films seen
26
average score
1.92*
nationality
UK - 85 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Established Hollywood director who is responsible for a fair amount of modern classics, but has made just as much throw-away junk. Scott can get a little too caught up in his own work, leading to overly long films, but overall an oeuvre worth exploring.

The good stuff

Nice piece of war insanity. The first half hour is a little slow, but once the action starts it just doesn't let down anymore. The film feels claustrophobic and tense, doing well in translating the threatening situation on screen. One of Ridley Scott's best and one of the best war films overall.

Solid pieces

The Martian

2015 / 144m - USA
Sci-fi, Adventure
3.5*/5.0*
The Martian poster

Matchstick Men

2003 / 116m - USA
Comedy, Thriller, Crime
3.5*/5.0*
Matchstick Men poster

Legend

1985 / 94m - USA
Romance, Fantasy, Adventure
3.5*/5.0*
Legend poster

A surprisingly charming film by Ridley Scott. Extremely kitsch at times, but Scott's direction is so confdient it doesn't even matter. The art direction is great, the effects don't look too cheap and the fantasy foundation feels unique enough. Would've loved this as a child, but it's still holds up today.

Alien

1979 / 116m - USA
Sci-fi, Horror
3.5*/5.0*
Alien poster

Alien used to be a top personal favorite of mine when I was younger, but with every consecutive viewing, the film has gotten worse. Not the Giger/industrial design part, that's still pretty great. Everything around it though is really starting to show its age, and it has come to a point where I just can't call it a personal favorite anymore.

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When the crew of a spaceship wakes up, it becomes clear that they haven't arrived at their destination just yet. The central computer woke them up after receiving a distress call and their contract forces them to inspect the situation. The call comes from an alien planet, so they have no choice but to go out and explore the source of the signal.

The xenomorph is still one of my all-time favorite creatures, but Scott's film doesn't do Giger's designs justice. The performances and characters are rather tepid, the music is a little silly, the editing is rough, and the tech designs are often nonsensical. And then there's the ending, which is a total disgrace. There are still moments of genius, the lighting and interior design are pretty rad, but it's not enough anymore to ignore the film's faults.

The inoffensive

Body of Lies

2008 / 128m - USA
Action, Thriller
3.0*/5.0*
Body of Lies poster

Blade Runner

1982 / 117m - USA
Sci-fi, Thriller
3.0*/5.0*
Blade Runner poster

Worthy but flawed

All the Money in the World

2017 / 132m - USA
Thriller, Crime
2.5*/5.0*
All the Money in the World poster

Ridley Scott's attempt to shine some light on the kidnapping of Paul Getty, the grandson of the richest man in the world. I wasn't really familiar with the case and based on the framing by the film ("based on ..." etc) it's probably best to not see this as a very factual report of the events, then again who'd expect that from a Hollywood film.

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That said, the actual plot still isn't all that exciting. The kidnapping ploy is pretty basic, the squabbles between the boy's mother and grandpa Getty feel a tad stale and the thriller elements never really succeed in raising the tension. While Scott goes for grandeur, the film fails to sell it.

Performances are decent but nothing special, the color palette's a bit grim and the soundtrack is too pompous. The film is also way too long, then again that's probably an attempt to give the project some extra weight. Can't say it worked, on the other hand it's not a terrible film either.

Dubious filler

Prometheus

2012 / 124m - USA
Sci-fi, Mystery, Adventure
2.0*/5.0*
Prometheus poster

Hannibal

2001 / 131m - USA
Thriller, Crime
2.0*/5.0*
Hannibal poster

G.I. Jane

1997 / 125m - USA
Action, War
2.0*/5.0*
G.I. Jane poster

Thelma & Louise

1991 / 130m - USA
Crime, Adventure
2.0*/5.0*
Thelma & Louise poster

One of the few remaining Scott films I'd still had to see. Or revisit, as I'd already watched this one as a kid. The ending is by far the most memorable part of Thelma & Louise, not in the least because it's been referenced so often since the film was released. It's probably also the single reason why it's considered a classic, as the rest isn't all that special.

