Ridley Scott


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6.0 The Duellists (1977)
7.4 Alien (1979)
7.5 Blade Runner (1983)
6.0 Legend (1985)
5.0 Someone to Watch over Me (1987)
5.0 Black Rain (1989)
7.2 Thelma & Louise (1991)
6.0 1492 Conquest of Paradise (1992)
5.0 White Squall (1996)
5.0 GI Jane (1997)
6.7 Gladiator (2000)
6.0 Hannibal (2001)
6.0 Black Hawk Down (2001)
6.5 Matchstick Men (2003)
5.0 Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
5.0 A Good Year (2006)
6.8 American Gangster (2007)
4.5 Body of Lies (2008)
5.0 Robin Hood (2010)
6.0 Prometheus (2012)
7.0 The Counselor (2013)
4.0 Exodus - Gods and Kings (2014)
6.6 Martian (2015)
6.0 Alien - Covenant (2017)
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Ridley Scott (Britain, 1937), originally a director of television commercials, Tony Scott's brother and business partner, debuted with the historical drama The Duellists (1977).
If English is your first language and you could translate the old Italian text, please contact me.
The Duellists (1977) segna l'esordio cinematografico di un regista di caroselli televisivi quasi quarantenne. Il film è una sorta di parabola quasi cavalleresca ambientata nelle guerre napoleoniche. Per un motivo apparentemente ridicolo, due soldati francesi si odiano a morte, e ogni volta che si incontrano il primo, legato al mito dell'onore, sfida a duello il secondo, a sua volta ligio al mito del coraggio. La cerimonia si ripete immutabile di paese in paese, attraverso un'Europa devastata dalla guerra. I due continuano a duellare accanitamente, pur crescendo di grado. Infine il secondo aiuterà in segreto il rivale a tornare libero e lo risparmierà nel duello finale alla pistola, fedele al suo codice d'onore.

