The Top Ten Steven Spielberg Movies

Top-10We saw quite a bit of discussion last week here about Steven Spielberg, and that prompted me to focus this month’s “Top Ten” on officially ranking his ten best films.

It was quite a challenge, actually, because when you talk about Steven Spielberg films, you’re talking about several of the greatest films of all time. He’s one of the most popular directors of all time, due to the fact that he’s made so many of the most popular movies of Spielberg_filmsall time. His filmography also has a number of powerful, dramatic films as well. Certainly he has more than ten that could be considered great, so it was difficult to narrow down the field!

But that’s all part of the challenge, and I’m more than happy to take it on!

Click through to see how they shook out!


catch_me_if_you_can10) “Catch Me If You Can”

In 2002, Spielberg brought us the true story of con man Frank Abagnale. In the 1960s, Abagnale posed as an airline pilot, a doctor and a lawyer. He forged over $2 million worth of checks. Spielberg united with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks in order to provide a humorous, energetic romp. Often overlooked in the wake of his other films, “Catch Me If You Can” is solid, crowd pleasing entertainment!

minority_report9) “Minority Report”

Based on a story by legendary sci-fi author Phillip K. Dick and starring superstar Tom Cruise, “Minority Report” envisions a future where “pre-cogs” can prevent violent crime by envisioning the future. When the Captain of the PreCrime Unit is fingered for a future crime, however, everything gets turned upside down. Steeped in themes of free will vs determinism and packed with action, this Spielberg offering is a slick, thought-provoking sci-fi film.

saving_private_ryan_ver18) “Saving Private Ryan”

Spielberg’s war movie is famed for its half hour long opening scene, portraying the D-Day assault on Omaha Beach. It’s widely regarded as the greatest battle scene ever filmed. The rest of the film follows a mission to save a single soldier; the sole survivor of four serviceman siblings. “Saving Private Ryan” earned Spielberg his second Academy Award for Best Director, and many bemoan the fact that it lost Best Picture.

lincoln7) “Lincoln”

“Lincoln” revolves around the passage of the 13th amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery in America permanently. For what is essentially a Congressional showdown film, “Lincoln” is intense and infused with a surprising amount of humor. It’s also an excellent historical drama. It will most likely be best remembered for the spectacular performance of Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln, which won him his record third Best Actor Oscar.

BT-Top-10-May-20126) “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”

“Close Encounters” portrays the wonder of contact with friendly extraterrestrials in awe-inspiring fashion. Its early chapters establish the characters, and just what kind of an impact such contact might have had on their families, while the finale gloriously imagines a musical exchange between human and aliens. Solid storytelling, great acting, and superb (practical) special effects make “Close Encounters” a timeless film.

jurassic_park_ver25) “Jurassic Park”

With “Jurassic Park”, Spielberg brought Dinosaurs back to life. Wondrous and fascinating, but also ferocious and dangerous. The resulting film turned out to be one of the most adventurous action movies ever made, as people ran for their lives from real dinosaurs in a wildlife preserve theme park. Of course, it was also a technologically revolutionary film. With its CGI Dinosaurs, “Jurassic Park” launched special effects into the computer age.

schindlers_list4) “Schindler’s List”

Undoubtedly Spielberg’s most important film, and his most highly decorated as well. It won him his first Best Director Oscar, it won Best Picture, and it’s been selected by the American Film Institute as one of the top ten American films ever made on both of their “100 Years” listings. At once a heartbreaking portrayal of the cruelty that humanity is capable of and an inspiring tale of the bravery and selflessness we have the potential for.


Jaws3) “Jaws”

The film that started the Summer Movie Season. “Jaws” was so frightening to people at the time of its release, that many forswore swimming in the ocean. It stands tall to this day because it’s built on the solid fundamentals of a good story and great acting, and the practical effects used for the shark will always hold up. Of course it also deserves special note for being the film that launched Spielberg’s career into the stratosphere!


raiders_of_the_lost_ark_ver12) “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

Inspired by the movie serials of the 1930s and 40s, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” reintroduced adventure movies and non-stop action into the theatres of the 1980s. With its whip cracking, iconic hero and its unforgettable action sequences, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” has become a film for the ages. It’s widely hailed as one of the greatest action movies ever made. Excitement, entertainment and adventure abound.


e_t_the_extra_terrestrial_ver21) “E.T.”

Steven Spielberg’s most beloved film. A boy meets a stranded alien botanist, and an incredible friendship is born. Comedy and adventure ensue as the boy tries to hide E.T within his house, but we soon learn he can’t stay forever. Will he be able to call for rescue before he’s captured by the government? Heartwarming and endearing, “E.T.” tells a beautiful story about the possibilities of the universe, and the joy of being a child.


Well, there you have it folks. The Top Ten Steven Spielberg Movies.

What do you think? Are there any omissions which upset you? How about the rankings? Which ones do I have too high or too low?

Let us hear it!

Daniel Fogarty

119 thoughts on “The Top Ten Steven Spielberg Movies

  1. You know, for as much crap as I give the guy, he has made some damn good films over the years. I haven’t seen E.T. since I was a kid so I don’t know where I would rank it now, but Raiders of the Lost Ark definitely earns its top spot. I would probably give Saving Private Ryan a boost, but hey, I can’t complain too much. Nice work buddy!

    • Thanks Eric. He’s had a couple of rough spots these past few years… I wouldnt wish War Horse on people, thats for sure. But yeah, obviously he didnt get where he is by NOT having great films on his resume, you know? 😉

      • Side note on Warhorse: Turns out its my 8 y.o. niece’s favorite movie EVAR!!1! Apparently they have to play it at least 2 times a day, every day, in their house to maintain peace and harmony. HA!

        What is it about 8 y.o. girls and horse movies?

  2. Definitely agree with #s 1,2 and 3, and their order. As for “Minority Report” at #9, I disagree. It is my least favorite of Spielberg’s films. The look and feel of it is great, but the story has some major holes you can drive a semi through.

  3. Being the misery guts I am, I have to go with Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List as my faves. Never did much like ET as a kid as I was far too sensitive to these sorts of things!

  4. Pingback: Movie Battle: A 4-Way Battle Between 4 War Films | The Filmster

  5. Pingback: The Filmster Wonders: Steven Spielberg’s Box Set | The Filmster

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