TOP FIVE STEVEN SPIELBERG FILMS

Today sees the release of The BFG, based on the much-loved book by Roald Dahl. More important for me is that it’s the new film from director Steven Spielberg. Probably the best known director in the world – he is a true master of the box office blockbuster. Some may be snobby about his mainstream sensibilities but between him and contemporaries George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola & John Milius they have completely changed how the cinema industry works! Spielberg’s CV is remarkably diverse for a man known for family adventure – From war to political biopic to racial drama. There are many hidden gems in the back catalogue. Even his less successful efforts have great cinematic moments and almost all are worthy of a rewatch.

5. Jurassic Park
The first and best in the Dino-franchise. A great, simple story effectively told. The build up is amongst my favourite sequences of all Spielberg’s films. It’s easy to forget how monumental this was when first released, an epic action movie that pleases the whole family. Some stunning effects that still hold up, and in fact are better than the sequels!

JURASSIC PARK, 1993. ©Universal/courtesy Everett Collection

4. Raiders of the Lost Ark

Harrison Ford playing possibly the greatest cinema character ever invented. An absolutely wonderful throwback to the serials of Spielberg’s childhood. Intelligent and action packed with an unforgettable score.
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3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind

A sci-fi mystery of the best order. Richard Dreyfus is absolutely perfect as the everyman driven by curiosity to leave his family and find out exactly what is going on. The end sequence is astounding and the way the story unfolds is engrossing. It’s a rare blend of an investigative blockbuster that is at once paranoid, intimate and epic.

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2. E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial

Quite simply put – the best family film ever made. Spielberg’s most personal film and his most emotional. The film still inspires tears after multiple viewings. The portrait of American small town family life is fantastically detailed and the Alien story-line feels incredibly realistic despite its sci-fi background.

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1. Jaws

Could it be anything else? This is the film that changed everything. A blockbuster that thrills but really gets to know its characters. An almost perfect film. The cast is spot on and the problems during production led to fewer appearances by the shark – which makes the tension during the first hour unbelievable.

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LEAST FAVOURITE – Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I said earlier that almost every Spielberg film has a couple of great moments that justify watching it. It feels harsh to say ‘THE WORST’ so I’m going with ‘LEAST FAVOURITE’. Such a disappointment. Shia LaBeouf swinging through the trees with monkeys, Indy in a fridge. ALIENS!! I’m holding out hope for the next Indy instalment but this one is best forgotten.