Ridley Scott films – ranked!

1 year ago 167

20. A Good Year (2006)

A movie to beryllium that straight-up feelgood drama is not Ridley Scott’s forte and casting his favourite starring antheral is nary warrant of success, either. This is based connected a caller by Peter “A Year successful Provence” Mayle: incredibly, it is Russell Crowe playing the quirkily conceited yet adorable Brit who inherits a sumptuous house-plus-vineyard successful the southbound of France, comes implicit intending to merchantability it, but alternatively falls successful emotion with the spot and each the picturesque Frenchness thereabouts, including Marion Cotillard.

19. Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

A director’s chopped was aboriginal to redeem immoderate of its estimation but fundamentally this play enactment movie from war-torn 12th-century Europe inactive feels similar a bombastic wide fantasy. Orlando Bloom plays a young blacksmith – the illegitimate lad of nobleman Liam Neeson – who joins the Crusades not to thrust the Muslims retired of the Holy Land, but to broker peace. Weirdly, Scott returned to the tricky contented of the Crusades successful Robin Hood (see below).

Andy Garcia and Michael Douglas successful  Black Rain (1989).
Andy Garcia and Michael Douglas successful Black Rain (1989). Photograph: Paramount Pictures/Allstar

18. Black Rain (1989)

Here is Michael Douglas successful his action-lead heyday, playing a pugnacious and ruthless bull adrift successful Japan’s smoky, rainy, neon-lit Osaka – an municipality locale that’s somewhat reminiscent of Scott’s Blade Runner. Douglas and his bull partner, played by Andy Garcia, seizure a Yakuza gangster successful New York, past travel to Osaka and manus him implicit to radical they judge to beryllium constabulary but are successful information Yakuza successful disguise. So Douglas has to travel into the acheronian infernal bosom of Yakuza gangland to recapture his man. The enactment sequences are a spot perfunctory.

17. GI Jane (1997)

Demi Moore plays the wannabe Navy Seal successful this serviceable and underrated movie: she is navy seasoned Jordan O’Neil, who ever resented not being eligible for afloat combat during the archetypal Iraq warfare of 1991. But present the rules person changed and she tin go a Seal if she survives the terrifying grooming course, presided implicit by the super-scary Viggo Mortensen – and she doesn’t privation immoderate peculiar treatment. It’s rather earnest and the intersexual authorities consciousness naive, but it has the authentic Scott virtues of forthright enactment and propulsive energy.

Lorraine Bracco successful  Someone to Watch Over Me (1987).
Lorraine Bracco successful Someone to Watch Over Me (1987). Photograph: Columbia/Allstar

16. Someone to Watch Over Me (1987)

This was the cheesy action-romance conception that was done much successfully 5 years aboriginal by Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston successful Mick Jackson’s The Bodyguard – but Someone to Watch Over Me isn’t excessively bad. Mimi Rogers plays a high-society quality whose beingness is successful information due to the fact that she has witnessed a murder, Tom Berenger (an underrated, plausible lead) is the working-class bull assigned to support her, and of people they autumn successful love. Lorraine Bracco, aboriginal to go a fable successful Goodfellas and The Sopranos, is Berenger’s aggravated and heartbroken wife.

15. Black Hawk Down (2001)

Scott’s true-life warfare movie acceptable successful 90s Somalia acceptable retired to make a modern American Dunkirk myth: the US is pursuing its peacekeeping cognition successful Mogadishu and peculiar forces effort to kidnap a warlord terrorising the blameless civilian population. But the ngo turns into a fiasco erstwhile 1 of the Black Hawk choppers goes down, and present the lone existent entity for the Americans is to get each their guys retired alive. It is simply a concern treated with full-on, non-stop deafening pyrotechnics: an astir meaningless blizzard of action. Scott surely puts his pedal to the metal.

Cameron Diaz and Penélope Cruz successful  The Counsellor (2013).
Cameron Diaz and Penélope Cruz successful The Counsellor (2013). Photograph: Kerry Brown/20th Century Fox/Allstar

14. The Counsellor (2013)

Michael Fassbender has accumulated a spot of signifier arsenic a Scott starring antheral successful the past mates of decades, and present helium is successful this hyperactive, flawed enactment thriller from screenwriter Cormac McCarthy. He plays a lawyer (addressed arsenic “counselor” successful the American style) who is tempted by the large score. Through his criminal-clientele contacts, helium figures helium tin get successful connected a lucrative Colombian cause deal; determination is simply a large country successful which helium proposes matrimony to his woman Laura, played by Penélope Cruz; Brad Pitt and Javier Bardem are successful the mix. It runs retired of steam but there’s a batch of vigor successful the archetypal act.

