June 30, 2016

"Of the more than 50 films Steven Spielberg has directed, was this my least favorite?"

Richard Roeper asked himself.
No, I haven’t forgotten about “The Adventures of Tintin” or “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” or “Hook” or “1941.” But if I had to rank all of the Spielberg-directed films, from the myriad four-star classics through the terrific but slightly lesser movies down to the very small handful of misses, I think I’d rather see every one of Spielberg’s previous films before having to sit through “The BFG” again.

37 comments:

Sebastian said...

All downhill since Duel. But a ways yet to go, it seems.

mikee said...

Duel! One of my favorite "Lessons in How To Live" films, along with Auntie Mame, Quest for Fire, and The Maltese Falcon.

Any other suggestions for great life lesson films?

Fred Rawlings said...

hey Crystal Skull had that awesome lead lined refrigerator

MisterBuddwing said...

I know "BFG" stands for "Big Friendly Giant," but every time I see that title, I can't help thinking of the initials "BFD."

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Is it about the merits of the movie or is about Steven Spielberg, as if he's not a stranger to all but a relatively tiny number of people?

It's disheartening, perceiving the effort on the part of internet writers to insert celebrity gossip into just about everything.

For example, Chile's recent Copa America victory over Argentina. The writers seem to think their readers want to fret over Lionel Messi and his broken heart; to feel his pain and to comfort him.

What would rhhardin say?

AReasonableMan said...

I've got to go with they all suck other than Duel. Any movie that can get truckers to line up to pay money must have something going for it.

Birches said...

Tin Tin is an awesome movie. I don't know why people don't like it.

Fernandinande said...

I like that one movie where the dinosaur loses his phone on Devil's Tower and some kids and a tattooed kindly ex-con help him find it so he can warn the giant shark about that crazy sheriff.

mccullough said...

Schindler's List was pretty mawkish

mccullough said...

The ending of Saving Private Ryan ruined a pretty good flick

The Godfather said...

I haven't seen all of Spielberg's movies, but of the ones I have, the most over-rated is Close Encounters.

wholelottasplainin' said...


Mr. Plinkett has a number of highly entertaining critiques of Spielberg movies on YouTube: here's one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zphhfHon_I

Joe said...

As any gamer knows, "BFG" stands for "Big Fucking Gun".

I dislike most of Spielberg's films. I;d say that by far his best non-Indiana Jones movie is "Empire of the Sun."

Yancey Ward said...

I actually find all of Spielberg's kid-oriented movies incredibly boring, even ET. A few of his adult-oriented fares are not that good (Crystal Skull, I am looking at you), but quality ratio is much, much higher.

victoria said...

Godfather... I think the most over-rated and my least favorite is "The Terminal" I have to say that my favorites are "Duel" and "Catch me if you Can". Both these movies were shot with tiny budgets and a very short shooting schedule. This left little time for "Spielberg" pontificating. Fast moving, thoroughly entertaining movies.

Vicki from Pasadena

Nurse Rooke said...

The BFG is by far my favorite Dahl novel (my children's too). Hope Spielberg hasn't ruined it, but this review makes it sound faithful to the book which in general I appreciate.

Anonymous said...

War Horse was the worst Spielberg film, and perhaps worst film I've ever seen. No contest.

William Chadwick said...

Maybe it hit me at just the right and silly moment, but even though it got widely trashed, I enjoyed "1941" immensely when I saw it in the theaters. But you really have to be into the Comedy of Mass Destruction to appreciate it. There's a scene toward the end where a house is totally destroyed, and a character looking on says, "Wow--that's GREAT!" That's pretty much the mind-set you have to be in to enjoy it. Plus, the John Williams soundtrack is great.

AReasonableMan said...

Encouraged to see how little love there is for Spielberg here. I thought my lack of enthusiasm was a minority view. The media paints him as a beloved auteur but I have never found him to be anything other than schlocky.

I Callahan said...

Has no one seen American Graffiti? An American classic that most certainly did NOT suck.

MisterBuddwing said...

"American Graffiti" was directed by George Lucas. Don't think Spielberg had anything to do with it.

lgv said...

I love a lot of Spielberg movie. I dislike a lot of Spielberg movies. That makes me pretty middle of the road.

