RANKED! The Best of Guy Ritchie’s Movies (Now That ‘The Gentlemen’ Is in Theaters)
The career of Guy Ritchie is quite an interesting one. He’s the type of director that embodies style over substance, and yet he’s been able to make an entire career based solely on his stylistic tendencies. No matter what genre he dabbles in, a Ritchie film is not only unmistakable but also highly entertaining and energetic. While the quality of Ritchie’s output has varied throughout his filmography, Ritchie’s latest film, The Gentlemen, sees the director returning to his roots. Now that The Gentlemen is in theaters, we’re counting down the best of Guy Ritchie’s movies.
Cover Photo: STX Films
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9. ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’
Aside from his more lambasted directorial efforts such as Swept Away and Revolver, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is easily Guy Ritchie’s most misguided and uneven effort. While the idea of essentially turning King Arthur into a superhero is an interesting idea, the movie features the writer-director in full Guy Ritchie mode – and it’s not for the better. Whoever thought that Ritchie’s modern sensibilities would be right for a period fantasy movie was woefully misguided.
8. ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’
As one of the only two movies that Ritchie hasn’t written in some capacity (the other being its predecessor), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows also happens to the only sequel of his career. Although some of his gangster movies can be considered loose sequels to one another, this movie proves that Ritchie is better off with fresh material where he can explore new and interesting ideas. Despite the pitch-perfect casting of Jared Harris as Professor Moriarty, A Game of Shadows is largely a repetitive and ultimately lackluster endeavor for the filmmaker.
After the aforementioned diversions in the mid-aughts, RocknRolla proved to be a solid return to form for the filmmaker. While his 2008 film remains middle-of-the-road fare for Ritchie, it’s witty and interesting enough to set itself apart from the rest of his filmography. While there’s certainly some familiar overlap in RocknRolla, it’s also a whole hell of a lot of fun with an incredible cast of actors that are now huge movie stars.
As the only family film that he’s done to date, Aladdin also happens to be the safest film that Guy Ritchie has made. Especially in comparison to the uninspired 2019 remake of The Lion King, Ritchie at least brings something new to the table in the live-action version of the 1992 animated classic. Regardless of this, Aladdin is a solid effort from the filmmaker, even if it’s deeply flawed in comparison to the original.
5. ‘Sherlock Holmes’
Although Sherlock Holmes is another period piece directed by Guy Ritchie, it’s also his first foray into studio blockbuster filmmaking. Luckily, the filmmaker is able to bring together an eclectic cast, wonderful stylization, and dynamite chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. As a result, it’s easily his most balanced attempt at making a crowd-pleasing blockbuster film that still retains his signature style. It also managed to make Sherlock Holmes cool again, which is a feat in itself.
4. ‘The Gentlemen’
As Ritchie’s big return to the gangster genre, The Gentlemen is a good return to form for the director. It’s by far his most self-aware and self-referential movie, which is an interesting enough addition to make it a rock-solid effort for Ritchie. It’s also a whole hell of a lot of fun and is arguably his funniest movie to date. With that said, The Gentlemen is nothing groundbreaking for the filmmaker by any means. Rather, it is merely an affirmation that Guy Ritchie is still able to bring a different approach to the genre that made him the filmmaker he is today.
3. ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’
While the critical reviews for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. would suggest otherwise, it’s actually one of his most interesting movies. Whereas Ritchie’s sensibilities are a bit too much for something like King Arthur, it’s perfect for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. While the movie still falls prey to the director’s tendency to lean into style over substance, the chemistry from the three leads is undeniably electric.
2. ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’
As Guy Ritchie’s directorial debut, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is an ambitious debut for the filmmaker. It’s easily the grittiest film of his career, while also still holding up as a great little throwback to hard-boiled '90s crime movies. It’s not a perfect movie by any means, but it certainly sent Ritchie on the path to becoming the type of filmmaker that he is today.
There’s no doubt that Snatch is Ritchie’s masterpiece. In essence, the movie perfectly encapsulates Guy Ritchie’s style in a nutshell, which is why it’s his most effective movie. It’s sharply written; it features arguably his best ensemble cast and some highly entertaining and memorable moments. Simply put, it’s the Guy Ritchie film to end all Guy Ritchie films.