The horror/sci-fi thriller Alien (1979), based on Alfred Elton Van Vogt's short story "Black Destroyer" (1939), and perhaps influenced by Mario Bava's Terrore nello Spazio (1965), mostly relies on the modernist scenography to sustain a rather trivial plot. The plot unfolds very slowly at the beginning, which is mostly visual. Then there is the usual suspense of being haunted by a killer monster. The poor humans have to face the evil computer, the evil robot and the super-evil alien: a concentrate of super-human evil. There is also a bit of psychoanalytical underpinning to the story: the "mother" computer, existential angst, fear of the unknown. And the whole tragedy is set in motion by capitalist greed: this is not a scientific mission, it's a commercial cargo. An immense space cargo, traveling towards Earth, is controlled by a computer, called "Mother", while the crew sleeps hibernated. A signal of unknown origin causes "Mother" to prematurely wake up the astronauts. They obey the computer's orders to land on the nearby planet. The landing is not easy. A three-man patrol, monitored on screens by captain Dallas, scientist Ash and the female third in command, Ripley, lands on the planet and looks for the source of what appears to be an S.O.S., although Ripley senses that there could also be some kind of warning. The patrol ventures into a crater swept by icy gusts and discovers a giant technological fossil that emits a regular, almost agonizing, breath. They veture inside this cave and one of them finds eggs. He makes the mistake of hitting one of them to see what happens: a disgusting squid-like thing splashes on his helmet and he loses consciousness. The others drag him back into the spaceship. Ripley is opposed to let them in without the prescribed quarantine but the scientist personally opens the door violating a procedure that he should know well. The unconscious man is immediately transported to a sort of surgical room where the scientist tries to remove the squid on its helmet, but a severed tentacle emits an acid that makes holes in several layers of the floor. On the other hand, the octopus disappears into thin air shortly after (it will fall on the head of the woman who looks for the traces, but now annoyed) and the victim heals suddenly. During dinner, however, the man is shaken by violent retching; it is spread out on the table and immobilized, but the spasms continue until with a sketch of flesh and blood (which sucks the others) the breast splits and emerges a snake with sharp teeth; the scientist prevents the negro from killing him and the snake disappears abruptly. The intruder's hunt for the spacecraft's corridors is a concentrate of suspense: one by one the crewmen are swallowed by the monster, which grows in size each time. They abandoned the idea of using surgery. Then suddenly the polip disappears and the man resuscitates. They look for the polip and they find it lifeless. During dinner, however, the man is shaken by violent spasms and his chest explodes. A snake-like monster with sharp teeth emerges and runs away. The scientist prevents the crew from killing it because he wants to examine it. They search the spaceship for the monster. At one point they think they cornered it, but it's only the cat. Nonetheless they want to capture the cat. The man who is about to catch it is snatched up by the monster and later found horribly mutilated. We see that the monster has grown enormously in size. They query in vain the computer for help: the computer consistently replies that it has no advice on how to kill this creature. They realize that the monster is using the air shafts to move around and captain Dallas in person enters the shafts to chase it out of the spaceship, but is attacked and killed. Ripley doesn't trust scientist Ash, who seems too eager to capture the creature alive, and decides for a plan to kill it. Ripley finally obtains some information from the computer: Ash is following "special order 937" according to which he has to deliver the organism alive to the company that sent them there. The priority is to bring the alien back to Earth. The crew is expendable. That was from the beginning the true purpose of the mission. She is ready to rebel but Ash blocks her. Ash tries to kill her and another member of the crew saves her by smashing Ash's head and Ash's body disassembles: it's a robot. They reassemble the head of the robot and interrogate it. Ash confesses