Guy Ritchie has made quite the career for himself. Starting out with British gangster films and transitioning into blockbuster fare, Ritchie has seen both commercial and critical success over his career. But what are the best Guy Ritchie movies of all time? Does his earlier work still have that kinetic energy, or are you a fan of his movies that are fun for the whole family? It’s a hard case, but in this list, we’ll crack it.
FILMS DIRECTED BY GUY RITCHIE
11. Swept Away (2002)
Remakes get a bad rap. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of remaking an older film, one thing you definitely need is a sense of needing to exist, and that’s where Swept Away ultimately fails.
The movie follows a self-centered woman who’s stranded on a deserted island with a young soldier, and the two can’t stand each other in the slightest. The characters lack the same emotional depth as those in the original. Nothing new is added to the remake to give it any reason to exist, and you feel all the angrier for what Guy Ritchie could have used his time to make instead.
GUY RITCHIE FILMS
In the latest King Arthur adaptation from 2017, the titular character loses his father. He’s raised on the streets while his uncle takes control of the crown until Arthur manages to pull Excalibur from the stone.
There have been numerous adaptations of King Arthur over the years. Oddly enough, the one that’s most fondly remembered seems to be Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which is about as loose of an adaptation you can get. Maybe the fact it does something unique with the source material helped it stand out from the pack, something that can't be said of Ritchie’s King Arthur, which has all the action but lacks emotional richness.
GUY RITCHIE FILMOGRAPHY
9. Aladdin (2019)
Most live-action Disney remakes follow the same formula: recreate the original but add a little more depth to the female characters and throw in a new song. 2019’s Aladdin follows that to a “T.”
2019’s Aladdin has the same plot as the first where a street urchin comes into possession of a magical lamp, complete with genie. Aladdin uses his newfound powers to win the heart of Princess Jasmine. Considering the original is one of the best animated films of all time, it’s hard to see anyone wanting to engage in this cash grab 10 years from now.
GUY RITCHIE MOVIES LIST
8. Revolver (2005)
After serving time in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, Jake returns to the streets to humiliate his former employer. Now a bounty is on his head, and he’ll need the help of two brothers to make it out alive.
Guy Ritchie was interested in ideas surrounding Kabbalah, a type of Jewish mysticism, when making Revolver. Symbols and numerological references pop up repeatedly throughout the film, which tries to add philosophy to what would ordinarily be a standard Guy Ritchie film.
The result is something that doesn’t always land but is admirable for just how weird it is and how Ritchie tries to advance narratives he’s clearly interested in.
GUY RITCHIE BEST MOVIES
7. RocknRolla (2008)
Guy Ritchie has written a sequel for RocknRolla, but it hasn’t received studio approval. Instead, he’s spent the time after this film primarily making big-budget studio films. It’s a shame because a sequel to such a fun film would be a treat.
A decade after Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, one of the best crime movies ever made, Ritchie returns to the seedy world of underground British crime.
This time around, some small-time crooks decide to invest in legitimate real estate only to find themselves in debt to an old-school gangster. With RocknRolla, Ritchie’s trademark style and editing choices are back. The style may outweigh the substance, but RocknRolla showed Ritchie still had original stories to tell.
MOVIES DIRECTED BY GUY RITCHIE
6. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
2009’s Sherlock Holmes succeeded in presenting a new version of the classic literary character. The sequel gives us… about more of the same. Great sequels give us what we expect along with the unexpected. Game of Shadows boasts few surprises.
This time, Holmes and Watson are hot on the trail of Professor Moriarty, who’s committed a litany of crimes across London. The style and action has remained stagnant since the first film. While it’s not a bad style by any means, you could easily mix up elements of either film if you were to watch them back-to-back.
BEST GUY RITCHIE FILMS
5. The Gentlemen (2020)
Should a director try to branch out or stick to their bread and butter? After a host of studio efforts, Ritchie returned to his usual shtick with 2020’s The Gentlemen. The movie follows an expatriate from America who builds an incredibly successful marijuana empire across the pond.
It’s entertaining enough but feels like an homage to the plots and characters you’d find in his earlier works. The good thing is that those kinds of films are so fun, you don’t mind getting a lesser version of it. The Gentlemen manages to fit neatly into the Guy Ritchie filmography, and we’d rather see a dozen more of these than whatever the studios have in mind for him.
ALL GUY RITCHIE MOVIES RANKED
4. Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Looking back, it’s interesting to see how Batman Begins influenced a generation of movies outside of the superhero genre. This can most readily be seen in 2009’s Sherlock Holmes, which follows the famous detective as he tries to solve the mystery surrounding a swath of murders around London.
The film gives the literary detective a gritty backstory, standing out with a few choice stylistic flourishes. Most notably, the film uses slow-motion during the superb action sequences to show Holmes’ thought process before jumpstarting everything once again. It’s a perfect way to film intelligence and make the adaptation stand out from every other Sherlock Holmes movie out there.
LIST OF GUY RITCHIE FILMS
3. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
After losing a hand in a poker game, Eddy has to find a way to recoup the costs, or he’ll be forced to sell over his dad’s pub. Guy Ritchie’s first feature-length film showed exactly what kind of filmmaker he would be. The way violence is filmed, making it suggestive more times than graphic, combined with unique editing made for a visceral thrill ride.
It also showed how Ritchie valued the casting process. Behind the scenes footage showcases how Ritchie auditioned hundreds of people to get the cast just right. And if there’s one thing many Guy Ritchie films seem to get right, it’s that the casting is always top-notch.
LIST OF GUY RITCHIE FILMS, RANKED
2. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is arguably Guy Ritchie’s most underrated film about a CIA and KGB agent joining forces to stop a nuclear apocalypse. It’s stylishly cool, making for a fun retro throwback with one of the most charming casts in any film of the 2010s.
It didn’t do too well at the box office upon its release, which is a shame because upon rewatch, you get the sense this could have been a Mission: Impossible-level franchise with many more stories to tell.
THE BEST GUY RITCHIE MOVIE
1. Snatch (2000)
With Snatch, Guy Ritchie takes what worked in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and cranks it up to 11. The film follows dual interweaving plots. One concerns a small-time boxing promoter trying to rig a match while the other concerns a diamond heist.
The characters are more interesting, and the style is more concise. The choice to use jump cuts and other noticeable editing choices keep the pace sharp as you go from one character to the next. Snatch proves Ritchie’s dominion over the modern gangster genre.
Best Gangster Movies of All Time
Guy Ritchie owes a debt to filmmakers of the past who specialized in portraying violent gangsters on film. The works of Martin Scorsese and Brian de Palma can be felt in Ritchie’s films, particularly his earlier works. And they’ve all managed to tell stories that stood the test of time. Ritchie’s work can also be found on our list of the best gangster movies of all time, so see where he stands up amongst others in his genre.