Duel, Empire of the Sun, Raiders 1, Jaws, Schindler's List were great.

I found many to be quite awful, including Hook, the oft mentioned Crystal Skull, War Horse, and especially War of the Worlds. I can't imagine BFG is the worst. Must be pretty tedious. I intended to take a pass anyway.

Mark said...

What is worst in Spielberg movies are the children. Whiny, annoying -- you want to smack them in the mouth most of the time. And it has to be the way he directs them. A lot of kids in other movies are fantastic.

Mark said...

Tintin gets a "meh" because of the style of animation (which has infested too many other films). The stories in the books are really quite good.

Private Ryan was well made, but I never did like the premise. Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, Raiders are good too.

Jaws would be better without the too many annoying characters, including the kids and the mom whose kid got eaten.

BTW - one of Spielberg's professors in film school was Jerry Lewis.

TWW said...

Please, can we throw up a little for A.I., possibly the most pretentious, derivative film of all time. Start with Blade Runner. Throw in a little 2001. Even early Spielberg (think Close Encounters).

EMD said...

Typical Althouse movie thread where the commenters try to out-grump each other in a bid to cast aspersions at popular culture, as if any of them could realize the career of someone like Speilberg.



Johnny Sokko said...

Hook is terrible but that is because Robin Williams starred in it. SS didn't help either.

buwaya said...

Empire of the Sun is great because the material is great.
One of the best prisoner-of-the-Japanese novels/memoirs. It ranks up there with "Three Came Home", Agnes Keith, which was also a stupendous movie with Claudette Colbert. Her best.

buwaya said...

" in a bid to cast aspersions at popular culture'

We don't like popular culture. We're too cool for that.

Sebastian said...

"where the commenters try to out-grump each other in a bid to cast aspersions at popular culture" Hey, I ain't no grumpy snob, bud. Sunny philosopher here. And when I say it's downhill from Duel I mean it: better than Duel is a high standard, even higher than nothing, if you know what I mean. (Not that I have had the opportunity, sadly, to peruse the whole Spielberg oeuvre.) Plus I'm Amurican enough not to cast aspersions on popular culture, which I happen to think is great for the populace.

mikee said...

Please amend my comment above to reference the movie "The Duellists" by Ridley Scott, a really fine movie, rather than "Duel," by whats his name, which had so disappointing a punchline as to not even be a joke of a movie.

AReasonableMan said...

buwaya said...
We don't like popular culture.


I like popular culture in general. Don't like Spielberg very much. Not a big fan of big Hollywood movies in general. They cost so much to make that they end up speaking to no one, in an attempt to speak to everyone.

Last really good movie I saw was made in Argentina and that was a while ago.

Rusty said...

mikee said...
Duel! One of my favorite "Lessons in How To Live" films, along with Auntie Mame, Quest for Fire, and The Maltese Falcon.

Any other suggestions for great life lesson films?

Yes.
Go see Independence Day 2.
When you leave the theater remind yourself never to take movie recommendations from Rusty.
It actually makes Independence Day, the original, look good.

Rusty said...

EMD said...
Typical Althouse movie thread where the commenters try to out-grump each other in a bid to cast aspersions at popular culture, as if any of them could realize the career of someone like Speilberg.

He's no John Ford.
I kid. He's done some good stuff, but his schlock is really bad. The whole flawed premise of Saving Private Ryan ruined it for me.

rcocean said...

Shorter EMD - Anyone who dislikes Spielberg hates America.

Michael K said...

"I've got to go with they all suck other than Duel."

I actually like "Captain Hook."

"Saving Private Ryan" was Spielberg's wimpy anti-military film. Tom Hanks has the line that tells us Spielberg's theme. Saving the private was "the only worthwhile thing about this war." No mention of 6 million Jews.

"Munich" was all about the Mossad guys feeling bad about what they were doing. Read a Gabriel Allon novel or two.

Michael K said...

"Not a big fan of big Hollywood movies in general. "

I saw a movie that I hadn't seen in 60 years the other night. It was an old Brian Donlevy movie called "Impact" and it was pretty good. Amazon Prime has it. It was made in 1949 and held up well. I remembered it from when I was a kid.