that he betrayed them and tells them that the monster is immortal. Ash gives them no chance of survival. They kill and burn the robot in anger, but now they realize that their only chance is to blow up the spaceship and leave in the emergency shuttle. Ripley wastes precious time looking for the cat, but that's what saves her because the monster attacks the other two who are preparing the explosion. Ripley hears the screams but returns too late to help. She activates the explosion and tries to enter the shuttle. She succeeds when there only a few seconds left. The shuttle leaves and the spaceship explodes. She relaxes. She puts the cat into hybernation and prepares to do the same herself. But just then she sees something moving: the monster has been hiding inside the shuttle. She wears her astronaut suit and grabs a harpoon. Then she manouvres to expel the monster and shoots the harpoon. The monster drifts out in space and she records her report before hybernating for the trip back home. Alien (1979), è un condensato di luoghi comuni della fantascienza (immani scenografie, delirio di computer) arricchito da temi presi dall'horror (il mostro, simbolo di insicurezza, l'ignoto, effetti truculenti), dalla psicanalisi (il computer "madre", angoscia esistenziale) e dalla morale anti-capitalista (lo sfruttamento cinico degli uomini per scopi che essi neppure immaginano). Grande suspense nell'astronave ridotta a un relitto e perseguitata dall'indistruttibile mostro. Un immenso cargo spaziale, in viaggio verso la terra, è controllato da un computer, chiamato "madre", mentre l'equipaggio dorme ibernato. Un segnale di origine sconosciuta induce la "madre" a svegliare gli astronauti anzitempo. Una pattuglia di tre uomini, seguiti sugli schermi da capitano, vicecapitana e scienziato, sbarca sul pianeta e scopre, dentro un cratere battuto da raffiche di ghiaccio, una specie di mostro tecnologico che emette un respiro regolare, un fossile agonizzante. I tre uomini esplorano l'interno, come speleologi in una grotta (Verne?). Fra tanta desolazione c'è un grumo organico che schizza sul casco di uno dei tre. Viene subito trasportato nell'astronave, nonostante una donna si opponga per paura di contaminazioni e lo scienziato si prepara ad operare per separare il polipo dalla faccia del disgraziato. Al primo taglio però i tentacoli lasciano cadere un acido che perfora diversi pavimenti prima di arrestarsi. D'altronde il polipo scompare nel nulla poco dopo (cadrà in testa alla donna che ne cerca le tracce, ma oramai seccato) e la vittima guarisce di colpo. Durante la cena però l'uomo è scosso da violenti conati; viene steso sul tavolo e immobilizzato, ma gli spasimi continuano finchè con uno schizzo di carne e di sangue (che insozza gli altri) il petto si squarcia ed emerge un serpente dai denti aguzzi; lo scienziato impedisce al negro di ucciderlo e il serpente si dilegua di scatto. La caccia all'intruso per i corridoi dell'astronave è un concentrato di suspence: uno ad uno gli uomini dell'equipaggio vengono ingoiati dal mostro, che ogni volta cresce di dimensioni. La donna cerca di far parare il computer e scopre così che lo scienziato lo ha programmato per dare priorità assoluta al portare l'alieno sulla terra, anche a costo di sacrificare l'equipaggio, e che anzi, quello è stato fin da principio il vero scopo della missione.
Lo scienziato cerca ora di sopprimere la donna, ma il negro gli stacca il capo con una sbarra: il corpo si accartoccia e si smembra, era un robot. Presi dal panico, i tre sopravvissuti (il negro e due donne) decidono di far esplodere l'astronave e di fuggire sulla "capsula" di salvataggio. Ma mentre preparano la bomba il negro e l'altra ragazza si trovano di fronte il mostro e, per non colpire la ragazza paralizzata dal terrore, il negro non può usare il suo lanciafiamme. Vengono divorati entrambi. La capitana, rimasta sola, programma l'esplosione e si avvia (con il gatto mascotte) verso la capsula. Ma nel corridoio è in agguato il mostro, e la nave sta per esplodere. Fallito un disperato tentativo di interrompere il conto alla rovescia, trova il coraggio di tornare nel corridoio e, appena in tempo, scappa. Ormai certa di aver distrutto il mostro, si prepara all'ibernamento per il tempo che rimane, ma il mostro l'ha seguita a bordo e i suoi tentacoli compaiono d'improvviso. Con calma la donna ingaggia l'ultimo duello e riesce a scaraventare il mostro nel vuoto. Apocalittico ed epico.

