With Jurassic World in theaters this week, this feels like the right to time to celebrate one of cinemas greatest minds. In my opinion the greatest filmmaker of all time is the one and only Steven Spielberg, the man behind Indiana Jones, Jaws, Jurassic Park, E.T, Schindler's List and a whole list of masterpieces. He's a filmmaker who's captured our imaginations and our hearts. So here are the Best & Worst films of Steven Spielberg.
UNDERRATED - Minority Report
Minority Report envisions a future in which almost all murder crime has been eradicated through very complex technology which allows a special police unit to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes. Tom Cruise stars as Chief John Anderton, a member of this special unit who is accused of committing a murder in his future and goes on the run from his former unit.
Minority Report is a great film and doesn't get the credit it deserves, the movie has a lot of fun with itself but also holds a deep and powerful narrative. We as the audience discover events as Anderton does and as the story unfolds, the film becomes more and more interesting.
You got me. I cannot think of any Spielberg film so critically acclaimed that does not deserve it's praise.
WORST - Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
I don't think anyone's going to argue with me on this one. Now.....I actually do think Crystal Skull is a fine film, there's a lot of great stuff in here, but there's also a lot of bad. The monkeys, the aliens and the science fiction element as opposed to more mythic relics did stir me the wrong way. I enjoy Crystal Skull, but when scrolling through Spielberg's filmography, this is unarguably one of his weakest films.
BEST - Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park....a film that captured my imagination as a child has not lessened in any way, shape or form over the years. I re-visit Jurassic Park at least 4 times a year and every time I am in awe of the magnificent effects, the masterful storytelling and the wonderful characters that Spielberg created here. The script is endlessly quotable whilst being incredibly intelligent and the characters are all so memorable. This is my second favorite film of all time after The Empire Strikes Back of course and like Star Wars, it is an endlessly imaginative and entertaining film that will stay in my list of favorite films for as long as I live.
The series expanded with three sequels, the latest of which is Jurassic World, which sees John Hammond's dream of a fully operational Dinosaur theme park come to life, you can check out my thoughts on that film here.
BEST SCENE - "When you gotta go, you gotta go"
A scene which shocks and impresses me each and every time I see it is the reveal of the Tyrannosaurus Rex in Jurassic Park. When Dennis Nedry has deactivated the park's defenses, a lot of the 'attractions' break free, the first of which is the T-Rex, the king of the Dinosaurs. Our main characters just happen to be stuck outside of the Tyrannosaur paddock when this goes down and all are subject to the horror of a carnivorous Dinosaur escaping captivity.
Everything about this scene has now become so iconic, most of all is the water on the dashboard which trembles at the arrival of the T-Rex.
WORST SCENE - Monkey Business
One of the most laughable and frankly annoying scenes that Spielberg has ever created was in Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. When Shia LaBeouf's character, Mutt Williams, who is revealed to be Indy's son, gets caught in some vines during a cliff-side chase, he somehow communicates with a pack of Monkeys to help him swing back to the action and help him attack the enemy? Sounds ridiculous right....that's because it is.
What are your best and worst of Steven Spielberg? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @JamesPorter97