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The top five Ridley Scott films


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The 30th of November marks the celebration of Sir Ridley Scott’s 80th Birthday. The legendary film director has created numerous classics and genre-defining films over the years. Therefore, ranking his best films was a near impossible task. Here are the ones that make the top five.

5. Thelma & Louise (1991)

Thelma & Louise connected with so many around the globe, and as a result earned six academy award nominations; which included a best director nomination for Scott himself. Portraying a story of two women who go on a road trip together to escape their lives, this is perhaps Scott’s most unique film. Normally associated with sci-fi masterpieces or grand historian epics, Scott’s tackles the genre of comedy drama with Thelma and Louise. It is definitely his most down to earth film, and remarkably displays his versatile talent as a director. It is one of Scott’s only films where the script seemed to hold the audience’s attention more than his own visuals; and this is in large part due to the astounding screen-writing of Callie Khouri.

4. Black Hawk Down (2001)

Black Hawk Down is a film that focuses on the 1993 battle between US forces and a large force of heavily armed Somalis. The film is an epic depiction of war and is arguably one of the most polished war movies of all time. Moreover, the film once again showcases Scott’s incredible ability to produce a grand visual epic, whilst still keeping an element of intimacy with his audience. The legendary filmmaker is able to toy with your emotions throughout Black Hawk Down, and keep you on the edge of your seat. Despite being criticized by some for exaggerating events for entertainment purposes, Black Hawk Down remains a modern day classic that displays the the brutality of modern warfare.

3. Gladiator (2000)

Gladiator tells the tale of a general turned slave who is traumatized by the murder of his family. He must rise from the gladiatorial ranks to come face to face with his worst enemy. It is truly a stunning tale of a man’s fall from grace and his eventual rise back to power. With stunning performances given by Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix, Gladiator is one of Scott's most critically and commercially acclaimed films, winning five academy awards, including best picture. Perhaps similarly to Blade Runner, Gladiator mixes two of the director’s greatest attributes by displaying a hero’s journey through extraordinary circumstances whilst building a detailed, and sweeping vision of the world around him. To this day, Gladiator is Scott’s sole best picture winner.

2. Blade Runner (1982)

Arguably Ridley Scott’s most perfect film, Blade Runner has gone from cult classic to near-universally recognised masterpiece. Blade Runner mixes classic neo-noir with a sci-fi dystopian world. Our protagonist Deckard, played by Harrison Ford, is a ‘blade runner’, a bounty hunter that tracks down escaped androids, called ‘replicants.’ The premise of the film may suggest an action packed film, however the beauty of Blade Runner is rather its simplicity. Scott dials it back and turns it into a character-based story in this chaotic futuristic world. It is undoubtedly one of the most influential films of the twenty first century, and perhaps the iconic film that cemented Scott’s status as one of the all time great film directors.

1. Alien (1979)

Alien was Scott’s breakthrough film and is maybe the most groundbreaking film of the last 50 years. Not only did Alien transform the horror and sci-fi genres with its revolutionary visual effects, it also arguably changed the face of cinema as a whole. The plot revolves around an unassuming space crew being terrorised by an extra-terrestrial. The tone of Scott’s film has had an everlasting impact the genre of sci-fi, and its increasingly dark narrative has attempted to be repeated by filmmakers ever since. The legacy of Alien speaks for itself; Scott directed one of the best films of all time in only his second feature.

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