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Steven Spielberg Films - Ranked
Movie list created by Bml93
Sort by: Showing 32 items
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Worst to Best
War Horse (2011)
Steven Spielberg is a masterful director, but this is just sentimental rubbish. He and John Williams goes out in full force in an attempt to move and touch you. They say, with no subtlety, that everything in this film is so majestic, big and beautiful. The only thing it achieves is giving me a desire to puke. Spielberg fails in making me care for anyone in this film. He introduces us to several characters, but I couldn't care less about any of them. When he even fails in making me root for the horse, it's safe to say that this film is a failure.
If anything, Spielberg at least knows how to create some spectacular war scenes. Which is at least something, I guess.
The BFG (2016)
I'm disappointed to say that I really didn't care for The BFG. There are aspects of it to like and admire, and Steven Spielberg knows how to put together a film. Yet I was never engaged or invested into what he decided to tell this time around.
My biggest issue is that I never connected to or cared about the characters. The giant is loveable enough, but the young girl feels like a blank slate. I never managed to latch on to her character. The plot is also unengaging and the way the story turns and how everything resolves itself turned out to be way too silly for me. Spielberg is a great director, but with this film and some of his newer films during his last 15 years, he is starting to turn into a hit-or-miss type of director.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
I've never been a fan of E.T. Not even when I was young, hopeful soul. There are sci-fi elements here that I appreciate, but for me, E.T. is just the very worst of Steven Spielberg.
You see, he has a tendency to be overly sentimental and sappy in some of his films. Occasionally it works fine, but then he usually implements other things in the story to work around the sentimentality. E.T. is just an attempted tear-jerker. And it doesn't work for me.
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
War of the Worlds (2005)
I don't really mind the alien part of it. These films have always sort of had that "B-movie plot" aspect to them and there are few things that fits that more than mysterious saucer men. The problem is however that the film lacks compelling villains, lacklustre and poorly rendered action sequences, as well as way too much of Shia LaBeouf trying to act as a movie star.
The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
I only remember watching some Tintin episodes when I was much younger, and recently I saw some episodes again in order to get back into it. Nevertheless, I'm disappointed. There is no denying that Spielberg have managed to create an solid form for adventure, and the visuals are breathtaking. It is pure entertainment in the same style as Raiders of the Lost Ark, but I never found myself to be as entertained as I should.
The problem is that there is something happening every second. There is rarely any moment to take a breath, or get into these loved characters at all. I'm exhausted, and this is not the film I should feel that in. I never get the chance to involve myself in this mystery. It's just spectacle. Where is the adventure?
Steven Spielberg's sequel is mostly rather solid. The special effects are impressive, but the wonder and amazement from the first film is naturally gone. The story is not particularly great and it's certainly lacking Sam Neill's presence, even if Peter Stormare and Pete Postlethwaite almost makes up for that.
The action is well-done, even if some scenes tends to go on for too long (truck hanging on the edge of the cliff for instance). But watching a Tyrannosaurus rex going on a rampage in San Diego is awesome.
Ready Player One (2018)
I could probably just write "it's fine" and that would be all there is to tell about Ready Player One. It's a film by Steven Spielberg that's based on a book I'm unfamiliar with, one that apparently is slightly popular. I can see and understand why, and I imagine that book is more involving than what the film was. The problem with Spielberg's adaptation is that isn't particularly involving once you get over its nostalgia jerk-fest, which I tend to be rather quickly. The main character is dull. The visuals are nice looking, but it's the kind of spectacle that I quickly zone out off. The story is predictable and straight-forward, and it's themes are not as interesting as the film thinks it is.
Spielberg knows how to put together a film and it's all fine, but I would love to see this in the hands of a more "sinister" director.
It's at its best when it keeps the tone dark and displays horrific and gruesome images. It's at its absolute worst when it turns into a campy adventure. The mix is naturally jarring and occasionally it feels like there are two entirely different films that are both simultaneously fighting for the spotlight. Safe to say that it doesn't work that well for me personally. Harrison Ford is naturally at his best here and he has a charming little sidekick with him. Such a shame that Kate Capshaw is unbearably annoying though.
I was never totally bored with it - and the parts that I liked, the darker and more sinister parts of it, I really liked. But then it had to be so silly at the same time and kinda ruin it. Oh well.
