Monday, November 19, 2012

Ranking the Films of Steven Spielberg

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Recently, Vulture ranked all 28 of Steven Spielberg's films. As bloggers Will Leitch and Tim Grierson wrote: "Spielberg doesn't always receive his due, dismissed in some quarters as merely a 'commercial' moviemaker who lacks the soul of a true artist." 

The article did get me thinking, though: How would I rank Spielberg's films? So much of his filmography helped peak my interest in the cinema when I was a child. I still regard Jurassic Park as the best experience I've ever had in a theatre. I can still remember feeling my heart in my throat. Combine Jurassic Park with my  love for Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Hook and E.T. and Spielberg was easily the most influential film figure in my younger years. In my eyes, no made better movies. For those seeking both pure adrenaline and loveable characters, Spielberg is where you'd look.

Granted, Spielberg has had his fair share of cinematic misfires, but there's no denying his ability to inspire new generations of filmmakers with his stylistic flair and ability to effortlessly take on any genre or subject.

While I haven't seen everything in his oeuvre, here is how I'd rank the Spielberg films that I have seen:

20) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
19) The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
18) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
17) A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
16) The Terminal (2004)
15) The Color Purple (1985)
14) Saving Private Ryan (1998)
13) Empire of the Sun (1987)
12) War of the Worlds (2005)
11) Catch Me If You Can (2002)
10) Hook (1991)
9) Lincoln (2012)
8) Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
7) Schindler's List (1993)
6) Minority Report (2002)
4) E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
3) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
2) Jurassic Park (1993)
1) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Perfection. Pure, unadulterated entertainment where we get to see Spielberg at his finest.

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