My good friend and filmmaker Kartik Singh reviews Ridley Scott’s Matchstick Men, probably another great film you’ve not seen. I’m glad he enjoyed as much as I did. Moreover, I was surprised how good it was—it’s one of those very rewarding slow-burn kind of movies, with a fantastic payoff towards the end.
But he brings up a big spoiler. So if you’ve not seen it, don’t ruin it for yourself and find out what the big reveal is. Trust me…
Kartik also lists his favorite Ridley Scott films. Being an admirer myself, here’s mine, which happens to be all the ones of his I’ve seen, hence the omission of American Gangster, among others.
- Blade Runner
- Black Hawk Down
- The Duellists
- Matchstick Men
- Kingdom of Heaven (director’s cut)
- Thelma and Louise
- Black Rain
- G.I. Jane
Ridley Scott is a master film designer, with a very painterly style. This is evident from his very first feature, The Duellists, which I suspect was greatly inspired by another highly visual period piece—Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon.
It’s probably safe to assume that writing isn’t one of Scott’s strong suits, given that he’s never penned a feature screenplay, certainly not one that’s been produced. But he creates such beautiful images that even his weaker films, such as Kingdom of Heaven, are a pleasure to watch.
Yet, Matchstick Men is in many respects atypical of the style he has developed. It seems to lack that signature Ridley Scott look and feel. Perhaps it’s there, but very subtly and I’m missing it—a few scenes come to mind that feature intriguing interplays of shadows and light. But they don’t telegraph that Scott is behind the camera.
But whatever. Check it out. It’s quite good.