Daniel Day-Lewis does completely vanish into the role of Abraham Lincoln. That's a reason enough to see this Steven Spielberg film. A film that shouldn't be called Lincoln, but The 13th Amendment or something instead. That's not to say that Lincoln ain't a fascinating picture. Because it is. Carried by several strong performances, Lincoln offers itself as a solid history lesson and a film that's generally well-made all over.
But Lincoln can't help but feel a bit overlong and the ending is completely dreadful. It did not have to end with Lincoln getting shot. It does also at times feel like it's a film that's more of a chore to get through than an actual film. The other 2012 film featuring Abraham Lincoln, that just happened to include vampires, were definitely more fun. But one can't avoid how much greatness that's been put into this film.
Bridge of Spies (2015)
It may not be as emotionally connecting as one would dare to hope for, but Steven Spielberg does know how to put together a proper film. It looks and sounds amazing. It got an old-fashioned feel to it that you doesn't see too often this day. The performances are naturally superb.
If you look at it very simply, it's mostly just a film with a lot of people talking together in different rooms, but due to Spielberg's high knowledge of filmmaking craftsmanship, he manages to create a tense and solid film that deserves a watch. Even if it fails to thug your heartstrings.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Jurassic Park does have some quite annoying moments in it, like the kids and a weak opening, but all that is forgiven when you look at how amazingly this film holds up. It doesn't look like it's aged at all. The dinosaurs are really brought to life in this film, and the visual scope of this film is truly magnificent.
But aside from being a visual experience, Jurassic Park is a lot of fun. Steven Spielberg knows how to craft films that are enjoyable in several ways. He's first and foremost a great storyteller, but he's exceptionally skilled in combining several genres into one, adventure, action, horror etc. It's all in Jurassic Park. And it works.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Empire of the Sun (1987)
The Terminal (2004)
You know, I have to say that I was rather surprised that this film doesn't have lot more positive responses than it currently has. I mean, it's barely fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. I found this to be a genuinely funny and deeply touching film with an emotionally satisfying performance from Tom Hanks. The plot is of course all nonsensical, but realism to a film like this is really not needed when its emotional core is strong enough to carry it. It was a warm and sweet experience to watch this film, and I would happily make myself a hot cup of chocolate and watch it again.
When Psycho made people a bit hesitating about taking showers, Jaws made people stay completely out of water. Which is why I'm glad that the swimming season is over for now. Jaws is an effective horror film that is superbly told, filmed and acted. A young Steven Spielberg really established himself as a director with this film, and he did prove that very often, less is more. One of the many genius things about Jaws is that they rarely show the shark. Certainly, it was mainly because they had some trouble with the shark models, but the end result is nevertheless terrifying. What we don't see, and instead think we see, is often scarier than what we do see.
Spielberg does build suspense with great skill. Watching swimming feets underwater accompanied with John Williams legendary score is nearly too much to handle. But, while Spielberg does nearly everything right. There are some flaws here. At least for my taste. It does get a bit messy, chaotic, repetitive at times. There are also certain scenes that feels unnecessary, that breaks the flow of the film and ruins the tension.
The opening scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the more thrilling and engaging opening acts in any film whatsoever. It's also perfectly establishes Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and it perfectly sets up the tone for the rest of the film. The rest of the adventure ain't necessarily as strong as this first scene, but what follows is still an extremely well-made and entertaining film that is elevated by Harrison Ford's charismatic performance.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Minority Report (2002)
Schindler's List (1993)
Schindler's List is a powerful, emotional and heartbreaking film to watch. One that is so tough to sit through, that it can only be watched with once in a while. Driven by great performances and terrific filmmaking all around, Spielberg manages to capture not only the horror of the holocaust, but also the sheer act of kindness and humanity that this terror brought into someone.
It's difficult film to watch, and equally difficult film to talk about. It demands a lot from the viewer, as they're just so many emotions in this film. But Schindler's List is a great example of what you can do with cinema. It's art.
The best film in the Indiana Jones franchise and easily one of the best adventure films out there. The Last Crusade is fully realized and perfect from the very first moment and throughout until the very end. There's not a sour note to be found here. The action sequences are wonderfully captured and thrilling, the humor is spot-on, the plot is exciting and Harrison Ford and Sean Connery are wonderful together. Their chemistry together lifts an already excellent film up to the perfection it is.
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