It’s Steven Spielberg‘s birthday! To mark the occasion, here are five of his films, not from the ’80s, that are my favorites. Check some of these out!
The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
This is probably my favorite film Spielberg has directed. It is probably the closest Spielberg has gotten in the 21st century to recapturing the zeitgeist of his eighties’ films. It’s beautifully animated and there are some truly remarkable set pieces that are a joy to watch. It is an action-adventure film that should not be dismissed because it is animated. It is one of Spielberg’s best films and definitely a worthy successor to the Indiana Jones franchise. Now give us that sequel, dammit!
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
It’s no Jurassic Park, but it’s still an achievement to be admired. I respect Spielberg for going darker with the sequel and ramping up the kill count. There’s some great moments spread throughout the film that add some real tension like when they are hiding behind the waterfall or when the T-Rexs are attacking the RV Mobile Lab. But, yes, Ian Malcolm’s daughter kicking a raptor with her dance gymnastic moves was dumb. We can all agree on that.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
I think this might be my favorite Spielberg film of the 2000s. Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio give great performance in this biographical crime film. I feel like this one doesn’t get mentioned as much as Spielberg’s other films, which is a crying shame. It is full of suspense, fun, and action. I have always enjoyed a good biopic, mostly because, even if the film is a fictitious reenactment of events, there is still some semblance of truth within the picture. Seeing DiCaprio’s Frank Abagnale successfully con millions of dollars and escape the FBI’s clutches on more than one occasion is always a joy to watch.
War of the Worlds (2005)
I first listened to Orson Welles’ chilling War of the Worlds radio broadcast back in high school, but it was only last year that I first watched Spielberg’s take on the material. I like that he centred the story on a family. Tom Cruise is pretty great as a deadbeat dad and Dakota Fanning is actually not annoying as his daughter (Spielberg finally figured out how to not make kids annoying). The special effects are pretty stunning, too. It’s definitely one of his recent blockbuster efforts that left an impression on me.
Ready Player One (2018)
Whether you love Ernest Cline’s debut novel or hate it with a passion, I am a fan. I have not revisited the book since I first read it five years ago, but I remember enjoying the pop culture obsessed future its protagonist Wade Watts lived in. The fact that Spielberg ended up directing the adaptation is pretty cool and weird. He definitely elevates the source material and offers us the closest thing audiences have seen in cross-studio collaboration since Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Oh, and shout out to Alan Silvestri for creating a score that feels reminiscent of ’80s classics while also shining on its own.
What are some of your favorite films directed by birthday boy Steven Spielberg? Make sure to check out our recent Power Rankings on favorite Spielberg characters here.