Steven Spielberg’s massive new movie “Ready Player One” not only riffs on the filmmaker’s legacy, but harkens back to the breezy and imaginative fun of his biggest crowd-pleasers.
Spielberg’s influence on both popcorn blockbusters and history-based prestige films really can’t be overstated: This was, after all, the man who gave us both “Schindler’s List” and “Jurassic Park” — and in the same year.
Since 2000, Spielberg has toggled between fun movies and serious films — though, weirdly, his serious films have been among his most fun. The serious films (“The Post,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Lincoln”) have been well-regarded. The fun movies (“The BFG,” “Tintin,” “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”) have not.
But despite his recent disappointments, the Spielberg brand still means something. Because over the five decades he’s been at this, Spielberg has made only a handful of duds and an even scanter number of genuinely bad movies. (And even in the face of a few flops, his overall filmography still makes him the highest-grossing director.)
Here’s a highly subjective (but nonetheless correct) ranking of his 32 feature films, from worst to best.