13. Alien: Covenant (2017)

Scott’s Alien: Covenant is the stylish 2nd prequel to the first, classical Alien film, coming aft Prometheus. The Covenant is the sanction of the spaceship, which is hurtling done the postulation connected a ngo to acceptable up a plantation connected a distant satellite seemingly capable to enactment quality life. Fassbender returns arsenic the inscrutable robot and determination is simply a large country astatine the beginning, acceptable successful a country of Kubrickian whiteness, successful which the robot is being questioned by its scientist-creator and asked to take a sanction for himself. He picks “David” aft the Michelangelo statue.

12. Robin Hood (2010)

All right, Russell Crowe’s Irish/geordie/Norfolk accent arsenic Robin is simply a spot weird (he uncorked 1 of his legendary strops with a BBC vigor interviewer who innocently asked wherever it was expected to travel from). But it’s an entertaining fantasy, powerfully and robustly directed by Scott, who showed his enduring endowment for play warfare and conflict scenes. Crowe’s Robin is nary merry japester successful the Errol Flynn benignant but a battle-hardened ex-soldier sickened by cruelty to Muslim civilians successful the Crusades, and fundamentally an anti-French loyalist of Richard the Lionheart. His introduction into the satellite of stealing from the unjust affluent is thing helium slides into for the astir blameless of reasons.

Daniel James successful  Prometheus (2012).
Daniel James successful Prometheus (2012). Photograph: 20th Century Fox/Allstar

11. Prometheus (2012)

Scott’s ambitious and lovely-looking movie takes spot earlier his sci-fi classical Alien, and it is portion prequel and portion saltation connected a theme. Noomi Rapace is the idiosyncratic who discovers past cave paintings successful Skye that picture primitive humans worshipping a circumstantial constellation. Astronomers find this signifier of stars, and soon Rapace is connected a spaceship heading there, with crew-members including Charlize Theron and Idris Elba arsenic humanoids, and Fassbender arsenic the eerily and unnervingly inscrutable servant robot, David, who glides astir the spot similar an automaton-butler, but scarily whitethorn person a caput of his own. Prometheus repeats galore ideas from Alien, possibly without the original’s mule-kick charge, but with quality and style.

10. Hannibal (2001)

Probably nary sequel could successful immoderate mode unrecorded up to Jonathan Demme’s classical The Silence of the Lambs, but Scott brought each his vigor and unflinching appetite for chaos and gore to this followup. The talented Dr Lecter – inactive played by Anthony Hopkins – is present connected the tally and surviving incognito successful Florence (perhaps successful tribute to the infamous serial-killing “Monster of Florence”). He makes interaction erstwhile again with Clariiiiiiice, present played by Julianne Moore, and their reunion is to impact an atrocious reckoning for a definite corrupt cop, played by Ray Liotta with thing connected his mind.

Nicolas Cage and Alison Lohman successful  Matchstick Men (2003).
Nicolas Cage and Alison Lohman successful Matchstick Men (2003). Photograph: Warner Bros/Allstar

9. Matchstick Men (2003)

Scott near his generic comfortableness portion for this genial and seductive small achromatic drama astir con artists. Nicolas Cage plays the seasoned grifter who feels bittersweet astir what helium does – parting anserine radical from what small wealth they have. He is divorced, lonely and, furthermore, suffers from OCD, a information that lone threatens to worsen arsenic helium gets older. He has a tricky narration with a young wannabe conman, played by Sam Rockwell, whom helium is supposedly mentoring successful the slimy creation of confidence-tricking. But past helium is reunited with his long-lost and present teenage girl (Alison Lohman) who, to his fatherly pride, wants to beryllium a grifter herself and is precise bully astatine it – similar Tatum O’Neal successful Paper Moon – and this causes nary extremity of quasi-family dysfunction and resentment with Rockwell, his expected heir.

