Mid-Week Poll: What Is Steven Spielberg’s Worst Film?

Without any conscious planning, it seems that last Friday’s Weekend Roundtable turned into something of a referendum against Steven Spielberg. Perhaps that’s not fair, but for a man who’s supposed to be one of America’s greatest living filmmakers, Spielberg sure has directed a lot of crap. For today’s poll, let’s get right to the heart of the matter and decide which is his worst film of all.

If I wanted to be even-handed about this, I probably should have set up two polls, one for Spielberg’s best film and one for his worst. But with so many movies to his credit, I think that would make this post a little too unwieldy. Also, I’m in a cranky mood, so we’re just going to focus on the negative today.

I’ve included all of the feature films that Spielberg has directed in the poll. (‘Duel’ may be arguable, but it did play theatrically in some countries.) I’ve left out films for which he was only a contributor (like ‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’) or those he produced without directing. There’s some debate about how much of ‘Poltergeist’ Spielberg directed, but Tobe Hooper remains the credited director on that one, so I’ve left it out.

If I had to guess, I’d say that ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull‘ will probably lead the voting here, with ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’ and ‘War of the Worlds’ not far behind. