(Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Every Steven Spielberg Movie Ranked by Tomatometer
A box office success out of the gate (at 16, he shot a movie for $500 and sold $501 in tickets), Steven Spielberg has toiled in what must be the world’s funnest imaginary sandbox, on his way to becoming the most successful movie director ever. From the depths of his talent, we’ve gotten dashing adventurer archaeologists (Indiana Jones), far-away visitors(E.T.), hungry hungry dinos (Jurassic Park and sequel), and maturing insight into some dark moments of recent history (Schindler’s List, The Post).
Sure, his movies transcend generations — but how do they stack against each on the Tomatometer, piled up like so much mashed potatoes? We’re ranking all of the Steven Spielberg movies from lowest to highest, and finding out.
Adjusted Score: 33.698%
Critics Consensus: The look of Hook is lively indeed but Steven Spielberg directs on autopilot here, giving in too quickly to his sentimental, syrupy qualities.
Steven Spielberg filters J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan through a distinctly 1990s sensibility in Hook. Peter Pan has become Peter... [More]
Adjusted Score: 43.445%
Critics Consensus: Steven Spielberg's attempt at screwball comedy collapses under a glut of ideas, confusing an unwieldy scope for a commensurate amount of guffaws.
It's December of 1941, and the people of California are in varying states of unease, ranging from a sincere desire... [More]
Adjusted Score: 57.601%
Critics Consensus: The Lost World demonstrates how far CG effects have come in the four years since Jurassic Park; unfortunately, it also proves how difficult it can be to put together a truly compelling sequel.
Just when you'd think that scientists would realize dinosaurs and humans don't mix, along comes The Lost World: Jurassic Park... [More]
Adjusted Score: 66.793%
Critics Consensus: The Terminal transcends its flaws through the sheer virtue of its crowd-pleasing message and a typically solid star turn from Tom Hanks.
Viktor Navorski is a visitor to New York from Eastern Europe. His homeland erupts in a fiery coup, while he... [More]
Adjusted Score: 68.174%
Critics Consensus: Its central romance takes occasional dives into excessive sentimentality, but Always otherwise flies high thanks to director Steven Spielberg's rousing feel for adventure.
For all its state-of-the-art special effects, Always is essentially a remake of the 1943 Spencer Tracy-Irene Dunne fantasy vehicle A... [More]
Adjusted Score: 60.13%
Critics Consensus: The Twilight Zone: The Movie suffers from the typical anthology-film highs and lows; thankfully, the former outnumber the latter.
Based on the popular television series created by Rod Serling, this film of horror and the supernatural tells four separate... [More]
Adjusted Score: 79.264%
Critics Consensus: One of Steven Spielberg's most ambitious efforts of the 1980s, Empire of the Sun remains an underrated gem in the director's distinguished filmography.
Based on J.G. Ballard's autobiographical novel, Empire of the Sun stars Christian Bale as a spoiled young British boy, living... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80.471%
Critics Consensus: A curious, not always seamless, amalgamation of Kubrick's chilly bleakness and Spielberg's warm-hearted optimism, A.I. is, in a word, fascinating.
Based on the 1969 short story "Super-Toys Last All Summer Long" by Brian Aldiss, this science fiction fantasy bears similarities... [More]
Adjusted Score: 81.324%
Critics Consensus: Drawing deep from the classic Raiders of the Lost Ark playbook, Steven Spielberg has crafted another spirited, thrilling adventure in the form of Tintin.
Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures Present a 3D Motion Capture Film The Adventures of Tintin directed by Steven Spielberg from... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84.121%
Critics Consensus: Steven Spielberg's adaptation of War of the Worlds delivers on the thrill and paranoia of H.G. Wells' classic novel while impressively updating the action and effects for modern audiences.
This is a contemporary retelling of H.G. Wells' seminal sci-fi classic. The adventure/thriller reveals humankind's extraordinary battle against an extra-terrestrial... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85.764%
Critics Consensus: The BFG minimizes the darker elements of Roald Dahl's classic in favor of a resolutely good-natured, visually stunning, and largely successful family-friendly adventure.
This film tells the tale of a young girl, the Queen of England and a benevolent giant known as the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.068%
Critics Consensus: Ready Player One is a sweetly nostalgic thrill ride that neatly encapsulates Spielberg's strengths while adding another solidly engrossing adventure to his filmography.
In the year 2045, people can escape their harsh reality in the OASIS, an immersive virtual world where you can... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80.667%
Critics Consensus: Heartfelt without resorting to preachiness, Amistad tells an important story with engaging sensitivity and absorbing skill.
In the summer of 1839, on a stormy night off the coast of Cuba, 53 Africans held captive in the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82.503%
Critics Consensus: Technically superb, proudly sentimental, and unabashedly old-fashioned, War Horse is an emotional drama that tugs the heartstrings with Spielberg's customary flair.
