Ridley Scott Movies: Ten to Watch After 'Last Duel,' 'House of Gucci'

Did you feel gripped by the drama from "The Last Duel" and "House of Gucci?" Here are ten more Ridley Scott movies to watch next.

Matt Lissauer

By Matt Lissauer

Ridley Scott on set of "Kingdom of Heaven."

© 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Ridley Scott movies are a peculiar bunch. On the one hand, with a film legacy like Scott's, your chances are good you'll end up watching a high-quality, gripping movie, no matter the genre. Take "Alien," "Blade Runner," and "American Gangster," to name a few. On the other hand, he's had plenty of…well…stinkers. Take (or leave) "A Good Year," "1492," and "Exodus: Gods and Kings," to name a few. This year, Ridley Scott gave us two new films to see: "The Last Duel" and "House of Gucci." Thankfully, both films fall in the former set, even if the box office wasn't so kind to "The Last Duel" when it opened in October.

Between "The Last Duel" and "House of Gucci," you might think Scott is trying to stack his chances at winning an Oscar this year. However, this isn't the first time he's had two dueling releases in the same year. In 2017 he gave us an "Alien" prequel, "Alien: Covenant," and then followed that up with "All the Money in the World." He also had back-to-back releases in 2001 with "Black Hawk Down" and "Hannibal." This time around, however, it was a health crisis that forced his films to compete head-on two months apart. "The Last Duel" was originally scheduled to bow last Christmas, in time for that year's awards race.

After you take in one – or both – of his movies, why not keep the drama flowing? Here are our picks of Scott's ten best movies – movies that you should queue up and watch after "The Last Duel" and "House of Gucci."

  • 10

    All the Money in the World

    Christopher Plummer in "All the Money in the World."

    © TriStar Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Only Ridley Scott could have pulled off the impossible. Despite its many accolades and its Oscar nomination, many (recent generations, at least) will forever remember "All the Money in the World" as the film in which Scott handily scrubbed one actor from completed shoots and replaced him with another. Of course, we're referring to the original John Paul Getty portrayer Kevin Spacey, whom the far more believable Christopher Plummer replaced in the 11th hour. Regardless, as far as Ridley Scott movies go, "All the Money in the World" is a high-class thriller based on an unbelievable true story. It draws you in from the first frame and keeps you there all the way to the end. It's possible that Spacey would have also landed an Oscar nod, but Plummer kept the character from becoming too cartoonish for the movie's own good.

    All the Money in the World Poster

    All the Money in the World

    R

    Crime Drama

    December 25, 2017

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  • 9

    Matchstick Men

    Nicolas Cage and Alison Lohman in "Matchstick Men."

    © Warner Brothers / Courtesy Everett Collection

    In the years before Nic Cage made movies to bail himself out of debt, director Ridley Scott teamed up with the prolific actor for this darkly comedic caper. Cage turns in a powerhouse performance as a con artist who suffers from OCD, while Alison Lohman shines as his estranged daughter he brings into his life of crime. We'll leave it to late film critic Roger Ebert, who best described the film as "so absorbing that whenever it cuts away from 'the plot,' there is another, better plot to cut to."

    Matchstick Men Poster

    Matchstick Men

    PG-13

    Comedy

    September 12, 2003

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  • 8

    The Duellists

    Harvey Keitel and Keith Carradine in "The Duellists."

    © Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    That's right – "The Last Duel" wasn't Ridley Scott's first movie about man-to-man combat. After making a name for himself shooting commercials, Scott jumped to feature film production with a Joseph Conrad short story adaptation. In fact, "The Duellists" was Scott's first feature film; and it's a striking debut at that (it unanimously won Best Debut Film at that year's Cannes Film Festival). Like many Ridley Scott movies, "The Duellists" is a period piece, set during the Napoleonic Wars.

    Stanley Kubrick's visually rich and similarly-set "Barry Lyndon" overshadows "The Duellists." Kubrick's historical epic also influenced Scott's visual style (Scott even admitted as much in the commentary for the film's DVD release). But, unlike "Barry Lyndon," Scott takes a modernist approach, with a handheld camera-style direction that puts you right in the middle of the film's six duels. "The Duellists" features riveting performances from all its leads, but it's Harvey Keitel who steals the show and drives the picture home.

