Alien: Covenant opens this week, and before we go see the highly anticipated Alien prequel-sequel that we hope isn’t disappointing, but probably will be, let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the greatest works from one of the greatest directors of the last forty years!
#10: The Duellists
Easily one of the best directorial debuts of all time, the usually forgotten period piece came out in 1977, and starred the great Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel.
If his second directorial movie wasn’t one of the greatest films of all time, this movie would most assuredly be remembered as a classic of two men with a rivalry reigning over the time of Napoleon.
#9: Matchstick Men
I’ll be honest, I seem to never remember that he directed this until I start doing research for making sure I didn’t forget any Ridley Scott films for this list, but I love this movie, and it just goes to show the range that Scott can direct.
I’m a sucker for black comedies, and this one from 2003 stars Nic Cage, one of my favorites Sam Rockwell, and Alison Lohman, who you may know from Drag Me to Hell, and if you don’t, I can’t think of anything else with her off the top of my head.
#8: The Martian
Matt Damon trapped in space; it’s not the first movie with that plot, and it won’t be the last, but this movie is truly great. This came out in 2015, starring a cast of many great talents including Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, and the GOAT Donald Glover, just to name a few.
This film was nominated for seven Oscars, and even though it didn’t win any, it was a wonderful surprise from a talented director who had made a string of pretty awful movies up to this point, reminding us that he still has it in him.
#7: American Gangster
I’m pretty sure I liked this movie more than most, but I thought it was fantastic, and Ridley Scott is one of the few directors in Hollywood today who knows how to make a long movie and do it right.
Coming out in 2007, this biographical drama stars Denzel, Russell Crowe, Josh Brolin, Idris Elba, and many others in this strong cast. Brutal, tensely slow, and oddly fascinating, this was a very underrated work that got killed by it’s own hype and marketing.
#6: Black Hawk Down
With a huge cast helmed by Josh Hartnett, Black Hawk Down is, in my opinion, one of the best war movies to come from this millennium, and is a testament of what I just mentioned of Scott knowing how to make long movies.
Coming out in 2001, this movie is unforgivingly tense and violent, with a brilliant mix of humor dispersed in an overall suspenseful and upsetting true war film that goes to show just how talented Scott really is.
#5: Kingdom of Heaven Director’s Cut
When I first saw Kingdom of Heaven, I was not a fan. However, when the much longer, and much better edited Director’s Cut came out, I gave it a second chance, and I’m so glad I did.
This film is actually fantastic, and it’s a shame that poor editing led to the mediocre theatrical release, but this 2005 film with Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Liam Neeson, and Ed Norton, is one that deserves a rewatching with the Scott’s cut, and is truly phenomenal.
#4: Thelma & Louise
This film was an automatic classic when it came out, and was surprisingly wonderful. I’ll be honest, when I sat down to watch this after being told it was great, I thought the person who told me that was crazy, but they were right.
Starring Geena Davis and Susan Surandon, the 1991 crime-road trip extravaganza is fantastic, and also has one of the greatest and iconic endings of the last thirty years.
God, I love Gladiator. This movie is the definition of not being a feel-good movie that is feels so good. With some incredible action sequences, this film also gives us some amazing monologues, and some great moments of pure, unadulterated revenge.
Released in 2000, this film defined Russell Crowe as one of the best actors of the time, along with the little brother of the late River Phoenix, Joaquin, really establishing himself as an incredible talent as well. It’s also the only movie of Scott to win Best Picture.
#2: Blade Runner
You know you’re a damn good director when you make something of the caliber of Blade Runner and it comes in second on your greatest of all time list.
One of the greatest sci-fi films of all time, this movie came out in 1982, starring Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer in the main roles, and has seven versions. Seven. It’s also technically a cult film, and is possibly the greatest of all time.
This movie is revolutionary, and the greatest sci-fi horror movie of all time. Contained horror films, like this and The Thing, are difficult to do, and many times completely screwed up, but this set the precedent for how to do it right, and is influential to this day cemented as a classic of filmmaking.
Coming out in 1979, starring a strong cast led by Sigourney Weaver, it twisted the stereotype on the horror genre by having Weaver be a strong female lead who kicks ass, rather than the damsel in distress, something that was much more significant at the time than people realize.
This film is truly a classic, and it’s sequel is as well. Then it pretty much started going downhill and kept going.
Are you not entertained? Are you excited for Alien: Covenant? Think it’ll be another Alien classic or a Prometheus dumpster fire? Let me know! And Like, Comment, and Subscribe!
And feel free to send requests for any lists you’d like to see amongst any of the mediums!