by George Anastasia, Glen Macnow
Quentin Tarantino’s success burst open doors worldwide for young screenwriter-directors touting concepts for black comedies and stylized crime capers. Most of their scripts, sad to say, turned out to be nothing more than poor imitations.
One particularly notable exception was Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The twisting, amusing heist movie was written and directed by Guy Ritchie, a 29-year-old Brit who never went to film school and learned his craft by creating music videos and TV commercials.
Unfortunately, as we see it, this feature-length debut also serves as the high point of Ritchie’s career—unless you count his eight-year marriage to Madonna. One of his later films, Snatch, also makes it into our Top 100. But like Orson Welles and M. Night Shyamalan, Ritchie peaked early.
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