Ridley Scott is over 80 years old and shows no signs of slowing down. The filmmaker, whose feature-length cinematic outings as a director have spanned across 5 decades, has been one of the more well-respected genre directors of the contemporary era having earned 3 Oscar nominations for Best Director and having been at the helm for some of cinema’s best-remembered and most beloved releases.
Having directed 25 films across a wide range of genres at high, middling and low budgets alike, Ridley Scott’s catalogue is rich and diverse, and as a whole will guarantee the British director’s place among the greats of cinema. In this Movie List from The Film Magazine, we’ve narrowed this director’s 25 feature directorial releases (not including documentaries) into his very best, for these: the Top 10 Ridley Scott Movies.
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10. Prometheus (2012)
Welcoming Scott back to the Alien universe after 33 years was special to many fans of the famous series. The filmmaker had ignited the franchise with his horror-sci-fi original, thus increasing expectations of his long-awaited prequel.
He managed to capture much of the tension and drama that he did in 1979, only with slightly less authenticity as Prometheus was developed and marketed to be just as much of another mainstream Alien feature film as a personal passion project for Scott, resulting in a movie that felt like it had to replicate the high points of the original rather than find such high points naturally as the story developed.
Prometheus is a very good standalone science fiction movie that pleased audiences and critics alike but didn’t break waves like the majority of entries on this list. When all was said and done, this film was very good franchise reboot, but a franchise reboot nonetheless.
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9. Matchstick Men (2003)
Sam Rockwell and an in-form Nicolas Cage headed up this Ridley Scott picture about a pair of con artists looking to pull off a huge financial swindle, in what critics called “an earthed story” that was “quietly devastating”.
For this film, Scott chose to do away with much of the aesthetic flair that had brought him success via Black Hawk Down and Gladiator in particular, instead focusing on ensuring that the quality of the script’s somewhat dark and down-trodden tone managed to shine.
Intricately made and of the highest quality in all regards, Matchstick Men never found the cult fame that many critical darlings do, but it remains a very good Ridley Scott movie that packs more of a punch than first meets the eye.
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