10 of Our Favorite Ridley Scott Movies: From ‘Alien’ to ‘The Martian’ and Lots in Between

Writer-director-producer (can we consider him a triple threat?) Ridley Scott is always on our radar, but even more so with chatter about him making his TV directorial debut with Raised by Wolves. The sci-fi thriller sees an android raising human children, who are parentless because of the Earth being destroyed… that’ll do it.

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It seems anything Scott is involved in is golden. He has a long, successful CV of work to pull from, but unfortunately we can’t cover all of it in this space. We’ve gone ahead and curated a list of our favorites, including obvious and not-so-obvious picks:

1. Alien

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Let’s start off with an obvious contender for a favorite and one of Scott’s earlier films, that being Alien. The 1979 film revolves around a space ship that is taken over by an alien life force. But not to worry, as the badass warrant officer Ripley is on board to combat the monster-esque being.

Ripley is played by the even more badass Sigourney Weaver. You’ll see other familiar faces like John Hurt and Paul Reiser.

2. Blade Runner

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In 1982, Scott followed up Alien with another sci-flick, Blade Runner. Harrison Ford portrays a former police officer who has taken up a new role as a Blade Runner. His task is to seek and retire artificially created humanoids, who are known as replicants. In some situations, it’s difficult to differentiate between a replicant and the real deal. Let’s just say, it’s a job hazard.

In 2017, Scott returned as producer for Blade Runner: 2049. We also saw Ford reprise his role as Rick Deckard, some 35 years later.

3. Thelma & Louise 

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Switching gears, Scott turned his sights to the modern-day with drama Thelma & Louise, premiering in 1991. This one may fall under a not-so-obvious Ridley Scott movie. With Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon taking on the title roles, the two head out on a weekend get away to decompress from their lives back home. When Louise shoots a man in defense of her friend, the two are now on the run from the police.

While their road trip is extended due to gripping and stressful reasons, the women enjoy antics and laughs on their journey.

4. White Squall 

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Based on a true story, 1996’s White Squall depicts a tragic turn of events at sea. A group of high-schoolers sign up to work on a boat for several months, leaning how to sail and picking up life lessons as they go. One night, the ship is hit with a White Squall and not everyone makes it off alive. The skipper, who is played by Jeff Bridges, is tried in court for his possibly playing a role in the ship sinking.

You can also look for Caroline Goodall, Balthazar Getty and Ryan Phillippe.

5. Gladiator 

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Scott’s 2000 period drama Gladiator may just be an all-round favorite (not only ours). We see Russell Crowe as a fallen Roman general, who is imprisoned and thrown into a pit to fight for his life. With his wife and children slain, he has nothing to lose. His desire for vengeance powers him through the loss and the arena, so one day he can face the man who killed his family.

If you’re keen on Gladiator, a sequel has been announced, with Scott set to direct.

6. Matchstick Men 

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In 2003’s Matchstick Men we see Nicholas Cage and Sam Rockwell as career criminals. The con men are planning a scheme that will result in a big payout. Cage’s character is good at his job, aka hustling, when he’s able to leave the house, but in general, he suffers from severe phobias. When his teen daughter shows up (Alison Lohman), it adds to his anxiety.

This is a bit of a change for Scott, as the movie includes a dash of comedy.

7. American Gangster

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Scott turned to true crime when making 2007’s American Gangster. It tells the story of real life Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas, played by Denzel Washington. While making his living on the other side of the law, Lucas said of his trade, “One of the most important things in business is honesty.”

Scott teamed up with Russell Crowe once again, who plays a police officer trailing Lucas.

8. Prometheus 

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2012’s Prometheus takes us back to Alien, acting as a prequel (ignoring the other Alien sequels, not by Scott). Noomi Rapace (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) takes on the role of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw. She heads up a scientific expedition to look for the origins of life and meet her maker. That is quite a lofty goal.

You can also look for Anglo fave Michael Fassbender as the android David, plus Idris Elba as the Prometheus ship captain Janek.

9. The Counselor 

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Speaking of Fassie, he takes on the title role in 2013’s The Counselor. He plays a lawyer who is looking to make some fast cash with a one-time drug deal. The above trailer, like the script, is light on dialogue and consists of a lot of sexy gazes, brutal beatings, epic mansions, desert campsites, tripwire explosions, Lamborghinis galore and pet leopards on guard.

Brad PittJavier BardemPenélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Natalie Dormer round out the cast.

10. The Martian 

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Annnnd, going back to space (why not?), we see Matt Damon as an astronaut in 2015’s The Martian. Thought to be dead by his crew mates, he is accidentally left behind on Mars by himself.  Most people would die of hunger before being rescued, but not this guy. Instead, he figures out a way to build an irrigation system to grow potatoes on a planet where nothing grows.

We feel like it’s promised that your favorite may not have appeared on this list (as there are so many to choose from), but that’s what the comments section is there for…

What’s your favorite Ridley Scott movie? Please share!

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By Brigid Brown

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Presh JM Reporter

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