Ridley Scott has never been one to cushion the blow when it comes to sticking it to modern consumerist society. From “Blade Runner” to “Thelma & Louise,” “Black Hawk Down” to “American Gangster,” the diseases of so-called civilization become exposed in tableaux of greed, discontent and a cunningly concealed sadism.

Against resplendent sets and lit by gorgeous lighting, Scott’s characters often wallow in violence — by choice or otherwise — with no way out except through more violence, preferably stylish and rife with innuendo. Scott’s depictions of modern society are fraught with double entendres: The outer layer is thickly coated with abundance and power; peel it back and we see the rotting dreck underneath. The genius of the man is that he makes it all so entertaining, so visually rewarding.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.