    The Duellists Poster

    The Duellists

    PG

    Drama

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  • 7

    Black Hawk Down

    Black hawk helicopter in "Black Hawk Down."

    © Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "Black Hawk Down" is the best encapsulation of a Ridley Scott movie. It's a period piece (taking place in 1993) based on a novel that's in turn based on a true story. Moreover, it follows an all-star cast in a gripping thriller, with docu-style filmmaking that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you're munching that popcorn. This level of intensity is a hallmark of Scott and led to two Oscar wins for Best Film Editing and Best Sound. Also helping set the mood here is the unsung hero of a few of Scott's films, composer Hans Zimmer, with his unconventional and experimental score that perfectly matches the film's tone. "Black Hawk Down" also features Tom Hardy in his first major film role.

    Black Hawk Down Poster

    Black Hawk Down

    R

    War

    January 18, 2002

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  • 6

    Gladiator

    Russell Crowe in "Gladiator."

    © DreamWorks / Courtesy Everett Collection

    In 2000 everyone – and we mean everyone – was raving about "Gladiator." Scott's ancient Roman epic went on to win Best Picture that year over other worthy contenders like Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic." Worldwide, "Gladiator" became the second-highest-grossing movie of the year – second to Tom Cruise's franchise-building "Mission: Impossible 2" – which really says something when looking back from our modern sequel-laden movie landscape. Whether the film is deserving of all this praise is up for debate (even here among the Noovie Slack channels). No matter where your opinion falls, "Gladiator" remains as captivating as a Ridley Scott movie can get. It also marks Scott's first collaboration with the perfectly-yet-still-oddly-cast Russell Crowe (not to mention a scene-stealing Joaquin Phoenix).

    Gladiator Poster

    Gladiator

    R

    Drama

    May 5, 2000

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  • 5

    American Gangster

    Denzel Washington in "American Gangster."

    © Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "American Gangster" is one of Ridley Scott's most divisive movies. For many, the film stands as a gripping drama and a worthy entry of Scott into the mob genre. For others, the film's own self-importance drags it down. What no one can deny, however, is the power of the film's cast, especially that of lead Denzel Washington and supporting player Russell Crowe. Also shining is Ruby Dee, as gangster Frank Lucas' mother. Though she only appeared in the film for a total of 10 minutes, she handily earned that Oscar nod.

    "American Gangster," tells a different kind of mob movie, as it chronicles the rise of Lucas (Washington) from mob boss right-hand man to Harlem kingpin. Scott infused the drama with gritty realism to best depict Harlem in the late '60s and '70s. The film's score and soundtrack enhance the realism, and even influenced rapper Jay-Z, who based an entire concept album on the film after watching an advanced screening.

    Like many Ridley Scott movies, "American Gangster" is largely embellished from its true story to fit the Hollywood medium. The real Lucas admitted as much. As Sterling Johnson Jr., the federal judge that arrested and prosecuted Lucas, told the Toronto Star during the film's Oscar run, "['American Gangster'] is 1 percent reality and 99 percent Hollywood . . . Frank was illiterate, Frank was vicious, violent. Frank was everything Denzel Washington was not."

    American Gangster Poster

    American Gangster

    R

    Crime Drama

    November 2, 2007

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  • 4

    Thelma & Louise

    Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis in "Thelma & Louise."

    © MGM / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Spoilers be damned because we all know where the road leads for the titular characters at this movie's end. It's been referenced, ad nauseam, in countless forms of media. So famous was the ending that it even led to real-world tragedies. All this, and there's a good reason why. In 1991, "Thelma & Louise" was a summer smash, unlike anything before. With its female vigilantes driving out into the desert, many are still surprised that the film made it to screens. Rocky production aside, upon release, Scott's female-focused road trip caper enjoyed near-critical acclaim, leading to five Oscar nods, including a win for Callie Khouri's original screenplay. The movie also put a young Brad Pitt on the road to superstardom. As for its now-iconic ending? Not all loved it.

