Many of you may simply think of Guy Ritchie as Madonna's ex-husband, but he is in fact one of the most talented British film screenwriters and filmmakers around. He is also still young at 41, with potentially his best years ahead of him. His most recent film release was 'Sherlock Holmes', and he is currently working on two films set for release in 2010 or 2011, but it is his early low-budget films which brought him to the world's attention. On this page I briefly discuss the three films which I believe are his very best.
The 3 Best Guy Ritchie Movies
A look at what I believe to be the three best Guy Ritchie movies, will he ever be back to his best?
Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
'Lock Stock' as it is affectionately called by fans, is a hilarious crime film based in London. The storyline centres around a young gambler who loses £500k to a powerful London crime lord in a rigged game of three card brag. The gambler and his friends decide to rob a smaller gang in order to repay the debts. The film achieved international acclaim and helped 'make' the acting careers of the films stars Vinny Jones and Jason Statham, whilst it also won several awards including the Edgar Award for the Best Motion Picture Screenplay. The hugely popular and well respected magazine Total Filmrevealed in 2004 that the film had been voted the 38th greatest British film of all time, no small feat in a country which brought the world Michael Caine! The total film budget stood at just $1.35m and grossed some $25.2m, testimony to the fantastic script writing. 4.5/5
Ritchie's follow up from 'Lock Stock', building upon the success of the film, was to be another film set in the murky depths of the London criminal underground. The writing oozed confidence, with two intertwined plots, one relating to a search for a missing diamond and another focusing upon small-time illegal boxing promoter (Jason Statham again). This film featured an ensemble cast, with no one character considered more important than another, and is remembered by all who have seen it for its array of unusual and entertaining characters. Such was the impression of 'Lock Stock' that Brad Pitt took a role as an Irish traveller and amateur boxer, as did Benicio del Toro who played a gambling addict known as 'Frankie Four-Fingers'. Snatch was produced with an estimated budget of $6m, and grossed an astonishing $85.5m. Ritchies unique wit and more than apparent business acumen made his one of the hottest properties in the global film industry. 5/5
Ritchie went completely off the boil after his first two films, first releasing the awful and completely unsuccessful 'Swept Away' (2002) after his ex-wife starting meddling in his career. Swept Away cost $10m to produce and grossed just over $500k. Then came the entirely average 'Revolver' (2005) which had been Americanised, probably due to the source of funding, yet failed entirely to appeal to American audiences. Not an entirely bad film, at least watchable, but nowhere near Ritchie's prior standards. It was to be three years before Ritchie made his comeback with RocknRolla, a film which looks to have saved his career. Ritchie went back to his roots with a London crime film, although with a more serious and much darker tone than his earlier attempts, with the film centering around crime boss Lenny Cole and his second in command Archy. Lenny agrees to undertake some work for a Russian real estate tycoon, and he happily agrees in return for a large fee, with the Russian handing over his 'lucky' painting as an assurance. It all goes wrong for Lenny when band of thieves known as the 'wild bunch' intercept the large payment, whilst the lucky painting goes missing - with his Crack addicted stepson suspected. I could reveal the entire plot of course, but that would ruin the film for you and it is well worth a watch! RocknRolla had a production budget of $18m and grossed $25m, a deserved step back in the right direction for this talented writer and director. 4/5