7 Best Movies to Watch From Scott Free Productions

Staff & contributors
Robert Ford is an aspiring gangster who idolizes Jesse James, leader of the notorious James gang. When that admiration reaches a level where it can transform to challenge and resentment, he starts considering the unthinkable. The cast is excellent- Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner, Sam Shepard, Paul Schneider, and Garret Dillahunt. Brad Pitt delivers an amazing performance which truly captures the presence that Jesse James brought to a room, one that seemed to overcome those around him. In addition the soundtrack is superb, one of the most memorable I have ever heard. This is a very unique, thrilling, and well-shot movie, it is easily one of the most underrated films of the past 10 years.

Genre: Action, Drama, Western

Actor: Alison Elliott, Anthony Harrison, Brad Pitt, Brooklynn Proulx, Casey Affleck, Dustin Bollinger, Garret Dillahunt, Hugh Ross, James Carville, James Defelice, Jeremy Renner, Jesse Frechette, Joel McNichol, Kailin See, Laryssa Yanchak, Mary-Louise Parker, Matthew Walker, Michael Copeman, Michael J Rogers, Michael Parks, Nick Cave, Pat Healy, Paul Schneider, Sam Rockwell, Sam Shepard, Sarah Lind, Ted Levine, Tom Aldredge, Zooey Deschanel

Director: Andrew Dominik

Rating: R

In 1845, two huge and aptly named ships, the HMS Terror and Erebus, were sent on an expedition to the Arctic to find the Northwest Passage, a century-old dream of connecting Asia and Europe through North America. Now, even when all went well, an Arctic expedition in the mid-19th-century was a pretty horrific affair by today's standards, and, as you can imagine, all does not go well. In addition to the bitter cold, the cannibalism, and the malnutrition, The Terror throws in some hideous creatures from Inuit folk tales into the mix that hunt and maim the poor sailors. At its core, however, this is not fantasy horror. Co-produced by Ridley Scott and starring Jared Harris from Chernobyl, The Terror is unrelenting in the depiction of the hopelessness on board the two ships. Great timing and a pervasive sense of dread make this a must-watch for every fan of period-piece horror movies.

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Horror, Mystery

Actor: Ciarán Hinds, Cristina Rodlo, Derek Mio, George Takei, Jared Harris, Kiki Sukezane, Miki Ishikawa, Tobias Menzies

Rating: TV-MA

The Last Duel propped high expectations as the Closing Film at the 2021 Venice Film Festival, but its theatrical release later that year proved to be a flop. Ridley Scott blamed it on millennials, but both critics and streaming audiences have been much more favorable than moviegoers. As a film, it's a rather monumental project: quite a dark period piece set in Medieval France, dealing with harsh and offensive themes. Or better said, it deals with ethics and morality through these harsh and offensive themes. There are many ways where this could have gotten wrong—and it's evident from the labels that have been circulating from the very beginning, that Scott has made his "MeToo" movie—but the truth is much more nuanced. From Eric Jager's 2004 book to a script co-written by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and (most importantly) the astute Nicole Holofcener, The Last Duel is really the best of both worlds: action-packed and devoted to the right side of history.

Genre: Action, Drama, History

Actor: Adam Driver, Adam Nagaitis, Alex Lawther, Ben Affleck, Bosco Hogan, Brian F. Mulvey, Brontis Jodorowsky, Bryony Hannah, Caoimhe O'Malley, Chloe Harris, Christian Erickson, Clare Dunne, Clive Russell, Harriet Walter, Ian Pirie, Jodie Comer, John Kavanagh, Julian Firth, Marton Csokas, Matt Damon, Michael McElhatton, Nathaniel Parker, Oliver Cotton, Paul Bandey, Peter Hudson, Sam Hazeldine, Serena Kennedy, Shane Lynch, Simone Collins, Stephen Brennan, Tallulah Haddon, Thomas Silberstein, Tyrone Kearns, William Houston, Zeljko Ivanek, Zoé Bruneau

Director: Ridley Scott

Rating: R

Based on the 1962 award winning novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High castle presents a world in which World War II concluded with the victory of the Axis powers, dividing the United States of America into two powers on the verge of conflict, the Greater German Reich and the Japanese Pacific States. The show follows Juliana Crain (Alexa Davalos) and her boyfriend Frank Frink (Rupert Evans) as their lives quickly turn into chaos when they come across a film reel that shows a glimpse into the world that could have been, ours, bringing the couple to the restless attention of both governments and of the resistance. The Man in the High Castle will captivate you with excellent writing, a superb cast, and a carefully crafted world that is as believable as it is terrifying.