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Legend (1985) è una fiaba mitologica: il Signore delle Tenebre, rifugiatosi in un castello sotterraneo, ordina ai suoi seguaci di distruggere l'eden terrestre a cominciare dagli unicorni, usando come esca l'innocenza. L'odissea dei maligni si svolge in una foresta abitata da una principessa, da fiabe e da folletti e termina con la vittoria della luce. ** Legend (1985) è una fiaba magniloquente ambientata in un mondo fantastico minacciato dal signore delle tenebre e allietato dagli unicorni; i buoni sono la principessa, il ragazzo dei boschi e il folletto.

Blade Runner (1983), a loose adaptation of Philip Dick's sci-fi novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" (1968), è un thriller fantascientifico. Il protagonista da` una caccia spietata alle irriducibili prede negli scenari mastodontici e affollatissimi della società avveniristica, seguendo le mode del poliziesco alla Marlowe e alla Callaghan, con sparatorie truculente e inseguimenti mozzafiato. (La "director's cut" e` inferiore all'originale).

La megalopoli del futuro è sovraffollata da un feccia miserabile, ma i ricchi hanno a disposizione androidi a vita limitata. Rick (Harrison Ford) e` un "blade runner" in pensione che viene richiamato dalla polizia per dare la caccia a quattro pericolosi "replicanti" che hanno violato il bando e sono tornati sulla Terra e hanno gia` ucciso un blade runner incaricato della stessa missione. Costruiti dalla compagnia di un genio della genetica, Tyrell, i replicanti sono indistinguibili dagli esseri umani.
Soltanto un particolare interrogatorio compiuto di fronte a una particolare macchina può stabilire la differenza. E' proprio durante uno di questi interrogatori che il professore di Rick è stato ucciso da un replicante.
Rick è la loro ultima speranza perché è stato uno dei Blade runner (uccisori dei replicanti) di maggior successo. Il capo della polizia gli affianca un losco zoppo che passa il tempo a comporre statuette di carta.
La città è dominata da due gigantesche piramidi futuriste di uffici, ma le sue strade ricordano quelle di Hong Kong. Le auto della polizia sono delle specie di astronavi.
Recatosi dal genio della genetica, Rick può sperimentare la macchina sulla bella segreteria dello stesso, Rachael, che appare del tutto normale. Ma Rick verifica che si tratta in realtà di una replicante.
Nel frattempo il capo dei replicanti, Batty, benché braccato dalla polizia e ore anche da Rick, sta tentando disperatamente di arrivare al genio della genetica che lo ha costruito per farsi prolungare la vita. Inizia irrompendo nel laboratorio di un cinesino che fabbrica occhi, e costringendolo a dirgli chi ha accesso al grande capo: Sebastian.
Rachael va a casa di Rick, di cui sembra innamorata: ha capito che lui la considera una replicante e vuole dimostrargli che non lo è. Ma Rick le rivela che la sua memoria, tutti i suoi ricordi d'infanzia, non sono altro che frutto di un trapianto di memoria. Lei se ne va in lacrime, stracciando la foto di quella che ha sempre considerato sua madre.
Intanto una bella replicante, Pris, si e` appostata fra i bidoni della spazzatura di fronte alla casa di Sebastian. Quando lui arriva, finge di essersi smarrita e lo convince a portarla in casa. La casa di Sebastian è un circo di giocattoli e automi di varia natura. Anche lui è un genio della genetica, anche lui ha contribuito a fabbricare i replicanti. Pris lo tratta da intimo amico in modo che lui si fidi di lei e le voglia bene.
Indagando, Rick scopre una scaglia di serpente che lo mette sulle tracce di una danzatrice in un club equivoco e affollato. La danzatrice capisce di essere stata scoperta e tenta disperatamente di fuggire. Rick la rincorre senza pietà per le strade affollate di Chinatown, e riesce infine a colpirla. La donna, ferita a morte, precipita dentro le vetrine di un negozio di moda. L'amico poliziotto lo congratula, e gli rivela che anche Rachael va uccisa.