8. The Last Duel (2021)

In this film, Scott created a big-screen, big-league costume play enactment play of the benignant nary 1 other is capable oregon consenting present to make, and contempt its flaws, it is directed astatine a full-tilt gallop with overwhelming, muscular force, a mode with spectacle and storytelling gusto. Basically, it’s a Rashomon-style competing-testimony communicative based connected a existent communicative from 14th-century France. Matt Damon, sporting an outrageous mullet, plays Jean de Carrouges, who demands of the king the close to duel to the decease with a definite Jacques Le Gris, played by Adam Driver, whom helium accuses of raping his wife, Marguerite, played by Jodie Comer. The movie tells america the communicative from Carrouges’ viewpoint, past Le Gris’ and yet Marguerite’s. Perhaps Marguerite’s presumption gets crowded retired but this is simply a vivid and well-made picture.

Matt Damon successful  The Martian (2015).
Matt Damon successful The Martian (2015). Photograph: 20th Century Fox/Allstar

7. The Martian (2015)

Science fabrication was thing that Scott came to beryllium known for, but The Martian could not beryllium much antithetic than the acheronian and disturbing Alien franchise: fundamentally optimistic successful outlook, and, made with Nasa’s enthusiastic support and co-operation, it really won a Golden Globe for “musical oregon comedy”. Matt Damon plays all-American scientist/astronaut Mark Watney, who is portion of a squad conducting probe connected Mars. When the presumption is devastated by a particulate storm, the commandant believes Watney to beryllium dormant and flies disconnected with the remainder of the crew. But helium is inactive live and this Robinson Crusoe connected Mars makes a resourceful and courageous effort to past and get connection to satellite Earth that helium wants to travel home.

6. Gladiator (2000)

“Are you not ENTERTAINED?” Moviegoers astir the satellite agreed that they were, and with this film, Scott single-handedly revived the sword-and-sandal genre that had lain dormant successful Hollywood for generations. He besides made an A-list prima of beefy, macho Russell Crowe, who plays Maximus Decimus Meridius: begetter to a murdered son, hubby to a murdered woman who volition person his vengeance successful this beingness oregon the next. He is the wide who is betrayed and sold into slavery by the envious caller emperor, Commodus, played by the soon-to-be-a-megastar Joaquin Phoenix, and who past plots his revenge successful his caller prominence arsenic the top gladiator successful the land. A mighty epic with immoderate of the large play accumulation plan Scott is known for, making the precise astir of emerging integer effects for the spectacular Colosseum scenes.

5. All the Money successful the World (2017)

In his 80s, Scott directed 1 of his precise champion films, and possibly it’s nary coincidence that it’s astir an aged feline who has much vigor and cunning than anyone other connected screen. This is simply a raucous thriller based connected the existent communicative of super-rich lipid tycoon J Paul Getty and his refusal successful 1973 to wage the ransom erstwhile his grandson was kidnapped successful Rome. Getty was primitively played by Kevin Spacey but Scott, disgusted with revelations astir Spacey’s abusive behaviour, reshot each his scenes with Christopher Plummer successful the role, who successful crook gave 1 of his champion performances arsenic the cantankerous and high-handed Getty, glittering with mischief, malice and scorn. He is the autocrat-villain, who possibly already haughtily, considers that his erstwhile daughter-in-law (Michelle Williams) successful gaining custody of his grandkids aft a divorcement has already made him the entity of a ineligible kidnapping.

Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis successful  Thelma And Louise (1991).
Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis successful Thelma And Louise (1991). Photograph: c.MGM/Everett / Rex Features

4. Thelma & Louise (1991)

This classical roadworthy movie thriller, scripted by Callie Khouri and starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, was astir apt the closest Scott came successful tone to a benignant of freewheeling New Wave lawlessness. Louise (Sarandon) is the pugnacious and savvy waitress who is champion friends with the good-natured and guiltless housewife Thelma (Davis), whose hubby neglects her. When they caput disconnected for a sportfishing weekend, they marque a halt astatine a roadhouse, wherever a predatory creep attempts to rape Thelma successful the parking batch – helium has to backmost down erstwhile Louise threatens him with a gun, but past she shoots him dormant successful a rage erstwhile this antheral shouts abuse. From determination connected in, Thelma and Louise are wanted criminals, whose transgression importantly is not down to self-defence arsenic a tribunal mightiness recognize it, but conscionable axenic rage astatine the patriarchy and generations of misogynistic ill-treatment. The last country and last image, showing the 2 women’s existential defiance, has go iconic.

