It’s hard to know where to begin when attempting to tackle the monumental career of Steven Spielberg, one that has spanned over 40 years and produced over 100 movies, TV shows, and more.
Spielberg is one of the great movie moguls of our time: he produced some of the most iconic and successful films of the last 30 years, some equally iconic television series, founded his own studio (DreamWorks SKG, along with Jeffery Katzenberg and David Geffen). His producing career has been so iconic and successful that some people tend to forget that Spielberg is also one of the most creative, brilliant, and genius directors of our time as well.
Cynics will accuse Spielberg of being “pure Hollywood”: his films are among the most successful of all time and have broken more box office records than James Cameron, he essentially invented the modern Blockbuster and set the precedent for the modern Studio system, and he puts his name on more bad movies and TV shows than anyone of his stature has any right to do.
Spielberg is often accused of shameless emotional manipulation of his audience, and his films are often called “pandering” and “saccharine”. I personally think this is a great injustice: Looking past the numbers, the success and the legacy and really evaluating Spielberg’s body of work as a director, it becomes quite apparent (to me, at least) that he is one of the most talented, creative, and genius directors of our time.
On a more personal note, Steven Spielberg is my favorite director of all-time and instilled within me, from a young age, an undying passion for cinema. I may be biased, but I truly think that Spielberg’s is one of the most illustrious and incredible bodies of work of any director, living or dead. And so, in light of the release of his latest film, Lincoln (and its seemingly inevitable Oscar triumphs to come), here are the films of Steven Spielberg, ranked from worst to best.