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thriller

Actor: Alexa Davalos, Brennan Brown, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Chelah Horsdal, DJ Qualls, Frances Turner, Jason O'Mara, Joel de la Fuente, Luke Kleintank, Rufus Sewell, Rupert Evans

Rating: TV-MA

Dakota Johnson and Casey Affleck star in this comedy-drama as a small-town couple, one of whom gets diagnosed with a terminal illness. Their best friend (Jason Segel) puts his life on hold and moves in with them, picking up the husband when he faints at the hospital, shaving his head in solidarity with the wife, and even taking care of the dog who also gets sick.

It might seem like just another terminal illness drama, but Our Friend is based on a true story, and it’s as much about the illness as it is about how to be there for people, and reversely, the power of people being there for you.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Ahna O'Reilly, Azita Ghanizada, Casey Affleck, Chandler Head, Cherry Jones, Dakota Johnson, Denée Benton, Gerald Brodin, Gwendoline Christie, Hali Everette, Isabella Kai, Jacinte Blankenship, Jake Owen, Jason Bayle, Jason Segel, Jennifer Pierce Mathus, Jeronimo Spinx, John McConnell, Lindsey Reimann, Marielle Scott, Mark Costello, Michael Papajohn, Mike Lutz, Paige King, Reed Diamond, Richard Speight Jr., Ritchie Montgomery, Sampley Barinaga, Susan Williams, T.C. Matherne, Violet McGraw

Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite

Kenneth Branagh’s third Hercule Poirot movie does everything it can to divorce itself from the quaintness of a typical Agatha Christie adaptation. Loosely based on the novel Hallowe’en Party, this outing swaps exotic locales for the claustrophobic confines of a gothic Venetian palazzo and flirts outright with horror. The film, shot through more Dutch angles than an Amsterdam maths class has ever seen, uses the genre's visual language to credibly suggest that this mystery might actually have paranormal undertones. Forcing Poirot to reconsider his die-hard loyalty to rational explanations is an interesting twist — it punctures the idea of him as a mystery-solving god and gives the film bigger questions to chew on than whodunnit.

What that does, however, is sap the satisfaction of watching him expertly crack the puzzle, because the movie spends so much time centering Poirot’s crisis of confidence. A Haunting in Venice’s tone switch to serious horror is also at odds with the campily bad accents and mostly overwrought acting from the (much less starry than usual) cast. It’s not the same kind of reliable guilty pleasure we expect these vehicles to be, then, but this outing of Branagh’s Poirot is at least an interesting experiment in expanding these stories' usual limits.

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Actor: Ali Khan, Amir El-Masry, Camille Cottin, David Menkin, Emma Laird, Jamie Dornan, Jude Hill, Kelly Reilly, Kenneth Branagh, Kyle Allen, Lorenzo Acquaviva, Michelle Yeoh, Riccardo Scamarcio, Rowan Robinson, Tina Fey, Vanessa Ifediora

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Rating: PG-13

Poker Face before it, it reveals the killer right at the start. And since the hook is knowing how the crime is solved, not who does it, Elsbeth is the perfect guide to take us through the end. She’s giddy but intelligent, wide-eyed but perceptive. Though the rest of the cast’s acting is just network TV-good, Preston herself and the many guest stars are consistently stellar and a blast to watch. The writing and overall acting could be better, but it’s worth watching for Elsbeth’s magnetic presence.

Genre: Crime, Drama

Actor: Carra Patterson, Carrie Preston, Wendell Pierce

Rating: TV-14