    Thelma & Louise Poster

    Thelma & Louise

    R

    Comedy Drama

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  • 3

    The Martian

    Matt Damon in "The Martian."

    © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Based on a best-selling, self-published novel, "The Martian" stars Matt Damon as the titular hero, a.k.a. Mark Watney, a NASA astronaut left stranded on Mars after his expedition goes awry. Few actors have the caliber to carry a film on their own for two hours. Damon, here, proves himself just as capable as Tom Hanks in "Cast Away" and Robert Redford in J.C. Chandor's 2013 isolated sea-faring drama "All Is Lost." Damon is not completely alone as his scenes are intercut with the situation back on Earth, as NASA and other top officials work out the logistics of getting Watney back home.

    Andy Weir's novel, which gets much more scientifically accurate in its approach to the conflict, is a perfect match for the filmmaker that reminded us that in space, no one could hear you scream. It also led to Scott's first Best Picture Oscar nomination (he wasn't listed as a producer for "Gladiator") – a rare feat for a science fiction film.

    The Martian Poster

    The Martian

    PG-13

    Drama

    October 2, 2015

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  • 2

    Blade Runner

    Harrison Ford and Sean Young in "Blade Runner."

    © Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Slow burns, striking visuals, an atmospheric mood, and a rumination on artificial intelligence are all hallmarks of Ridley Scott movies. These touchstones all meld perfectly in Scott's classic sci-fi noir thriller. Based on Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?," "Blade Runner" was nowhere near the cult status it has now when the film first premiered in 1982. In fact, it was a bomb. Critics were not so kind either. L.A. Times film critic Sheila Benson even famously dismissed it as "Blade Crawler," because of the film's slow pace. All this eventually led Scott to abandon the theatrical version completely. Twenty-five years later, and with studio execs no longer meddling in the mix, Scott released his true vision – the "Final Cut." Which version is definitive? Well, that's entirely up to you.

    Blade Runner Poster

    Blade Runner

    R

    Thriller

    June 25, 1982

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  • 1

    Alien

    Sigourney Weaver in "Alien."

    © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Quite simply, "Alien" is Ridley Scott's masterpiece. A perfect blend of gripping sci-fi thrills with slow-burn horror chills. In 1979, with movie fans still riding high from "Star Wars," no one was ready for what kind of subversion Scott had in store. Much the same, two years prior, when Scott attended a "Star Wars" screening, he too had no idea the kind of movie-making magic that lay ahead. As soon as a horror-themed space thriller came on Scott's radar, he snatched it up.

    "Alien," however, is much more than slow-burn sci-fi horror. It's groundbreaking, more so than his other feminist film we covered. Even in 2021, the character of Ripley (played to perfection by Sigourney Weaver) is very modernist. She's tough and fierce yet still altogether human. But even more, she's a she! It's no secret that "Alien" co-screenwriter Dan O'Bannon originally wrote Ripley as a man. Scott made the brilliant move to change the character to a female. And, in 1979, Ripley – along with a fellow rebel princess from another galaxy far, far away – was very ahead of their time.

    Scott's movies have rarely lent themselves to sequels. "Blade Runner" begot Denis Villeneuve's criminally undervalued "Blade Runner 2049." But "Alien" set up a whole franchise. James Cameron's 1986 sequel "Aliens" took the series in a new and exciting direction. However, the rest of the follow-ups and prequels only go so far as to live up to the magic. Yet, there's more on the way. Now that Disney owns Fox – and thus the "Alien" franchise – expect that an "Alien" continuation is coming soon for FX on Hulu. "Blade Runner," too, is getting the series treatment. Does it help that Scott is involved in both?

    Alien Poster

    Alien

    R

    Horror

    May 25, 1979

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Matt Lissauer

Matt Lissauer is a writer & data manager for Noovie. When he is not busy writing listicles, Matt is enjoying life in New Jersey with his lovely wife and three kids.

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