Un altro replicante (quello che ha ucciso il suo predecessore), che ha assistito alla scena, lo coglie di sorpresa e sta per ucciderlo a pugni, ma è proprio Rachael, che passava di lì, a sparare per prima e salvare la vita a Rick. Rimangono soltanto due fuggitivi: Batty e Pris. Rick costringe Rachael, replicante o non replicante, a fare l'amore.
I due fuggitivi sono entrambi a casa di Sebastian, stracolma di automi. Batty ha infatti raggiunto Pris, che è ormai diventata amica di Sebastian. Sebastian è corrotto da un male simile a quello dei replicanti e accetta di aiutarli a vedere il grande capo, colui che ha inventato tutti i replicanti. Con la scusa di una partita a scacchi, Sebastian ottiene il permesso di recarsi all'ultimo piano del grattacielo, dove il capo lo attende. Batty implora invano Tyrell di prolungare la vita a lui e Pris, ma questi spiega che proprio non è scientificamente possibile. Batty, piangendo lo bacia sulla bocca (in fondo è il suo creatore) e poi gli spappola il cranio con le mani. Ha ucciso Dio.
Rick deve abbandonare la bella Rachael e precipitarsi sul posto. Rick si aggira nel buio fra gli automi finche' Pris gli salta addosso e tenta di massacrarlo con i suoi potenti polpacci da ginnasta, ma che alla fine perisce in maniera agghiacciante.
Rick poi si apposta nei corridoi bui per aspettare il capo e ultimo sopravvissuto, Batty. Il quale infatti arriva e ingaggia il duello con il suo persecutore. Quando trova la sua bella replicante morta, grida vendetta. Disarma Rick, gli spezza le dita, lo insegue per il grattacielo fino in cima ai tetti. Ingaggiano una lotta titanica, Rick terrorizzato e Batty seminudo come un dio greco. Rick salta da un tetto a un altro ma rimane aggrappato al bordo. Sta per precipitare nel vuoto, ma è proprio Batty a salvarlo. Batty pronuncia le ultime parole, conscio che sta per morire: gli rimanevano pochi minuti di vita.
Lo zoppo è lì vicino, e, invece di complimentarsi, gli dice: "Peccato che non vivrai; ma d'altronde nessuno ci riesce" ("Too bad you won't live, but then again who does").
Rick torna a casa, missione compiuta, e trova Rachael ancora a letto. Per un istante le punta la pistola alla tempia, ma poi la accarezza. Fanno per andarsene, ma, uscendo, Rachael lascia cadere per terra una statuetta di carta... Rick capisce che lo zoppo e` stato li` e che lei è in combutta con la polizia, e che forse lo sta portando al macello. Ma Rick si volta e si avvia con decisione verso l'ascensore, come se fosse stanco di lottare. E rimane il dubbio che Rick stesso sia un replicante, a sua insaputa...
(Al film venne aggiunto un lieto fine).
Non e` chiaro chi sia il vero eroe del film: il replicante che tenta disperatamente di spezzare il crudele sortilegio che lo condanna a morte, e che alla fine concede nobilmente la vita a Rick benche' lo potesse uccidere, o Rick, che e` un semplice sterminatore senza scrupoli.
Il film suggestiona soprattutto per il design apocalittico della metropoli, dove fantasmi di uomini annaspano in uno smog perenne. E` al tempo stesso un thriller e western, che si svolge in una atmosfera angosciosa in una società in decomposizione. Il film è una favola di mostri, la cui morale è nell'amore per un androide che inquina la ferocia del cacciatore, un tema di sconfitta morale del duro derivato dal poliziesco "nero". L'happy ending, con i due che fuggono insieme, vorrebbe rappacificare forse le due razza (con la tradizione inglese della suspence e del terrore alle spalle) e di megalopoli futuribili, che disegna con barocca dovizia di particolari. Tema comune dei suoi film è la determinazione nell'affermare se stessi, replicando magari all'infinito un gesto (d'onore, di sopravvivenza, di caccia). Alla fantascienza ha donato una visuale "negativa", che non dimentica la natura ambigua e malvagia degli uomini neppure nei colossali voli di fantasia sul futuro (un'astronave cavia, un killer di androidi, messi in moto da leggi economiche in barba ad ogni considerazione umana).

