The ten best Steven Spielberg movies, ranked by Rotten Tomatoes

Steven Spielberg is an undisputed master of cinema. He has directed many movies throughout his life, and while he has had failures with a few of them (we’re taking a look at you, At all times), lots of his movies at the moment are considered to be a number of the biggest of all time.

With a filmography including sci-fi blockbusters, serious historical dramas, and globe-trotting adventures, Spielberg made his mark on multiple genres and showed his skills as a various storyteller. Spielberg has now directed 36 feature-length movies, with the autobiographical The Fabelmans the most recent in a protracted line of hits. The films below have been ranked the very best of the filmmaker’s illustrious profession.

10. Bridge of Spies (2015) – 91%

No. 12 — Tom Hanks ($31 million) in “ Bridge of Spies” (2015)

This film tells the true story of lawyer James B. Donovan, who’s hired to barter the discharge of Air Force pilot Francis Gary Power from the Soviet Union in exchange for convicted KGB operative Rudolf Abel, whom he defended in court a couple of years prior.

With a script co-written by the Coen Brothers and outstanding performances from Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance, Spielberg takes this often-overlooked moment in history and turns it right into a gripping piece of cinema. It’s one among the few times Spielberg has ever done a historical thriller, and he knocks it out of the park.

9. Jurassic Park (1993) – 92%

The cast of Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park.Universal

While it is probably not for everybody, Jurassic Park is a chief example of Spielberg’s filmmaking magic, as he captured the wonder and imagination of audiences worldwide by bringing dinosaurs to life on the massive screen. Jurassic Park stands out as the cinematic equivalent of an amusement park ride, but it surely still incorporates a heartwarming and thought-provoking story concerning the dangers of trying to regulate nature.

This movie also revolutionized Hollywood with its use of computer-generated imagery and animatronics that also holds up 30 years later. Though many sequels have followed, none compare to the awe and majesty of this legendary blockbuster.

8. Saving Private Ryan (1998) – 94%

Nothing can prepare audiences for this film, which is taken into account among the finest war movies ever made. The opening battle on Omaha Beach alone made Saving Private Ryan a horrifying landmark of cinema, capturing the brutal and disturbing chaos that actual soldiers faced on the shores of Normandy.

This film’s depiction of the war was so realistic that it triggered PTSD in veterans who fought on D-Day. It also inspired other storytellers in how they portrayed war and motion in media, ultimately changing how many individuals perceive armed combat.

7. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) – 94%

Fresh off the success of Jaws, Spielberg sparked audiences’ imaginations with this dazzling and heartfelt depiction of humanity’s first contact with alien life. Featuring groundbreaking computer graphics, beautiful visuals, and a well-written story, Spielberg creates a way of each awe and horror as Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) and the opposite protagonists attempt to unravel the mystery behind the aliens’ actions.

Together with multiple other science-fiction movies of the ’70s, this cinematic masterpiece helped breathe latest life into the genre, making it a must-see for fans of sci-fi and cinema alike.

6. The Fabelmans (2022) – 95%

Paul Dano and Michelle Williams watch The Greatest Show on Earth.

Based on his own upbringing, Spielberg tells the story of a boy growing up and pursuing his dream of being a filmmaker as his parents struggle to get by, raise their family, and hold their marriage together.

It is evident that the director poured his heart and soul into portraying what is actually his own life story and a wonderful love letter to cinema, making The Fabelmans the culmination of his long profession. It can also encourage young audiences to grow to be filmmakers themselves.

5. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – 96%

After suffering a critical failure with 1941, Spielberg reestablished himself as a cinematic genius with this film fresh from the mind of George Lucas. In the primary of most of the audiences’ adventures with Indy, the whip-cracking explorer faces off against his rival, Belloq, and the Third Reich as he tries to retrieve the long-lost Ark of the Covenant. Exciting, funny, and suspenseful, this film is ideal for many who need to enjoy and escape right into a riveting adventure world wide.

4. Catch Me if You Can (2002) – 96%

Catch Me If You Can

This film tells the probably-true story of Frank Abagnale Jr., who claims to have conned his solution to tens of millions of dollars by masquerading as a Pan Am pilot while attempting to elude FBI Agent Carl Hanratty.

Leonardo DiCaprio is at his most charming as Abagnale, who sweet-talks his way through almost every obstacle in an exhilarating game of cat-and-mouse. Though his actions are flawed, the audience can’t help but sympathize with him and luxuriate in watching him trick everyone he comes across.

3. Jaws (1975) – 97%

Roy Scheider in a scene from Jaws.

This film made Spielberg a household name, and it made tens of millions of individuals afraid of swimming within the ocean. When an awesome white shark starts eating people off the coast of Amity Island, the chief of police, a marine biologist, and a veteran shark hunter team as much as kill the beast. To say that Jaws is a horror movie is an oversimplification, because it blends many other genres together to create an exhilarating adventure on the high seas.

There have been so some ways this film could have gone during its troubled production, which saw the shark breaking down multiple times. Fortunately, Spielberg elevated this film by limiting the shark’s appearance on screen and using unforgettable POV shots accompanied by John Williams’s bone-chilling rating. The film thus turned this would-be B-movie into a unprecedented and suspenseful thriller and cinema’s first summer blockbuster.

2. Schindler’s List (1993) – 98%

Making a movie concerning the Holocaust isn’t any easy feat. Given the heavy subject material, some wouldn’t have imagined Spielberg being the person for the job, on condition that he was typically known for creating family-friendly blockbusters.

Nonetheless, Spielberg displays his range as a director in its horrifying and poignant depiction of one among the darkest periods in human history. Audiences won’t find a way to carry back the tears while watching this film, especially its heart wrenching ending.

1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – 99%

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

The film tells the enduring tale of a 10-year-old boy who befriends an lovable little alien and tries to return him to his family. E.T. is filled to the brim with Spielberg’s childlike sense of affection and wonder, presenting this story of alien contact as a fairy tale akin to Peter Pan.

Like a few of Spielberg’s other movies, this one shows young Elliot (played by Henry Thomas, who gave among the finest child performances ever) learning to live without his absent father, with E.T. being the imaginary friend who helps him grow. Upon release, this film usurped Star Wars because the highest-grossing film of all time and immediately established itself as a timeless classic.

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