The Seven Best Steven Spielberg Movies

We don’t have to get into talking about how amazing Steven Spielberg is.  I think we know this.  His body of work speaks for itself.   Spielberg’s  movies have been some of the most imaginative and creative movies of the past 40 years and I’m sure we’ll continue to see his greatness for years to come.

And since the man is in the spotlight again with Warhorse and The Adventures of TinTin, I figured it was a good time to reflect on the forty plus feature films he’s directed.   Unfortunately we can’t rank them all but I decided to come up with seven films that I feel to be his best.

They are in no order and feel free to comment after the jump….

Schindler’s List

It’s pretty tough to argue that this movie isn’t one of the best movies of all time let alone one of Spielberg’s best.   Not only was the directing great but each and every single actor was fantastic.  From Neeson to Fiennes it was non stop drama and an absolute tearjerker.   Anyone who didn’t cry or get chills at the end of this movie deserves to go to hell.   Spielberg is an amazing story teller and his portrayal of Schindler and his fight to protect the Jewish people at a crucial time was exemplary.


I put Jaws on her because A.  It deserves to be but B.  Because I think it’s the most influential film of all time.   And when I say this I mean it influenced real action.  Anyone, and I mean anyone who saw this film never reacted the same when swimming in the ocean ever again.   Over the course of nearly 40 years we’re talking millions of people who get scared in the ocean because of a movie.  Pretty amazing if you ask me.

Jurassic Park

Spielberg has been known for his groundbreaking movies before and Jurassic Park is no exception.   First came Jaws with that giant shark.  Then came E.T.   Even Close Encounters had those funny aliens.  But perhaps no more detailed were his depictions of creatures than in Jurassic Park.  This movie started to pave the way for CG not to mention it absolutely kicked ass.   I’m curious to see if he does a 4th installment as the rumors would have it.

Saving Private Ryan

Veterans of nearly every war since 1940 have said that this is the most accurate war film ever.   The first 15 minutes of this movie have been recognized as possibly the best war scene of any movie ever.   But to tell a story in such a brilliant way (from the perspective of having to save one man yet harnessing the mentality of an entire war) was most impressive.   And clearly Hanks kicked ass, as did his team.

  • Alex

    Your post begs the question, what’s your favorite Rocky movie?

  • Henrik


  • Randy

    Why do you refuse to see the 4th Indy flick? It’s a really fun movie (despite what popular opinion would have you believe).

  • Gothic Sora

    I have to agree with Randy besides If you’ve seen Temple of Dumb you need to see The fourth movie.

  • jaromir

    Two things. 1. Don’t bother with Indy and 2. I would add “Catch Me If You Can” to this list.

  • Victoria

    Thank you for saying Last Crusade is your favourite Indy movie. I have always thought Last Crusade was the best, and my husband and I debate about it any time Indy comes up.

  • Cube

    Spielberg has gone on record saying that he would not have made The Color Purple today and would have an African-American direct it instead. At the time he made it there was a distinct lack of people of color that were directors in Hollywood and it is nice to know that it isn’t the same as when this was made.

  • grandmort

    Ehhh, Jurassic Park on the list? Not really one of Spielberg’s finest. While the special effects were absolutely groundbreaking, the film itself is very mediocre. Enjoyable, yes, but full of plot holes and plagued with a slightly below average script.

    On the other hand Close Encounter of the Third Kind is definitely one of his top 3 (along with Schlindler’s List and Raiders of the Lost Ark), the film really is a masterpiece.

    Special mention should also go to A.I.; while crippled by some cheesy concepts here and there this effort by Spielberg (in particular where attempting to emulate Kubrick’s frigid style) gain strength upon multiple viewings and is actually quite beautiful – the perfect Pinocchio metaphor.

  • Diva D

    1. Schindler’s List.
    2. Minority Report
    3. Saving Private Ryan
    4. Raiders of the Lost Ark
    5. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    6. A.I.
    7. Jaws

    I don’t even know what “best” means anymore, but these are my favorites. Without having seen War Horse, that is. I agree with grandmort about Jurassic Park, sort of. I wouldn’t call it mediocre, but it’s definitely not up there with Spielberg’s finest.

    I do feel bad for leaving off Munich, but Spielberg has made almost nothing but very good or great movies his entire career. I could make a top twenty of his stuff and not have one on there I don’t like (probably). I also feel bad for leaving off Catch Me If You Can.

  • thebone

    temple of fucking doom. #1

  • Joe

    Saving Private Ryan was great, but it has a serious flaw: the movie is supposed to be Ryan’s flashback, but how does he have memories of D-Day and the journey to find him if he wasn’t present until the very end?

  • Zukerttt

    Also add:

    Empire of the Sun.

  • Ender88

    I think War Horse deserves the Color Purples spot.

    I agree that Jaws is indeed one of the most influential films of all time. That movie stayed in theaters for over a year!

    Jurassic Park is one of the greats (so F**k you grandmort)

    Indiana Jones 4 is an abomination and it goes against the theme of the first three films. I will never own that piece of crap. Thank you for retiring George Lucas you won’t be missed.

  • Jo

    It’s hard for me to decide the best — there’s Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, which are examples of the best of film (ever!) and then there are my sentimental favorites, Raiders and E.T. So those four, for sure.

    FYI: I found this really good list of the best Steven Spielberg movies and thought you might find it interesting (esp. number one, looks like people go with sentimentality):

  • Who dat ninja

    I have a hard time taking movie related articles seriously when the author states they refuse to see a movie, particularly when it’s most likely because of vocal minority bashing. Yes those who hate Indy 4 are in the minority. You don’t sell a ton of DVDs and rake up a massive amount of box office cash when nobody likes a movie. This is a fact I’ve had to accept about the Transformers movies (watched em, I hate em), Titanic and Avatar (both of these are at least hilarious though….unintentionally?), and of course Twilight (the rifftrax versions makes these classics).

  • Bry

    These are all great movies, but the article itself seems like it was written by a bullied freshman. “deserves to go to hell”? come on…

  • Ned Diegel

    Close Encounters is by FAR his finest film. SL a very close second.
    @Randy…. Indy 4 IS truly, truly Awful…. shame because I kinda liked the story’s premise.

  • embercoral

    Why is it that both Rocky IV and Indy IV had Russians involved in the plot (and as the villains)? Can’t we pick on some other nationality for a change? The Cold War’s over, guys…