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5 Ridley Scott Movies from the 2010s That Deserve More Credit

Sir Ridley Scott’s achievements in the film industry are nearly unparalleled; while some directors would be lucky enough to make one film as influential as Alien or Blade Runner, Scott has continued to do excellent work since his 1977 directorial debut The Duellists. Even at his advancing age, Scott shows no signs that he is slowing down. His highly anticipated Napoleon biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix will surely be a major conversation starter, and Gladiator 2 is already in active development, with both Paul Mescal and Denzel Washington set to play the primary roles. It’s both a disgrace and a shocker to realize that Scott has somehow never won an Academy Award, despite receiving nominations for Gladiator, Thelma & Louise, and Black Hawk Down.

Scott continues to earn the praise of his collaborators within the industry; James Cameron stated, “I love Ridley’s films and I love his filmmaking, I love the beauty of the photography,” and Lady Gaga thanked him for the “empowering” role she played in House of Gucci. However, critics and audiences were less kind to Scott during the 2010s; outside of the success of The Martian, many of Scott’s films were met with less enthusiastic responses. While the industry has certainly done a good job at launching younger filmmakers in recent years, Scott is no less deserving of respect. Here are the 2010s Ridley Scott films that deserve more credit.



5 Robin Hood (2010)

Universal Pictures

Robin Hood was Scott’s reinvention of the famous outlaw hero starring Russell Crowe; the pair had previously worked together on Gladiator, A Good Year, American Gangster, and Body of Lies. It’s clearly Scott’s most successful partnership, and Crowe’s dynamic acting abilities helped breathe a new sense of life into a character that has existed for centuries. Crowe’s version of Robin is a more reluctant hero and revolutionary leader than the more wacky outlaw that had appeared in previous adaptations; the failure of 2018’s Robin Hood starring Taron Egerton just goes to show how unique Scott’s version was. If the 2018 film did nothing but reiterate past iterations, Scott was at least taking a chance on something different.

Related: The Most Iconic Cinematic Depictions of Robin Hood, Ranked

4 Prometheus (2012)

Prometheus Charlize Theron
20th Century Fox

Prometheus was the highly anticipated prequel to the Alien saga shrouded in mystery ahead of its release. While fans seemed to be informed that the two were connected in some way, the correlation wasn’t revealed until the film itself premiered. Any film that attempted to fit its way into such a beloved franchise was destined to disappoint some fans, as expectations were simply unrealistic. There were some that may have had their hearts set against the film from the beginning, as previous films within the franchise such as Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection, Alien vs. Predator, and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem had all received mixed to negative reviews.

Related: Why Prometheus Is a More Successful Prequel Than Alien: Covenant

However, those looking for just another Alien film may have been surprised to see an ambitious, meditative science fiction odyssey that reflected upon the nature of humanity and the ability to create life. Perhaps if Prometheus was a standalone film it would have received more favorable responses, but the connection to Alien in of itself is not distracting, especially compared to some of the efforts by Scott’s contemporaries; George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels and Steven Spielberg’s work on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull felt like the directors completely misunderstood what had made their franchises successful in the first case.

Prometheus is packed with amazing visual effects sequences, many of which utilize practical effects as opposed to computer generated imagery. It’s a shame that the backlash against Prometheus resulted in Scott’s work on Alien: Covenant, a film that felt more familiar in its approach.

3 The Counselor (2013)

Man in suit looks serious.
Scott Free Productions

The Counselor was the screenwriting debut of the famous and acclaimed author Cormac McCarthy; while McCarthy’s novels No Country For Old Men and The Road were both adapted into successful films, he had never written directly for the screen. The film follows an unnamed counselor (Michael Fassbender) who gets into a shady business deal after trying to purchase an expensive diamond ring to propose to his girlfriend (Penélope Cruz). While the trailers indicated that The Counselor was an action crime thriller, the film itself was something much more philosophical and meditative.

Scott is often thought of as a traditionalist, as his massive scale historical epics bear many similarities to the iconic classic films of David Lean or John Ford. However, Scott has an importance in the arthouse scene as well; Blade Runner was certainly an experimental project for its time that featured hypnotic, cryptic moments. With The Counselor, Scott concocted a haunting satire of wealth, where each character represents one of society’s greatest sins. The ugly, brash nature of the film was intentional, and The Counselor deserves some appraisal for those that were initially baffled by its shocking content.

2 Exodus: Gods and Kings (2013)

20th Century Fox

Exodus: Gods and Kings is a film that seems perfectly suited for Scott’s sensibilities; no one else crafts historical epics like he does, and a Biblical epic featuring epic set-pieces seemed like something he would knock out of the park. However, tackling a story that meant so much to so many people meant that anything Scott delivered was going to create some sort of controversy.

Given the similar backlash movements that had been made against Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ and Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, the divided response from the religious community on Exodus: Gods and Kings isn’t surprising. However, the film doesn’t lack any of the qualities that made Kingdom of Heaven or Gladiator so successful. Once again, Scott dedicates the time needed to tell such an important story and doesn’t skimp on any of the incredible locations.

1 All the Money in the World (2017)

Tristar Pictures

All the Money in the World allowed Scott to make one of the most exciting decisions in his entire career. After reports about allegations of sexual misconduct against the film’s star, Kevin Spacey, emerged ahead of its premiere, Scott decided to reshoot all of the scenes with Christopher Plummer. Plummer received an Academy Award nomination for his domineering, crude take on the famous billionaire John Paul Getty. While most of the attention was on the reshoots, All the Money in the World is such a tightly wound thriller that it could only be the product of a filmmaker with a tight grasp on tension and suspense.

This story originally appeared on Movieweb

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