Someone to Watch over Me (1987).

Un poliziotto deve fare da guardia del corpo per un'ereditiera che ha visto un killer uccidere un suo vecchio amico, è determinata a testimoniare al processo, ma teme per la propria vita. Si trasferisce in pianta stabile a casa sua lasciando solo la moglie. Il killer terrorizza l'ereditiera. Fra questa e il tenente sboccia l'amore. Lei ignora le minacce e testimonia contro il killer; ma questi evade e lei è colta da una crisi di nervi. E' l'amore di lui a darle sicurezza. Il killer inizia però a terrorizzare la famiglia di lui e fa precipitare la crisi fra moglie e marito. Thriller melodramma. Lui sventa un attentato contro l'ereditiera, ma il suo collega e amico resta ucciso, e la colpa viene data alla sua tresca con la testimone. Sospeso dalla polizia, lasciato dalla moglie, viene anche ricattato dal killer che ha preso in ostaggio la sua famiglia. L'ereditiera si offre di aiutarlo ma ad uccidere il killer sono proprio moglie e figlio, approfittando del loro arrivo. Lui torna dalla moglie.

The police drama Black Rain (1989) is a tale of two metropolis, of two morally dirty and physically violent metropolis. Unfortunately, it is also a heap of third-hand Hollywood cliches. Nick (Michael Douglas) is a New York cop with a bad reputation. He is a reckless motorcyclist who likes to race kids for fun, he is divorced with three children, and he is suspected by his superiors of stealing money from the gangster whom he arrests. He is having lunch with his best friend Charlie (a completely different type, all suit and tie) when a young Japanese gangster and his men enter the restaurant, holding machine guns, and carry out a strange transaction with two Japanese guests. At the end of it, the young Japanese coldly kills the two customers and walks out. Nick pulls out gun and badge and start running after him, and eventually catches him. They are all members of the Japanese mob.
The Japanese embassy requests extradition, and, ironically, Nick and his buddy are assigned to escort the young killer, Sato, to Osaka. When the flight lands, a bunch of people wearing police uniforms come to pick up the prisoner, and Nick simply hands him over. But it turns out those were members of the mob and he just helped them rescue the killer. Nick feels like an idiot, and is determined to get even. Since they signed fake papers, they claim they never technically surrendered the prisoner to the Japanese police, so it is still their case. The Japanese police chief lets them stay as observers and pairs them with one of his men, stone-faced Masahiro. But Nick has no intention of being a mere observer and begins his own investigation, starting with an American femme fatale, Joyce (the 100th clone of Marlene Dietrich) who runs a brothel. The beginning is not propitious: Charlie gets killed by a gang of motorcyclists led by the very same Sato. Now it's personal. Initially, Nick and Masahiro don't get along, but soon they begin to respect each other and work together. They follow a woman who takes them to a meeting between Sato and his old boss: Sato is blackmailing him, showing no respect for the older man. When Sato and his kids leave the meeting, Nick attacks them. He kills all of them and is chasing Sato when the police chief in person shows up to stop him: no guns are allowed. He puts him on a plane back to the USA. But Nick gets off the plane from the back door and resumes his investigation. He meets with the boss whom Sato is blackmailing and offers to kill Sato, which would solve the problems of both men (eliminate the blackmailer and avenge the death of Charlie). The Japanese boss is reluctant because he, a survivor of Hiroshima, despises the American barbarians, but then he accepts. So Nick and Masahiro follow the gangsters when they meet again, each escorted by a number of gangsters armed to their teeth. While the two leaders discuss the truce, Nick and Masahiro begin to eliminate the sentries. Inside the building, Sato betrays the boss one more time, but just then Nick and Masahiro break into the house and start shooting everybody. The place becomes a volcano, but Sato manages to run away on a motorcycle. Nick also jumps on a motorcycle and starts chasing him in the rice fields.
It would have been difficult to conceive a more predictable ending.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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If English is your first language and you could translate the old Italian text, please contact me. Thelma & Louise (1991) Louise è una donna indipendente di 37 anni, con un ragazzo sincero, anche se un po' rude. Thelma è una casalinga molto più giovane, fidanzatasi a 14 anni e sposatasi a 18 con lo stesso uomo, un borghese egoista, prepotente e senza personalità.
Entrambe frustrate decidono di partire per un week-end di vacanza all'insaputa dei rispettivi uomini. Vogliono soltanto godersi la libertà, ma Thelma, ingenua e irresponsabile, le mette subito nei guai: in un bar dà troppa confidenza a un donnaiolo, che poi tenta di violentarla. Louise la salva con la pistola. L'uomo la insulta, e Louise, peso il controllo, gli spara a bruciapelo, uccidendolo. Louise era stata violentata anni prima e conservava la voglia di vendetta.
Le due donne iniziano la fuga, che continuerà per tutto il film. Louise tenta di ragionare: telefona al ragazzo e gli chiede di spedirle tutti i suoi risparmi. Il ragazzo si presenta invece di persona, un po' per paura che lei stia fuggendo con un altro, un po' preoccupato che si trovi nei guai. Le regala anche l'anello di fidanzamento, ma lei insiste a non confidarsi con lui, per non metterlo nei guai. Thelma intanto, a cui Louise ha affidato i soldi, si è lasciata sedurre da un autostoppista equivoco, il quale ne approfitta per portarla a letto e derubarla. Le due donne sono ora abbandonate a se stesse e senza un penny. Thelma, colpevole di tutte le loro disgrazie, decide di rimediare e rapina un supermercato. La polizia, che era già sulle loro tracce, può ora seguirle da vicino.
La loro fuga non dura a lungo. Quando sono raggiunte e braccate sul bordo del Grand Canyon, decidono di non arrendersi e lanciano l'auto dentro il burrone.
Road movie alla Easy Rider. La vera protagonista è la svampita, vittima della moralità borghese. L'altra è una disperata che non ha più entusiasmo di vivere. Insieme costituiscono un meccanismo ad orologeria programmato per autodistruggersi.
1492 Conquest of Paradise (1992) is an epic about the discovery of America, followed by the mediocre White Squall (1996) and G.I. Jane (1997).