Set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War, War Horse begins with the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85.082%
Critics Consensus: Munich can't quite achieve its lofty goals, but this thrilling, politically even-handed look at the fallout from an intractable political conflict is still well worth watching.
'Munich' recounts the dramatic story of the secret Israeli squad assigned to track down and assassinate 11 Palestinians believed to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.595%
Critics Consensus: Though the plot elements are certainly familiar, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull still delivers the thrills and Harrison Ford's return in the title role is more than welcome.
After being forced to leave Marshall College under dubious circumstances, Indy joins forces with rebellious, young Mutt, who believes he... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82.734%
Critics Consensus: A sentimental tale that reveals great emotional truths in American history.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple spans the years 1909 to 1949, relating the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89.441%
Critics Consensus: It may be too "dark" for some, but Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom remains an ingenious adventure spectacle that showcases one of Hollywood's finest filmmaking teams in vintage form.
The second of the George Lucas/Steven Spielberg Indiana Jones epics is set a year or so before the events in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.995%
Critics Consensus: Duel makes brilliant use of its simple premise, serving up rock-solid genre thrills while heralding the arrival of a generational talent behind the lens.
In this TV movie, Dennis Weaver is driving down a deserted Southern California highway when he passes a large gas... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.523%
Critics Consensus: Lighter and more comedic than its predecessor, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade returns the series to the brisk serial adventure of Raiders, while adding a dynamite double act between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery.
The third installment in the Spielberg/Lucas Indiana Jones saga, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade evokes many of the thrills... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.489%
Critics Consensus: The Post's period setting belies its bitingly timely themes, brought compellingly to life by director Steven Spielberg and an outstanding ensemble cast.
Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post, a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.804%
Critics Consensus: Daniel Day-Lewis characteristically delivers in this witty, dignified portrait that immerses the audience in its world and entertains even as it informs.
Steven Spielberg directs Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln, a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President's tumultuous final months in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.978%
Critics Consensus: Its plot may ape the countercultural road movies of its era, but Steven Spielberg's feature debut displays many of the crowd-pleasing elements he'd refine in subsequent films.
In a desperate attempt to keep her baby from being taken away by state authorities, a young wife helps her... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.389%
Critics Consensus: Thought-provoking and visceral, Steven Spielberg successfully combines high concept ideas and high octane action in this fast and febrile sci-fi thriller.
Based on a short story by the late Philip K. Dick, this science fiction-thriller reflects the writer's familiar preoccupation with... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102.027%
Critics Consensus: Bridge of Spies finds new life in Hollywood's classic Cold War espionage thriller formula, thanks to reliably outstanding work from Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.
Tom Hanks stars as the American attorney tasked with negotiating the release of a U-2 spy plane pilot who was... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.106%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by another winning performance from Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg's unflinchingly realistic war film virtually redefines the genre.
Steven Spielberg directed this powerful, realistic re-creation of WWII's D-day invasion and the immediate aftermath. The story opens with a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.718%
Critics Consensus: Jurassic Park is a spectacle of special effects and life-like animatronics, with some of Spielberg's best sequences of sustained awe and sheer terror since Jaws.
Steven Spielberg's phenomenally successful sci-fi adventure thriller is graced by state-of-the-art special effects from the team of Stan Winston, Phil... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.483%
Critics Consensus: Featuring bravura set pieces, sly humor, and white-knuckle action, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the most consummately entertaining adventure pictures of all time.
Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is no ordinary archeologist. When we first see him, he is somewhere in the Peruvian jungle... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.724%
Critics Consensus: With help from a strong performance by Leonardo DiCaprio as real-life wunderkind con artist Frank Abagnale, Steven Spielberg crafts a film that's stylish, breezily entertaining, and surprisingly sweet.
Based on a true story, Frank W. Abagnale was employed as a doctor, a lawyer, and as a co-pilot for... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.26%
Critics Consensus: Close Encounters of the Third Kind is deeply humane sci-fi exploring male obsession, cosmic mysticism, and music.
Steven Spielberg followed Jaws (1975), his first major box-office success, with this epic science fiction adventure about a disparate group... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.155%
Critics Consensus: Schindler's List blends the abject horror of the Holocaust with Steven Spielberg's signature tender humanism to create the director's dramatic masterpiece.
Based on a true story, Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List stars Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, a German businessman in Poland... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.774%
Critics Consensus: Compelling, well-crafted storytelling and a judicious sense of terror ensure Steven Spielberg's Jaws has remained a benchmark in the art of delivering modern blockbuster thrills.
Based on Peter Benchley's best-selling novel, Steven Spielberg's 1975 shark saga set the standard for the New Hollywood popcorn blockbuster... [More]
Adjusted Score: 110.688%
Critics Consensus: Playing as both an exciting sci-fi adventure and a remarkable portrait of childhood, Steven Spielberg's touching tale of a homesick alien remains a piece of movie magic for young and old.
Both a classic movie for kids and a remarkable portrait of childhood, E.T. is a sci-fi adventure that captures that... [More]