Steven Spielberg has been responsible for delivering some of the most iconic movies in history. As a producer, Spielberg has helped multiple award-winning movies captivate fans worldwide. As a director, he has cemented himself as one of the greatest of all time.
Spielberg has been directing since the late ’50s and has many big movies to his name. Some of these, such as Ready Player One, Munich and Lincoln have garnered mixed to middle-of-the-road reviews. There are many more Spielberg films that are considered classics, and some of the best pieces of cinema in existence.
10 E.T. Is Still Remembered Fondly For Its Sense Of Wonder & Hard-Hitting Emotion (7.8)
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial has been immortalized – it is still referenced and quoted to this day, despite its 1982 release. E.T. follows a boy named Elliott, who finds and befriends an alien named E.T., discovering that he needs to get back home.
What ensues is a wholesome yet heartbreaking story. E.T. learns more about human life and becomes increasingly attached to Elliott. E.T. set a precedent for any future projects that would try to depict friendships or interactions between humans and alien races. It is often seen as a point of inspiration.
9 The Color Purple Is A Different Kind Of Spielberg Movie (7.8)
The 1985 movie The Color Purple was based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel of the same name. The Color Purple was a turning point for Spielberg, moving away from his usual summer blockbusters. This was the first of his feature films to not have music composed by John Williams.
The Color Purple follows Celie Harris, played by Whoopi Goldberg, and portrays her struggles as a young black woman in the early twentieth century. Celie deals with domestic violence, racism, sexism and many more hardships. Despite her harrowing origins and ordeals, she finds her self-worth and her way in life, thanks to the friends she makes along the way.
8 Spielberg’s Adaptation Of West Side Story Has Been A Promising Success So Far (7.8)
2021 saw the second feature-length adaptation of the 1957 stage musical West Side Story, this time with Steven Spielberg at the helm. West Side Story sees Rachel Zegler in her debut role as Maria, in the midst of a gang war between the white youth Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks.
West Side Story is an intense story of violence and clashing cultures, but has the overarching theme of romance. The implications are that Maria and Tony are star-crossed lovers, as they come from opposite sides of the conflict. With the first movie being released in 1961, the Spielberg adaptation has been able to improve on its predecessor, and has so far received stellar reviews.
7 Jaws Is The King Of Suspense (8.0)
Jaws was released in 1975 and is often considered to be one of Steven Spielberg’s most impactful movies. Jaws follows a man-eating shark attacking beachgoers at a summer resort. Jaws is widely used as an inspiration for thrillers or those centering around terrifying beasts.
It builds up tension perfectly, helped by the classic music of John Williams. Jaws will always be remembered for re-defining the horror, thriller and suspense genres. It was Spielberg’s best movie upon its release and is still rated highly to this day.
6 Catch Me If You Can Manages To Juggle Lighthearted Comedy & Tension (8.1)
Spielberg’s 2002 movie Catch Me If You Can is based on the autobiography of Frank Abagnale. Frank allegedly performed high-risk-high-reward cons and made a lot of money. Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Frank and Tom Hanks plays the FBI agent, Carl, who’s constantly on his tail. The strong casting doesn’t stop there, and the impressive performances carry Catch Me If You Can to stellar reviews all round.
As the title implies, Catch Me If You Can revels in the chase as Carl goes after con-man Frank. While carrying levels of suspense and intensity, it still manages to keep a light and amusing tone.
5 The Original Jurassic Park Set A Tough Standard For The Franchise To Live Up To (8.1)
The initial Jurassic Park movie, adapted from Michael Crichton’s novel and released in 1993, is the first and undeniably the best of the entire franchise. This is including the more recent Jurassic World movies. Jurassic Park is looked back on with fond memories and nostalgia. Jurassic Park brought the beloved and chaotic world of dinosaurs to life with interactions with humans.
Unfortunately the sequels could never truly recapture the magic and terror of the first Jurassic Park. It is the sole entry from the Jurassic World franchise when discussing Steven Spielberg’s greatest hits.
4 Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade Brought The Franchise Back To Form (8.2)
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade is the third entry in the Indiana Jones franchise. It is often considered to be a return to form following the second instalment, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom. The Last Crusade introduces Sean Connery as Henry Jones Sr, Indiana’s father, and sees Indiana attempt to free him from the clutches of the Nazis.
The Holy Grail is the sought-after treasure of The Last Crusade. The journey to find it is fraught with danger and betrayal, in another action-packed adventure full of wonder and peril.
3 Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark Is The First & Best Installment Of The Series (8.4)
Raiders Of The Lost Ark was the first movie of the Indiana Jones franchise, and arguably its best. Starring Harrison Ford as the American archaeologist, Raiders Of The Lost Ark centers around the mysteries of the Ark of the Covenant. The Nazis are determined to gain its unknown powers.
Raiders Of The Lost Ark cemented the franchise as the embodiment of the action-adventure genre. The Ark’s powers introduced fantastical elements, including some notorious CGI effects. It is the only movie from the franchise to not have Indiana Jones in the title, but it does not diminish his role. Raiders Of The Lost Ark is often referenced and parodied.
2 Saving Private Ryan Still Holds Up As One Of The Best World War II Movies (8.6)
For all the incredible movies that have depicted the brutal scenes of WWII over the years, Saving Private Ryan stays at the forefront of people’s memories. Saving Private Ryan shows the harrowing nature of the Normandy landings. Saving Private Ryan sends a small group of men into enemy lines to an almost certain death, hoping to find and safely evacuate one man.
The 1998 movie boasts a stellar cast of huge names. Tom Hanks, Vin Diesel and Matt Damon (among many others) perfectly represent all the emotions that come with such a tough mission.
1 Schindler’s List Is Harrowing But Its Brilliance Is Undeniable (8.9)
Schindler’s List has been immortalized as being one of the most harrowing movies of all time. The 1993 movie is one of Spielberg’s best. Schindler’s List captures the horrifying nature of the Holocaust and those desperately trying to survive it. It stars Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley among many others. Schindler’s List follows Oskar Schindler, who saves around 1100 Jewish people over the course of WWII.
Schindler’s List is captivating through the sheer intensity of the situation, amidst the brutal nature of the war’s events. Schindler’s stand (despite initially appearing as a greedy German businessman) is both surprising and inspiring. His character progression drives the impact of this exceptional movie.
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