Gladiator (2000) was marginally interesting but Hannibal (2001) and the war movie Black Hawk Down (2001) were trivial.

Matchstick Men (2003) was based on an interesting plot but ruined by a silly ending.

Roy has a nervous tick that explodes outdoors and in sunlight, and is also paranoid about cleanniness. He partners with a younger friend, Frank, to cheat gullible consumers. They cheat and elderly couple of a lot of money, first cheating the wife when they pretend to be sending her a gift and then cheating the husband when they pretend to be police detectives investigating the fraud that she was just the victim of. They are con-men, and Roy is the master of con-men. Roy is taking some pills to treat his nervous disorder. When he runs out of them, Frank sends Roy to see a psychiatrist. As Roy insists, the psychiatrist prescribes some pills but also insinuates that his problem is psychological, not physical. Roy admits that he was traumatized by his failed marriage and reveals that he left his ex-wife when she was pregnant. The psychiatrist sows doubt in Roy's mind that he may be the father of a 14-year-old boy or girl. Roy now would like to know if that is the case and asks the psychiatrist to call his wife on his behalf. The psychiatrist does so and tells Roy that he has a daughter and that the daughter would like to meet him. Roy meets Angela in a park and takes her to a restaurant. Whether it's the pills or the meeting with Angela, Roy suddenly feels a lot better. He accepts a project that Frank has been wanting to do for a long time: cheat a rich businessman of a large sum of money. Angela shows up uninvited at Roy's place claiming a big argument with her mother and decides to stay a few days. When Roy does out to prepare the operation with Frank, Angela spends the evening searching Roy's apartment and finds where he hides the money and a gun: inside a dog statue. Meanwhile, Frank introduces Roy to the businessman and they lure him into a money-exchange operation, pretending that Frank works in a bank. Back at home, Frank is interrogated by Angela: he told her (and told everybody) that he is an antique dealer but Angela guesses that his real job must be criminal otherwise he wouldn't hide money and a gun. When she disappears for a night, Roy behaves like the typical angry father. He tells her the truth about his profession. She insists in being shown how to con people and Roy helps her cheat money from a housewife at a laundromat, except that then he forces her to return the money. Every night Roy buys groceries at the same supermarket and meets a cashier, Kathy, who seems to like him. Frank sets up a meeting with the businessman and Roy prepares a suitcase full of money: Angela walks with him to the bank where Roy keeps his money, but Roy doesn't show her the password to access his safety deposit box. Frank then joins Roy at the airport, where they hand the suitcase full of British pounds to the business man and the businessman hands them a sack full of dollars. Angela causes a distraction during which Roy switches the suitcase with an empty one. Roy and Angela leave with both the suitcase full of pounds and the sack full of dollars, while the businessman walks away with the empty suitcase. But the businessman finds out that he has been cheated and chases them as they are leaving the airport parking lot. They barely escape. Roy decides he has had enough of this work and leaves all the money to Frank. Frank is unhappy with the part played by Angela and prays that Angela has never been arrested: she confesses she has been. That means that the police have their photo and she could be identified by the airport cameras. Roy tells her that he doesn't want to see her anymore. Back home Roy cannot find the pills anymore. He drives to a pharmacy and hysterically demands to be given more pills, even if he doesn't have a prescription because he can't find the psychiatrist: the pharmacist, however, notices that he has been taking a harmless medicine for menopause. Roy confronts the psychiatrist who tells him that his problem is psychological, not physical: he needs Angela. Roy then meets Angela again and offers to become a real father. He then treats her to a dinner. When they return home, however, they find that the businessman has kidnapped and tortured Frank and is pointing a gun at them: he wants his money back. Angela grabs the gun that Roy kept hidden in the dog statuette and shoots the businessman. Frank tells Roy that the businessman is mortally wounded. Roy's priority is to save Angela from being arrested for murder and asks Frank to take her to a hotel, while he will take the blame for killing the businessman. However, the businessman is alive and knocks him unconscious. Roy wakes up in a hospital room where two cops try to interrogate him. The businessman was found dead in his driveway and his daughter Angela has disappeared. Roy demands to speak with his psychiatrist, the only person he can trust. Roy then tells the psychiatrist to call Angela and to give Angela the password to take the money from the bank. Roy then falls asleep. He wakes up in a very hot room, with no nurse and no doctor around. He walks out of the room and finds out that the hospital is... staged: it's just one room on the roof of a building. Roy takes a taxi to the psychiatrist's office but finds out that it has been abandoned. Roy now drives to his ex-wife's place to ask about Angela: his ex-wife tells him that she lost the baby after they broke up, that he doesn't have a daughter. It is obvious now that Frank, Angela and the businessman connived to rob him. He, the great conman, has been conned. Sure enough the safety deposit box at the bank contains only a few banknotes left by Frank out of pity for Roy. One year later Roy is working as a salesman at a carpet store when a young man walks in to buy a carpet, and Roy recognizes the girl who is with him: Angela. Roy doesn't get upset and doesn't reveal her past to the young man who is in love with her: Roy is at peace with himself now that he has a honest job. Roy drives back home where his new wife is waiting for him: Kathy the supermarket cashier, and she is pregnant. Kingdom of Heaven (2005) and A Good Year (2006) were awful.

American Gangster (2007) was again a decent film, but it was followed by the ridiculous Body of Lies (2008), a concentrate of Hollywood stereotypes, based on David Ignatius' 2007 novel. The convoluted and implausible plot is littered with embarrassing and stupid dialogues that pretend to be intellectual comments on the Iraqi War. Luckily those too young to remember the Iraqi War may not realize the intentions of the filmmaker. The acting is high-school level.

