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Top 10 Steven Spielberg Movies

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Born December 18th, 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Steven Spielberg has been active in the film industry since the early 1960s. Though he's also a writer and producer, Spielberg is most well-known for directing movies. These have ranged from adventure, fantasy, drama, epics, science fiction, thrillers, and more. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 movies directed by Steven Spielberg. Special thanks to our user jwiking62 for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest.

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Without this director, summer blockbusters as we know them today wouldn’t exist. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movies directed by Steven Spielberg.

#10 – “Munich” (2005)

With five Oscar nods and box-office receipts of over $130 million, “Munich” was truly an all-around success. Inspired by the real-life events following the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics, this fictional drama strives for historical authenticity while remaining compelling. It also showcases Spielberg’s maturity as a director by presenting a more realistic vision unclouded by the sentimentality for which he’s usually known.

#9 – “Minority Report” (2002)

Based on Philip K. Dick’s short story, “Minority Report” is stylish, suspenseful and makes you think. What more do you need from a neo noir sci-fi flick? How about some mystery and thrills? Spielberg delivers all this through strong characters and a complex plot. Set in a future where cops arrest potential criminals by relying on psychics, the movie also stands out thanks to its moral and ethical themes.

#8 – “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977)

This science fiction classic delves into the world of UFOs in such a visually spectacular way that it won an Oscar for cinematography. Boasting eight Oscar nominations, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” slowly but expertly captivated moviegoers by blending the extraordinary with the ordinary and by gorgeously playing with our emotions. Along with being a critical and commercial success, it’s also been preserved by the National Film Registry.

#7 – “Catch Me If You Can” (2002)

This movie combines comedy and drama to tell the story of real-life con artist Frank Abagnale. This entertaining romp has us constantly wondering what Abagnale will do next to fool the FBI agent on his tail. Even though it’s biographical, the tale does have some unbelievable moments – but the characters pull them off thanks to Spielberg’s great directing and its light and funny mood.

#6 – “Jurassic Park” (1993)

With groundbreaking CGI that brought dinosaurs to life in a way we’d never seen before and action that had us on the edge of our seats, Spielberg deftly turned Michael Crichton’s novel into one of the ‘90s’ highest-grossing films. As blockbuster entertainment to the max, it still has us riveted 20 years later. The proof? Its 2013 3D release made more than $1 billion at the box office!

#5 – “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)

Few Spielberg movies demonstrate the director’s capacity to display human emotion so delicately and poignantly as this unearthly blockbuster. Mixing science fiction with one of cinema’s most beloved and unforgettable friendships, “E.T.” explores growing up and the importance of family, with help from an extremely young but talented cast and a lovable alien. With such universal themes, it’s no surprise the Oscar-winning movie stands the test of time.

#4 – “Saving Private Ryan” (1998)

Set during World War II, this epic net Spielberg his second Best Director Oscar – and with good reason: it contained one of history’s most intense movie openings, dramatic performances and some of film’s most convincing and striking depictions of war. Along with the action and low-tech shooting style, the film also draws its power by tackling the effects of war on the characters themselves.

#3 – “Jaws” (1975)

Afraid of sharks? It’s probably this movie’s fault. Arguably the first summer blockbuster, the flick made history when it became the highest-grossing movie to that point due to its successful formula of action, adventure and high-concept storyline. The movie’s also particularly notable for its continued ability to thrill audiences despite few overt appearances of the great white shark and Spielberg’s use of John Williams’ menacing theme to heighten the suspense.

#2 – “Schindler’s List” (1993)

Spielberg’s epic drama has often been cited as one of cinema’s greatest works. Based on the Thomas Keneally novel, the story follows the real-life tale of Oskar Schindler and his journey from German businessman to protector of Jews during the Holocaust. Partially shot documentary-style, the mostly black-and-white film moved audiences so much it earned over $300 million around the globe and seven Academy Awards.

#1 – “Indiana Jones” Franchise (1981-2008)

Though “The Temple of Doom” and “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” are considered weaker efforts, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “The Last Crusade” were such incredible fantasy-adventure flicks we’ve placed the franchise here. Packed with heart-pumping action, memorable lines, epic quests and Harrison Ford’s star power, the Indiana Jones movies are a testament to Spielberg’s talent for directing fun and timeless movies we’ll want to watch over and over again.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Steven Spielberg-directed film? Be sure to subscribe to for more entertaining top 10s.

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