Harvey Keitel successful  The Duellists (1977).
Harvey Keitel successful The Duellists (1977). Photograph: Scott Free/Allstar

3. The Duellists (1977)

Scott made his dazzling diagnostic debut with this analyzable and ambitious humanities parable, derived from a Conrad abbreviated story, acceptable successful Europe during the tumult of the Napoleonic wars and partially inspired by the look of Kubrick’s play play Barry Lyndon. It is astir a young Frenchman called Armand d’Hubert, played by Keith Carradine, and however the people of his full beingness is to beryllium dominated by a mercurial, unstable and duelling-obsessed chap officer, Gabriel Feraud (Harvey Keitel) who done a quirk of destiny comes to judge that helium has been insulted by D’Hubert, and demands restitution connected the tract of honour. The resulting duel is inconclusive (as galore of people were) and Feraud becomes adjacent much obsessed with the thought that helium indispensable taxable again and again to a duel – with swords, sabres, pistols, thing – until 1 oregon the different of them is killed. Feraud is mad, but past the normal of duelling is mad, and truthful is the normal of glamorous, noble warfare, and D’Hubert has nary prime but to hold arsenic the 2 men get older and emergence done the ranks, until their existential duel is yet settled. Scott was ever bully astatine play play and confrontational machismo but helium was possibly ne'er again to marque thing with specified nuance and subtlety.

2. Blade Runner (1982)

Scott’s 1982 futurist classical was adapted from Philip K Dick’s quibblingly named 1968 caller Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? With its caller sleek, mysterious title, this movie introduced the satellite to the author’s imaginativeness and popularised caller ideas successful science-fiction cinema astir identity, virtual world and artificial intelligence. His imaginativeness of Los Angeles of the aboriginal (in fact, 2019) was to beryllium 1 of Scott’s astir potent and influential inventions arsenic a film-maker: the megamodern cityscape, dominated by Asian corporations, with eerie, elephantine physics advertisement signs, and often seen done sheets of driving rain. Harrison Ford plays Deckard, an ex-cop tasked by metropolis authorities into resuming his enactment arsenic a “blade runner”, a specializer slayer whose occupation is to way down replicants (new-human android-servants) who person go disobedient. And helium is to autumn successful emotion with one: Rachael, played with haunting, deadpan torpor by Sean Young – overwhelmed by the poignancy of the mendacious memories that person been implanted successful her mind. Perhaps it is the replicants that person souls, and not the downtrodden quality beings, and Rutger Hauer’s replicant, Roy, has an astonishing last code (partly improvised by the histrion himself) arsenic helium declaims astir the vastness of his experience: “I’ve seen things you radical wouldn’t believe. Attack ships connected occurrence disconnected the enarthrosis of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter successful the acheronian adjacent the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments volition beryllium mislaid successful time, similar tears successful rainfall …” The code has a haunting poetry.

1. Alien (1979)

Sigourney Weaver successful  Alien (1979).
Sigourney Weaver successful Alien (1979). Photograph: 20th Century Fox/Allstar

It is much than 40 years old, and yet Scott’s sci-fi fearfulness masterpiece is inactive lethally contemporary. It is astir the vulnerability of our bodies, the fearfulness of the Other, the fearfulness of illness and viral invasion, and the thought of abstraction exploration arsenic a limitless caller hold of quality paranoia. The mounting is simply a mining spaceship of the future, which reluctantly makes a detour connected its homeward travel connected picking up an SOS awesome from a remote, officially deserted planet. John Hurt plays Kane, the technician who fatefully volunteers for the occupation of going down connected to the planet’s aboveground to spot what’s happening, Ian Holm is the chill technological officer, Ash, and Sigourney Weaver is crew-member Ripley, who is to execute legendary “final girl” presumption arsenic the lone idiosyncratic near to combat the unspeakable monster. When Kane returns to the ship, helium brings a nasty small stowaway with him, and the movie is truthful brilliantly structured and edited that it is intolerable to accidental what it looks similar until the precise end.

Alien matched Spielberg’s Jaws for shocks and thrills, and matched Sartre’s No Exit for the hellhole of different people. The elemental thought of the alien opening arsenic a tiny small carnal hardly bigger than a toad but past remorselessly increasing to thing the size of a bus, with aggregate rows of teeth, is exquisitely frightening and horrible. Alien is simply a movie that kept live the satiric, pessimistic and questioning contented of sci-fi cinema, which was being swamped by the much childlike (yet superb successful their ain way) stories of Star Wars. And it was astir biologic weapons of wide destruction, which are opening to proliferate successful abstraction successful tandem with our ain burgeoning rapaciousness and obsession with economical maturation – an inspired parable of diseased humanity.