Roger is a CIA agent in Iraq during the Iraqi War of 2003, at the time when terrorists (which the film imagines being members of Al Qaeda, although Al Qaeda was in Afghanistan) were carrying out suicide missions against the "occupation" forces. Now the film imagines that the same terrorists are blowing up bombs in Europe. Roger's wife is divorcing him. Roger obeys the orders of his superior, Ed, a politician who lives a normal life in the USA, and orders killings while taking care of his children. Ed can see everything that goes on in Iraq thanks to drones that project images live to the giant monitor of his control room. Roger is introduced to a terrorist who defected and wants asylum in the USA in return for information about the terrorist organization. Ed is not willing to help the defector. Roger gets mad with Ed but then betrays this poor defector in order to learn more about a safe house. Now Roger knows that the terrorists will take revenge on the defector but cannot prevent him from being kidnapped and has to kill him in order to protect his own identity. Roger and his buddy Bassam attack the safe house and drive away with valuable information, chased by several cars. They invoke the help of helicopters that destroy the chasers but also kill his buddy Bassam. Ed dispatches Roger to Jordan where he rudely relieves the chief of his duties and tries to forge an alliance with the head of the Jordan secret service, the gentleman-like Hani. Hani only asks Roger for trust and loyalty. Roger tells him that they are watching a terrorist safe house in town. Roger is betrayed again by his boss Ed, who orders an operation against the safe house without informing him. When the operation backfires, Roger has to kill a terrorist to avoid that the terrorists learn of his operation. During the killing he is bitten by rabid dogs. He is taken to a hospital and meets the cute nurse Aisha. Hani finds a simple way to turn a terrorist into a spy after inviting Roger to witness the deal (one only wishes it were so easy). This Karami is now their men inside the safe house. Unfortunately, Ed orders someone else to kidnap this Karami and this becomes another botched operation that results in the terrorists blowing up and leaving the safe house. Hani doubts that Roger knew of Ed's plan and loses his trust in Roger. Hani advises Roger to leave the country as he is not welcome anymore. Roger proposes a new plan to Ed. Their goal is to capture the head of the terrorist cell, Saleem. Roger proposes to create a fake terrorist group so that this Saleem with make contact. Ed engineers a fake terrorist attack on a US military base in Turkey, and a CIA software engineer hacks social media to make it look like the attack has been directed by an architect, Sadiki, who in reality is simply a pious Muslim. Sure enough Saleem's goons kidnap Sadiki but only to find out that Sadiki is no terrorist. Sadiki is soon found dead and Roger's plan fails to lead him to Saleem. Meanwhile Roger has seen Aisha again and has been introduced to her older sister, who is hostile to the USA. One day Roger finds Aisha missing and assumes that she's been kidnapped by Saleem. Roger begs Hani to help him save Aisha. He has to confess that he invented Sadiki's terrorist organization, and, again, Hani is offended that the USA lied to him. Somehow Roger makes contact with the terrorists and offers himself in return for Aisha's freedom. The kidnappers meet him in the desert. Ed is watching the meeting from his control room but the kidnappers are smarter than him: they show up in multiple cars, drive around Roger to generate enough dust that makes it impossible to see in which car Roger is loaded, and then drive the cars in different directions. Ed cannot tell which car has Roger. Roger finally faces Saleem, who is proud to have captured a CIA agent. Saleem breaks his fingers and would gladly kill him but first he tells Roger that he doesn't have Aisha: someone else kidnapped her. Hani and his agents arrive just in time to save Roger and arrest Saleem: it was Hani who faked Aisha's kidnap in order to use Roger as bait to arrest Saleem. Roger tells Ed that he's done with the war. Ed offers him a relaxed job at headquarters but Roger walks out on him. Ed orders the drones to stop watching over him. Roger prefers a life with Aisha.

Scott worked on the mediocre Robin Hood (2010) and Prometheus (2012), before The Counselor (2013) redeemed his career. Alas Exodus - Gods and Kings (2014) was another awful film.

Martian (2015) is a Robinson Crusoe for the space age but also a concentrate of Hollywood stereotypes.

A group of astronauts is performing experiments on Mars when a sudden storm forces them to leave the planet in a hurry. One doesn't make it and they assume he is dead. NASA announces to the world that one astronaut died and the others are on the way back home. However, the astronaut has survived and is perfectly conscious. He realizes that he has been left behind and that his chances of survival are scant because the next Mars mission will reach him only in four years, way too late. While the country is celebrating his funeral, the astronaut learns how to grow food and tries to make a living on a desert planet. He keeps an audio diary of his endeavours and never falls to desperation. One day NASA realizes that something is moving on Mars' surface and it becomes obvious that he is alive. NASA's director knows that the astronaut will probably starve to death. He also refuses to tell the crew that is returning home, because he doesn't want to cripple their already low morale. The scientists decide that there is a chance to save the astronaut if supplies are shipped as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the astronaut digs out an old spaceship that lies buried in the sand. NASA realizes that he is trying to communicate using the old still-frame camera. NASA responds to his signals by moving the camera and soon they are able to communicate. Now he knows that help is on its way. Finally, NASA tells the crew that the lost astronaut is alive. Incidents delay the rescue mission: an explosion causes another emergency to the astronaut and the rocket with the supplies explodes before reaching the atmosphere. Luckily, China decides to offer its own top-secret rockets and a crazy scientist comes up with a bizarre but effective plan to use the returning spaceship for rescuing the astronaut. NASA's director vetoes the plan because it would jeopardize the lives of the returning crew and greatly delay their return; but one of his staff leaks the plan to the returning crew and they enthusiastically vote for a mutiny in order to force NASA's hand. Now the spaceship is heading back to Mars and the astronaut is preparing for an unlikely rendezvous watching by the whole world. Inguinity solves all the problems and eventually the commander heroically risks her life to walk in free space and grab the astronaut that has ejected himself. All ends well and the world rejoices.

Alien - Covenant (2017)

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