5 Great Tony Scott Movies Worth Reconsidering

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The director's body of work was uneven, but these films are better in retrospect than critics gave them credit for.

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We're all shocked and saddened by the news that filmmaker Tony Scott, 68, died Sunday in what appears to be a suicide. As tributes and obits roll out, most will identify Scott with Top Gun, his biggest commercial success—but as with most filmmakers, his biggest hit was far from his finest work. Though Scott never quite made the move from blockbuster-maker to critical and Oscar darling that his brother Ridley did, the second half of his career was marked by entertainments that refused to pander or condescend to their audience in the way that big-budget action films often did. He was a filmmaker who first found a style and then found substance, and it's worth taking a moment to praise a few of his films that may have been under-appreciated or undervalued. Five of our favorites are below, but honorable mentions include The Hunger, Unstoppable, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, and Spy Game—and I'll admit that I'm not immune to the pleasures of The Fan and The Last Boy Scout. Add your own favorite Scott films, and thoughts on these, in the comments.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

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Jason Bailey is the film editor at Flavorwire, and has also written for Slate, Salon, and the Village Voice.

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