Ridley Scott's 8 Underrated Films That Deserve More Love

Ridley Scott's 8 Underrated Films That Deserve More Love ...

Ridley Scott has been filming feature films for close to half a century, as evidenced by a particularly busy 2021, which saw two of his films released just months apart. (Close Runner, the first Alien, Gladiator, and Thelma & Louise, to name a few).

But with such a wide variety of films, it's understandable that not all of Scott's films have been winners. Even those that were somewhat successful or critically acclaimed have faded under the radar, turning into cult films years after their initial release, if they're lucky. They deserve their time in the son.

'The Last Duel' (2021)

The Last Duel is a historical epic that was one of the most unfairly overlooked films of 2021, and it therefore has to be included among Ridley Scott's most underrated films. It is a powerful, brutal, and difficult-to-see story about revenge and the mistreatment of women in medieval France, which has relevance in many ways today.

The way The Last Duel travels back in time without relying on true events to reflect on the present is one of the reasons it is so interesting. The film also helps, playing a series of events three times, each from a totally different perspective, before the truth is revealed in the last of those perspectives, which is also fantastic; how the film could not even win an Oscar nomination remains one of the greatest mysteries of 2021.

'Matchstick Men' (2003)

Matchstick Men is in the no man's land when it comes to its age. By any stretch of the imagination, it isn't nearly recent enough to be considered a "new" film, but given it's still under 20 years old, it doesn't seem like it's been around long enough to be a classic.

Even if it were a little older, it may not be a "classic," yet it is a decent crime film that feels unique within Ridley Scott's filmography. It's a mostly comedic crime film about two con men and the difficulties that arise when one of them is suddenly reunited with his teenage daughter. With actors who are perfectly in their element, you're in for a good watch.

'Kingdom of Heaven' (2005)

Kingdom of Heaven is one of the most famous scale epics in recent memory, eclipsing the genre in itsheyday in the 1950s and 1960s. The action scenes are stunning, making for an enthralling film.

The main reason why Kingdom of Heaven is a lesser-known Ridley Scott film that isn't often included among his greatest works is because of its theatrical release. When first released as a theatrical cut, it ran 144 minutes, but it ruined the narrative's flow and left too many things unanswered.

'Alien: Covenant' (2017) and 'Prometheus' (2012)

Prometheus and its sequel, Alien: Covenant, are underrated in the traditional sense, but the latter was a modest hit and created quite a stir at the time of its release, as a result of Ridley Scott's return to the Alien franchise, which he started back in 1979.

Perhaps Prometheus was overlooked as an Alien prequel when that wasn't the focus of the series; rather, fans seemed to dismiss it as an imitation of what they'd seen before. Both deserve a little more respect...or at least a little less scorn than they have ever received in the years since they were released.

'American Gangster' (2007)

In recent years, true crime stories have certainly not dwindled in popularity, nor have biographical films about real-life figures. Denzel Washington is still an actor who was popular in 2007.

So a little it's strange that a crime film based on a true story with a solid central performance from Denzel Washington has been mostly forgotten about, but that's the situation American Gangster is caught in. Hopefully, it won't disappear completely because it holds up well and earns its long runtime with an ambitious and engaging narrative, simply because there's already so much good stuff in there.

'The Duellists' (1977)

The Duellists is Ridley Scott's first feature film, and while it may be far from his finest, it's still a striking first film. It follows a conflict between two French officers who have been duels for many years, yet neither has ever surpassed the other, and the result is that all of their disagreements continue to grow.

It also has some very pleasing visuals, strong attention to detail, and solid action, which are constantly present in many of Scott's later films after The Duellists.

'1492: Conquest of Paradise' (1992)

1492: Conquest of Paradise was created to commemorate Christopher Columbus' 500th birthday, and this is precisely what the film is about. It takes a romantic, almost mythical, approach to history, painting Columbus in a heroic light and shying away from his darker aspects, making it a difficult film to put down.

When presented as a specific historical portrayal, it largely works, as it's visually stunning, brilliantly scored, bursting with engaging, moving scenes, and feels suitably mythological. It's entirely understandable that 1492: Conquest of Paradise would have been considered one of Ridley Scott's best films.