Petersen and Lars Andreas Pedersen. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Eiza González and follows the story of adoptive siblings who plan a heist at a Los Angeles ban to cover medical bills. Things, however, do not go as planned which forces them to hijack an ambulance with a severely wounded cop and an EMT worker as their hostages. The action-packed thriller gained relatively positive reviews so far. Entertainment published a review of the film saying, “’Ambulance’ has enough charm to keep it moving even when the movie runs out of story. The double-act of Gyllenhaal and Mateen II works wonders, the concept is familiar but stable, and the action is silly enough to be fun.” If you’re done watching Ambulance and you’re in for more films involving car chases and heists, here are five of our movie recommendations.
With Ambulance involving a high-speed chase that keeps you on the edge of your seat, the 1994 American action thriller film Speed directed by Jan de Bont in his feature film directorial debut will always be a good watch. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, and Jeff Daniels and centers police officer Jack (Keanu Reeves) who tries to save people on a bus with the help of his partner Harry (Jeff Daniels) and a passenger named Annie (Sandra Bullock). They must prevent the speed of the bus from dropping below 50 miles per hour in order to avoid the bomb from exploding. The film was a big hit and it won two Academy Awards: Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Sound. Empire reviewed the film praising its script and action sequence saying, “The result is inevitable, and a tad drawn-out, but as ever it’s the way it’s done that determines the success or otherwise of films like this, and the relentless pacing and wondrous action sequences, coupled with a witty script make Speed a decided cut above the rest Theatrically, of course, the movie went ballistic all over the world.”
Another action thriller film that involves a bank robbery and shares a similar tone with Ambulance is the 2010 crime thriller film The Town, co-written, directed by, and starring Ben Affleck, adapted from Chuck Hogan’s 2004 novel Prince of Thieves. It also stars Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Titus Welliver, Pete Postlethwaite, Chris Cooper, and Slaine. The plot centers on a group of thieves robbing Fenway Park. The heist however gets complicated with one of the members becomes romantically involved with one of the hostages, the assistant manager of the bank. The film garnered generally positive reviews, especially for the performances of the cast. Renner was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Postlethwaite was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor. The Guardian praised the film in their review and wrote, “The tense robbery scenes at the beginning and end of the film are terrifically well done, and Affleck gets powerhouse performances from his cast, including Jon Hamm as the FBI man on Doug’s case: he shows that he can do more than just play a 60s ad man.”
Widows is a 2018 heist thriller film directed by Steve McQueen with a screenplay he co-wrote with Gillian Flynn. The film is based on the 1983 British television series of the same name. The plot centers on four women who take over their husbands’ crime by attempting a big heist and stealing from a home of a prominent local politician. The cast of the film features Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall, and Liam Neeson. The film received generally positive reviews and received several award nominations, including the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Viola Davis. The Guardian reviewed the film and gave praise to its cast and storyline saying, “Intelligent, engrossing and fiercely emotional (without resort to sentimentality), Widows is a sinewy treat that seamlessly intertwines close-up character studies, big-picture politics and audaciously reimagined heist-movie riffs.
The 2014 American crime film The Drop involves a smaller scale robbery compared to Ambulance but shares a similar tone involving the personal struggles of the characters. The film was directed by Michaël R. Roskam with a screenplay by Dennis Lehane, based on his 2009 short story Animal Rescue. It follows Bob Saginowski, who works at his cousin’s mafia-run bar. Things get complicated for him when he finds a puppy that he nurses back to health and when the bar is robbed. It stars Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini (in his final film role), and Matthias Schoenaerts. Rolling Stone published a review of the film praising Gandolfini’s performance and paying tribute to the actor in his last film. “Though The Drop covers familiar ground, it simmers with charged emotion. The image that lingers belongs to Gandolfini.”
A movie that also involves high-speed chase scenes but adds humor and a great playlist is the 2017 action film Baby Driver written and directed by Edgar Wright. It stars Ansel Elgort and Lily James with Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Eiza González, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Bernthal in supporting roles.The plot centers on “Baby” (Ansel Elgort) who works as a getaway driver for a crime boss. Things take a turn when he meets waitress Deborah (Lily James) who becomes his girlfriend, and he decides to leave his life of crime and start a life with Deborah. Baby Driver was a big hit garnering positive reviews from critics and it was nominated for numerous awards, including three Academy Awards, two BAFTA Film Awards, two Critics’ Choice Awards, and a Golden Globe Award, and winning Best Editing for both the BAFTA Film Awards and Critics’ Choice Awards. New York Times published a review of the film and wrote, “A genre ride with a rebuilt engine and a sweet paint job, “Baby Driver” is all about movement and sometimes stillness and how a beautiful man looks (feels, seems, is) even better when he’s in glorious, syncopated, restless motion. Empire also gave praise to the film’s director in their review saying, “An awe-inspiring piece of filmmaking from Edgar Wright that plays out as a musical through the lens of an action thriller. Sweet, funny and utterly original”