Ridley Scott

All the money can’t buy happiness in Scott’s tense new thriller

Gail (Michelle Williams) waits to speak with her ex-father-in-law.

There’s no such thing as bad publicity, the saying goes, and so director Ridley Scott’s new film All the Money in the World had already captivated the public interest months before its release today. As most readers are probably aware, the bad publicity here was the revelation back in October that the film’s original lead, Kevin Spacey, had sexually harassed actor Anthony Rapp when he was 14. Spacey controversially apologized, but the damage was done; in early November, Scott and the film’s production team made the extraordinary decision to reshoot all Spacey’s scenes with a new actor, just three weeks before the film’s scheduled opening.
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In space, simply scary beats too much talking

The crew of the Covenant, in better times.

Alien: Covenant, the eighth of the Alien series of films, feels like an old friend from whom you’ve long since grown apart, but with whom you’ll still grab a beer and listen to the same stories and jokes. The film checks all the series boxes, and delivers all the same jolts, but ultimately cannot break out of its own constraints.  

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Film Review: The Martian

by Carrie Kahn on October 2, 2015

Scott captures our imagination with riveting survival story

Abandoned astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) checks out his Martian surroundings.

No movie better exemplifies Kurt Vonnegut’s assertion that “science is magic that works” than Ridley Scott’s engaging new film The Martian. Based on Andy Weir’s novel of the same name, Scott’s picture is less a fantastical science fiction story like his Alien or Blade Runner, and more a pure and utterly gripping survival story, in the vein of pictures like Castaway or even 127 Hours. Only here, our hero isn’t trapped somewhere with the luxury of oxygen like a canyon in Utah or a remote tropical island, but years away from any human help, alone in outer space, on the inhospitable planet Mars.

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Exodus highlights the ongoing battle between traditional and modern filmmaking, and neither side really wins.

Battle Moses.  Complete with armor, shiny sword, and unidentifiable accent.

Battle Moses. Complete with armor, shiny sword, and unidentifiable accent.

Exodus: Gods and Kings was bound to be a spectacular epic, considering the biblical source material and the director at the helm, Sir Ridley Scott.  Scott echoed this projection when he said that Exodus: Gods and Kings is his “biggest” movie yet.  Considering his long resume of major titles, that’s quite a statement and yet it’s true.  The sets, the action, the effects, and the scope are all monumental, and these are mainly where the movie succeeds.  It’s heartwarming to know that there’s still room for traditional sandal epics in the modern film business, featuring a good amount of built sets and armies of real actors (as opposed to CGI backdrops and armies…though these are still employed here as well).  But trying to keep to tradition comes with a price, and some poor decisions.  Exodus is weakest (and most controversial) in its casting choices and artistic breaks from the source material, but these falters can’t keep Exodus from providing a mostly exciting experience.

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Film Review: The Counselor

by Chad Liffmann on October 26, 2013

‘The Counselor’ is in need of some script counseling.

The Counselor

Michael Fassbender takes counsel in The Counselor

It was exciting to imagine what the product of a Ridley Scott-Cormac McCarthy collaboration would be like.  Add in an all-star cast and the anticipation grew stronger.  Unfortunately, the finished product leaves so much to be desired. The Counselor features an original screenplay by McCarthy, who’s normally credited only with writing the novels on which a few film adaptations have been based (No Country For Old Men, The Road), and the inexperience shows here.  The dialogue in The Counselor lacks flow, and in a story as convoluted as this, the flaws in the script are all the more blatant.

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Logan Marshall-Green, Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender in PROMETHEUS

starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Guy Pearce

written by: Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof

directed by: Ridley Scott

MPAA: Rated R for sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language

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