Mr. Smarty Man

Hollywood Prediction

Ridley Scott vs. The Coen bros.

Ridley Scott and The Coen bros. in an epic showdown! Whose directing career is more successful?

March 31, 2011

By Scott Croco

Ridley Scott  vs.  The Coen bros.

Ridley Scott and the Coen bros. are Hollywood mainstays. They have seen their share of success, and each have loyal followings for their cult classics. People go nuts for Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and Alien, and the Coen's Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski. But who has had the most successful career so far?


Ridley Scott The Coen bros.
19 # Films 15
Alien (1979)
Blade Runner (1982)
Thelma and Louise (1991)
Gladiator (2000)
Hits Fargo (1996)
No Country for Old Men (2007)
True Grit (2010)
Legend (1985)
1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)
A Good Year (2006)
Flops The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
The Ladykillers (2004)
Black Hawk Down (2001)
American Gangster (2007)
Notable Raising Arizona (1987)
The Big Lebowski (1998)


Commercial Success Score is based on adjusted box office numbers, calculated using domestic box office dollars, average ticket price in release year, U.S. population, and tickets purchased per capita.

Ridley Scott leads significantly in both total adjusted box office and average adjusted box office, headed by Alien, Gladiator and Hannibal. The Coen bros. biggest commercial hit is True Grit.

Edge: Ridley Scott

Critical Success Score is based on critics' scores as aggregated on Rotten Tomatoes and user scores from IMDB.

Ridley Scott has a few very well reviewed films: Alien, Blade Runner, and Thelma and Louise. The Coens have Fargo, No Country for Old Men, and True Grit. But the real story here lies in their other films. Ridley Scott's 16 other films average 64%, while the Coens other 12 films average 73%.

Edge: Coen bros.

Miscellaneous Score is based on Academy award nominations and wins, number of films directed, number of films written, Director's Guild nominations and wins, appearances on AFI lists, and inclusions in the National Film Registry.

Thanks to Gladiator (12 noms, 5 wins), Black Hawk Down (4 noms, 2 wins), and Thelma and Louise (6 noms, 1 win), Ridley Scott has collected a significant number of Academy nominations and awards. The Coen bros. have fewer wins and more nominations, with a significant proportion coming from the best picture, best director, and best screenplay categories. Fargo (7 noms, 2 wins), No Country for Old Men (8 noms, 4 wins), and True Grit (10 noms, 0 win) lead the way. Ridley Scott has 3 Director's Guild nominations, the Coen bros. have 2 DGA nominations and 1 win. Both Ridley Scott and the Coen bros. have various films on AFI and NFR lists. Ridley has directed 19 films, The Coens have directed 15. The Coens have written 14 of their films, Ridley Scott has written none.

Edge: Coen bros.

Final Verdict! Final showdown score is the sum of the three categories' scores.

Both directors have very good scores, they are in the top third of all directors. The Coen bros. have been slightly more successful on the strength of their critical success and accolades.

Winner: Coen bros.

Director Score F Rtng CS BO* ABO* BOS AN AW W MS
Ridley Scott 44.82 19 67.4% 16.7 1687 94 14.6 31 9 0 13.5
The Coen bros. 46.59 15 75.8% 23.3 556 37 3.8 33 6 14 19.5
* In Millions of Adjusted Domestic Dollars

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