With a career spanning four decades and over thirty films,
Steven Spielberg is a titan in Hollywood and the highest grossing director of all time. The man almost practically invented the summer blockbuster and continuously tested his abilities by putting out a wide array of films in nearly every genre. From science fiction to war dramas to period pieces dealing with slavery, Spielberg arguably has the most impressive directing resume there will ever be.
Which is why today, we're covering the 10 Best Steven Spielberg Movies - a task that we shouldn't have to tell you - is no easy feat.
What's your favorite Steven Spielberg movie? Watch the video at the top of the article to see where it landed on the list.
Slide 1/10 – 10. Sugarland Express Kicking the list off at No. 10 is The Sugarland Express from 1974. Starring Goldie Hawn, it was the first theatrical film of Spielberg’s career and also marks the first of many collaborations between Spielberg and famous composer John Williams.
Slide 2/10 – 9. The Color Purple At No. 9 is 1985’s The Color Purple. With heavy themes like domestic violence and incest in the film, it was a stark contrast from the blockbusters for which Spielberg had become known. It was nominated for a whopping eleven Academy Awards, and featured the film debuts of a couple people you might have heard of? Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg.
Slide 3/10 – 8. Catch Me If You Can In the No. 8 spot is Catch Me If You Can, the biographical film about Frank Abagnale. The movie doesn’t inherently feel like Spielberg, but it’s just as good as anything he’s ever done. Leonardo DiCaprio is fantastic as Frank, a teenager who cons everyone around him into believing he's a pilot, lawyer, and doctor before Tom Hanks starts to catch up to him. Based on a true story, the movie is another stellar example of how good Spielberg could stretch outside his norm.
No. 7 is JAWS, the film that made people scared to swim in the ocean and undoubtedly became the prototypical summer blockbuster. This movie changed the entire industry forever. That fact that it's not higher up on this list is a testament to how much better Spielberg continued to get.
Slide 5/10 – 6. Saving Private Ryan The epic World War 2 film is renown for it’s crazy intense opening sequence and earned Spielberg his second Academy award. Starring Tom Hanks and a batch of up-and-comers like Matt Damon and Vin Diesel, the movie was so viscerally accurate that it reportedly caused many veterans to have to leave the screening.
Slide 6/10 – 5. Jurassic Park Jurassic Park is No. 5 and is still revered for its ground breaking use of CGI. Spielberg’s ability to stay ahead of the technological curve as a director was on full display here and wowed audiences with effects no one had ever seen before. There's still few things as frightening as that ear drum shattering T-Rex roar.
Slide 7/10 – 4. Raiders of the Lost Ark The movie that gave us Indiana Jones should be cherished forever. It was a modern day throwback to the serials of the 1940s and had every element of fun that makes Spielberg so good at blockbusters. Honestly, between all of the movies (excluding Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls, obviously), it's tough to pick a favorite. They're all great for different reasons, but the original is hard to top.
After decades of movies about evil aliens coming to Earth to wipe out humanity, this coming-of-age classic went an entirely different direction and made humanity the villain. The movie will more than likely go down in history as Spielberg’s most well known film. Even the iconic bicycle shot in front of the moon became the logo for Spielberg’s production company, Amblin Entertainment.
Slide 9/10 – 2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind In 1977, Spielberg followed up the massively successful Jaws and re-teamed with Richard Dreyfus to bring us Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which was really his first foray into intergalactic science fiction, and what many people consider to this day to be his best. Slide 10/10 – 1. Schindler's List And the best Spielberg movie, at the very least, his most important, goes to Schindler’s List. The black and white historical drama about the Holocaust earned seven Academy awards and is probably Spielberg’s most personal film. It was unlike anything he'd ever done before, and was a stark, unflinching look at the atrocities committed during World War 2 that many films had shied away from up until that point.