Ridley Scott has been making remarkable films for over four decades now, starting his career in 1977 and breaking out big time in 1979 when he created one of the greatest horror-sci-fi movies of all-time. Since then, Scott has directed over 25 films and has more in progress, even at the age of 82.

Scott has four Academy Award nominations for Best Director, although he never won one. Overall, the films that Scott directed have picked up 40 Oscar nominations, winning nine of them, but his movies have not always found acceptance by a vast majority of moviegoers. Here is a look at Ridley Scott’s 10 best movies, based on IMDb voting.

KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (2005) - 7.2

Kingdom of Heaven is a Ridley Scott movie that got a raw deal. Although Scott was one of the best filmmakers in Hollywood, he didn’t get his final cut on the film. The theatrical version ranked low for critics, with mostly lukewarm reviews.

Rotten Tomatoes gave it a low 39% rotten rating, mostly because they arrived during the theatrical release. However, Scott buckled down and released a Director’s Cut on DVD, and suddenly, the tide turned, with fans loving the new version of the movie, which told the tale of Balian of Ibelin during the Crusades.

MATCHSTICK MEN (2003) - 7.3

In 2003, Ridley Scott created a black comedy starring Nicolas Cage and Sam Rockwell in Matchstick Men. The film tells the story of a con artist named Roy (Cage) who has Tourette’s syndrome and OCD, who works with his protege Frank (Rockwell).

After a panic attack, Roy starts to see a therapist and then agrees to help Frank on one more long con. This is a film where the critics loved it even more than fans, with it hitting 82% on Rotten Tomatoes while sticking with a 7.3 on IMDb.

THE DUELLISTS (1977) - 7.4

Ridley Scott may have broken out when he directed Alien, but before that, he made his directorial debut with The Duellists. He was a star from the start, with the film winning the Best Debut Film award at the 197 Cannes Film Festival.

The movie, based on Joseph Conrad’s short story The Duel, was about two rivals who dueled with each other but then ended up going their separate ways. Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel starred in a film that holds a 92 & fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.4 on IMDb.

THELMA & LOUISE (1991) - 7.5

Released in 1991, Ridley Scott directed one of the most critically acclaimed films of his career in Thelma & Louise. The movie was about a woman and her best friend who killed a rapist and went on the run from the police.

Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis starred as the friends while Harvey Keitel starred as the police detective trying to track them down. The movie also featured a shirtless Brad Pitt in his first major movie role. Thelma & Louise picked up six Oscar nominations.

BLACK HAWK DOWN (2001) - 7.7

By 2001, war movies had reignited in Hollywood with Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan and Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line earning tons of accolades. In 2001, Ridley Scott added his name to the list and proved to be as masterful at wartime filmmaking as anyone.

Black Hawk Down told the story of the United States military raid of Mogadishu in 1993 and focused on soldiers pinned in enemy territory. The movie is also notable as Tom Hardy’s first film role. The movie picked up four Oscar nominations, including one for Best Director.


Denzel Washington starred in Ridley Scott’s American Gangster, a film that tells the story of Frank Lucas, a career criminal who ran the Harlem crime scene. It was an interesting tale, with Washington playing Lucas as a gentleman who helped people, although he wasn’t afraid to get his hands a little dirty when needed be.

On the other hand, police detective Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) is the cop on his tail, but almost appears as the villain in the film. American Gangster picked up two Oscar nominations.

THE MARTIAN (2015) - 8.0

Ridley Scott had proven early in his days as a filmmaker that he was comfortable in the realm of science fiction. In 2015, Scott returned to the science fiction landscape for something completely different. The subject matter came from an independently published novel by Andy Weir that picked up mainstream attention and en eventual publishing deal.

The film starred Matt Damon as an astronaut left behind on Mars, who struggles to find ways to survive. All the while, rescue attempts are made to bring him back home. The Martian picked up seven Oscar nominations but didn’t win a single one.

BLADE RUNNER (1982) - 8.1

Ridley Scott directed Blade Runner in 1982 and watched as it became one of the greatest science fiction movies in history when it comes to critics and fans. The film stars Harrison Ford as a Blade Runner, a man who hunts down Replicants that have gone rogue, a Replicant being a humanoid created to serve.

What makes the movie special is the look at Replicants and the question of what it means to be alive and free. The movie was added to the National Film Registry in 1993.

ALIEN (1979) - 8.4

The movie that made Ridley Scott a star was his horror movie Alien in 1979. The movie followed the crew of the spacecraft Nostromo, who find an abandoned ship after receiving a distress signal. When they board the ship, they find themselves hunted by an aggressive alien known as a Xenomorph.

Sigourney Weaver starred as a member of the crew and the “final girl” in this movie that started as a science fiction film but played out like a haunted house movie. Alien went into the National Film Registry in 2002 and spawned three sequels, two prequels, and two crossover films with the Predator franchise.

GLADIATOR (2000) - 8.5

While Alien was Ridley Scott’s breakout movie and Blade Runner is considered one of the best sci-fi films of all-time, the movie that sits at the top of the fans’ list on IMDb is none other than Gladiator. Released in 2000, Russell Crowe stars in Gladiator as a former soldier turned Gladiator who fights for his freedom.

The movie was a massive success, grossing over $457 million against a $103 million budget. It wasn’t the highest-rated on Rotten Tomatoes, with just a 76% rating but it still picked up 12 Oscar nominations and won the Best Picture award, Scott’s only win in that category, although he has still yet to on one for Best Director.