With The BFG opening this weekend, I’m sure you will draw many loyal fans into theaters, as well as gain and inspire a new generation of moviegoers. You are one of the main reasons I fell in love with cinema at such a young age, even if I didn’t know it at the time. Your movies have brought me endless hours of joy and wonder, scared the crap out of me by making me nervous that dinosaurs were walking the Earth again, and even inspired me to become an archeologist for a short amount of time. Perhaps most importantly, they presented me with slices of history that I may not have ever been introduced to otherwise. Sir, it’s impossible to make a definitive Top 10 of your work. With over 30 feature length-directing credits to your name, I’m bound to piss some people off with my list. Nonetheless, let’s jump right into it with number 10.
While not loved by critics, this is a movie I watched countless times during my childhood. It always instilled a sense of wonder in me and for that reason it earns a spot on my list.
- Catch Me If You Can
What happens when you have two pedigree actors playing a game of cat and mouse while one of Hollywood’s best directors oversees it? Gold.
I’m still afraid to go into the ocean and I probably always will be… but I’m not mad about it. This movie revolutionized the film industry, and introduced blockbuster films as we know them and crave them today. And above all else, always have a bigger boat.
- E.T. the Extra Terrestrial
I could go on for days about this film. If I find out that a friend of mine has never seen it, I drop everything I’m doing and make it a priority to sit down and watch it with them. I love seeing people’s reaction to this beautiful story. It is a true classic in every sense of the word. A film that holds up with younger and older audiences alike Mr. Spielberg really captured lightning in a bottle here.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
My favorite trilogy of all time. To me, you’d be hard pressed to find a better character in cinema than Indy and quite frankly Mr. Spielberg couldn’t have done a better job introducing him to us. But don’t worry, Indy isn’t done on this list.
- Minority Report
A futuristic thriller starring Tom Cruise? I’m in, but what kept me engaged was the complexity of the story. The moral issues (surrounding politics, the media, free will, etc.) presented in this film, of which there were plenty, are tough to juggle. But in typical Spielberg fashion, the director made it look effortless. The result is an amazing, multifaceted movie with more than a few kickass, adrenaline-pumping scenes.
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Rarely does the last film in a trilogy (we’ll just keep calling it a trilogy, or at least the original trilogy) take first place on the podium but I’d be lying if I didn’t say this was my favorite of the three. The introduction of Henry Jones, Sr. played by Sean Connery was an amazing addition, and the cast worked off each other extremely well. The man at the helm should be given a round of applause for creating yet another masterpiece.
- Jurassic Park
Now this is where it gets tricky. This is one of my favorite movies of all time. Actually, this and The Last Crusade are my two favorite movies on this list, but that doesn’t mean that they are Spielberg’s best directing efforts. Seriously, how can you watch this movie and not be in awe? What I love most (and I’m sure everyone else does as well) is that in today’s world where mostly everything is computer animated, THIS FILM blows all of that crap out of the water and it’s 22 years old!!! I really thought they had actual dinosaurs in this movie as a kid, and some days I’m still convinced.
- Saving Private Ryan
Gripping, compelling and a story that hits a chord deep within its audience; what more can you ask for? Well for starters, how about an all-star cast led by Tom Hanks? If you haven’t seen this WWII drama yet you’re certainly missing out. Saving Private Ryan is a perfect example of Spielberg at his finest. Not only are his shots beautiful, but the performances he drew from his cast were inspiring. This film certainly deserves to be here, and in a lot of people’s opinions it should be #1. But if you’re asking me what film I think has earned GOAT status then look no further.
- Schindler’s List
What can be said about this that could bring it justice? I feel any words I put here will be inadequate. The choice to shoot this film in black and white is my all-time favorite strategic decision made by a director. Please,I’m begging you if you’ve never seen this movie you need to right away. This is a perfect film in my eyes. Thank you Steven Spielberg from the bottom of my heart.
So, did you agree? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions as to why you did or didn’t agree. But don’t forget guys, go to the movies! (Or watch one of these!)
P.S. let’s hear from the man himself on his experiences at the movies.
“Every time I go to a movie, it’s magic, no matter what the movie’s about.”