Body of Lies

9. Body of Lies

Body of Lies is the classic spy movie that thrills you while you watch it, but leaves you when you stop. The cast is great: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, and in his true star making performance, Mark Strong. And the film’s tone of uncertainty, the who-done-it mystery, is all well done. That stuff doesn’t quite mesh with the bigger action scenes in the movie, making it feel a tad disjointed. Nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable, almost great experience that you probably won’t think about too much again.

kingdom-of-heaven

8. Kingdom of Heaven (Director’s Cut)

There’s a very important distinction here. The original Kingdom of Heaven would not rank this highly on the list. It’s okay but feels, somehow, incomplete. The director’s cut, on the other hand, gives the film its pulse. Its heart. Orlando Bloom’s heroic rise is given more resonance with 45 added minutes of story. Other characters and stories are fleshed out, and while the over three hour running time is a chore, ultimately it works. The big downside with Kingdom of Heaven, either version, is after another Scott sword and sandal epic yet to be named, it feels a tad been there done that.

White Squall

7. White Squall

In the realm of Ridley Scott, White Squall is the red-headed step child. Many people dislike the film intensely but I’ve always had an affinity for it since first seeing it in the late ’90s. You’ve got a great young cast of actors (Ethan Embry, Balthazar Getty, Ryan Philippe, Jeremy Sisto, Scott Wolf), you’ve got a fun, loud Jeff Bridges performance, and you’ve got some very impressive and intense special effects as this sailing trip goes awry. It may not be as memorable or poignant as some of Scott’s others, but it packs a good, solid dose of entertainment.

matchstick men

6. Matchstick Men

We love a good con film, and Matchstick Men is a damn good one. Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell and Allison Lohman are wonderfully cast as this oddball group of con artists in a story with so many twists and turns it’s hard to keep your head straight. Each character is very well realized and Scott shoots the seemingly grounded film with a real flair, giving it a very recognizable, maybe even influential, blue-green hue. Matchstick Men is film that begs for you to rewatch it and be like, “Oh man, I forgot I really, really like this movie.”

Continue Reading The 15 Best Ridley Scott Movies

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