5 Quintessentially Guy Ritchie Movies

Saturday, November 19 by Christopher Chavez

Guy Ritchie movies are well known for being fast-paced, action-packed roller coaster rides, chock full of colorful, off the wall characters and more twists than a Chubby Checker song. Mostly focusing on crime capers, Ritchie deftly makes use of tracking shots, flash cuts and tight zooms to deliver highly stylized cinematic visuals. From the break out hit “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” to “Sherlock Holmes,” Guy Ritchie movies have gotten better and better (if you don’t count the disaster that was “Swept Away,” Ritchie’s joint project with then wife, Madonna).

“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels." Guy Ritchie’s feature debut is a gritty, action packed heist film. Full of interweaving storylines and seizure-inducing flashbacks and scene cuts, Ritchie’s comic-book, whiplash style of filmmaking is perfect for this story about a group of friends that have to come up with £500,000 to pay off a mob boss. To avoid losing fingers, they decide to rob another group of thieves. They purchase a pair of antique shotguns for the job, not realizing the guns are the object of desire for an entirely separate set of criminals. When the paths of such villainous characters cross, mayhem ensues.

“Snatch." A pair of entwine storylines make up one of Guy Ritchie’s more famous crime films. The first takes place in the world of underground bare knuckle boxing. Turkish, played by Jason Statham, is a promoter who gets mixed up with the infamous Brick Top, a highly feared criminal. When the fighter he is supposed to supply ends up getting knocked out by an Irish gypsy, brilliantly played by Brad Pitt, Turkish must try to convince the gypsy to fight in his place. Meanwhile, an 86-carat diamond becomes the focus of a number of colorful criminals. After the diamond is stolen in a heist, local gangsters mix it up with international thieves and jewelers, each trying to get their hands on the priceless jewel.

“Revolver." Sticking to the genre that made him famous, Guy Ritchie’s story of a criminal seeking revenge is another fast-paced, action packed crime movie. Jason Statham plays Jake Green, a psychologically gifted gambler who is released from prison and decides to go after the man responsible for putting him there, casino boss Dorothy Macha, portrayed by Ray Liotta. Andre Benjamin, of the hip hop duo Outkast, and "The Sopranos" alum Vincent Pastore play Green’s accomplices. After learning he only has three days left to live, Green must set a plan in motion to make sure he can exact his revenge on Macha. “Revolver” is an adrenaline ride of a crime film, the kind only Guy Ritchie could accomplish.

“RocknRolla." Like “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch,” Guy Ritchie’s seventh crime film revolves around a single object. This time, instead of antique shotguns or a priceless diamond, the object of desire in “RocknRolla” is a painting. The painting belongs to a crooked Russian land developer who loans it to a British mob boss who he has just gone into business with. Unbeknownst to the Russian, his assistant hires a group of thugs known as the “Wild Bunch” to steal the painting. True to Ritchie’s style of filmmaking, chaos and confusion go hand in hand with fast paced action as the crooks, lowlifes and druggies all fight for the rights to the painting.

“Sherlock Holmes." Stepping away from gangster crime films, Ritchie takes on the hero of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s series of mystery novels and comes away with his first blockbuster. Robert Downey, Jr. portrays the super sleuth and Jude Law fills the roll of Dr. Watson. “Sherlock Holmes” finds the duo investigating a slew of occult-style murders committed by Lord Blackwood, portrayed by Mark Strong. In the process of stopping another murder, Holmes and Watson capture Blackwood. He is sentenced to death, and just before his hanging, Blackwood delivers an ominous message to Holmes. When it seems Blackwood escapes death, it is up to Holmes and Watson to capture him before Blackwood can set a deadly plan into motion.

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