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Louise is in a loose relationship, Thelma is stuck in an unhappy marriage. The two friends plan a weekend out of town, but after their first stop in a bar, things take a turn for the worse. The rest of the film sees the two women on the road, trying to remain out of the clutches of the police.

The Sarandon/David tandem isn't that great, the soundtrack is terrible and the film's a bit long-winded. Certain scenes stand out and showcase Scott's skill as a director, sadly it's not enough to actually save the film. The ending still stands though, I just don't think it's enough to sit through the rest of the film.

Black Rain

1989 / 125m - USA
Action, Thriller, Crime
2.0*/5.0*
Black Rain poster

Plain forgettable

The Last Duel

2021 / 152m - USA
Drama
1.5*/5.0*
The Last Duel poster

Ridley Scott tries to score with another Medieval drama. There's not a lot of interest in this particular niche these days, the 150-minute runtime is more than a bit off-putting and a UK/USA cast for a France-based story isn't exactly a smart choice either. It's no surprise this film bombed, though Scott clearly found other excuses.

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Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris go way back, but their relationship deteriorates. When de Carrouges returns from a battle in Scotland, his wife tells him Le Gris entered their home and raped her. Jean is furious and challenges Le Gris to a duel (supposedly the last ever official duel in history).

Scott clearly things he's making great cinema, but the bland plot, the horrible casting choices and the old-fashioned cinematic language make this is a film of the past. It's pretty obvious why this film got such a lukewarm response at the box office. Looking at The Last Duel and House of Gucci, I think it's time for Scott to consider retirement.

The Counselor

2013 / 117m - USA
Thriller, Crime
1.5*/5.0*
The Counselor poster

A Good Year

2006 / 117m - UK
Comedy, Drama, Romance
1.5*/5.0*
A Good Year poster

1492: Conquest of Paradise

1992 / 154m - USA
Drama, Adventure
1.5*/5.0*
1492: Conquest of Paradise poster

Big nopes

House of Gucci

2021 / 158m - USA
Drama
1.0*/5.0*
House of Gucci poster

If you're truly interested in the story behind the Gucci brand and people, you're no doubt better off looking somewhere else. When a British expat and a bunch of American actors with fake-Italian accents decide to adapt a true story for Hollywood, the result is bound to be more than a little iffy.

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Maurizio is the son of Rodolfo, one of the two Gucci brothers. He doesn't have a big interest in the company, but when he marries Patrizia she convinces him to get in on the business. Through some underhanded tactics Maurizio tries to gather the required shares to run the company alone.

No matter how impressive Jared Leto's make-up is, I find little pleasure in Americans playing Italians. The mix of drama and comedy doesn't really work, the budget was there, but Scott didn't know what to do with it and the 2.5-hour runtime is completely unnecessary. A film that screams for Scott's retirement.

Alien: Covenant

2017 / 122m - USA
Sci-fi, Horror
1.0*/5.0*
Alien: Covenant poster

American Gangster

2007 / 157m - USA
Thriller, Crime
1.0*/5.0*
American Gangster poster

Kingdom of Heaven

2005 / 144m - UK
Action, War, Adventure
1.0*/5.0*
Kingdom of Heaven poster

Irritation overload

Exodus: Gods and Kings

2014 / 150m - UK
Fantasy, Action, Adventure
0.5*/5.0*
Exodus: Gods and Kings poster

Robin Hood

2010 / 140m - USA
Romance, Action, Adventure
0.5*/5.0*
Robin Hood poster

Gladiator

2000 / 155m - USA
Action, Adventure
0.5*/5.0*
Gladiator poster

The Duellists

1977 / 100m - UK
Drama, War
0.5*/5.0*
The Duellists poster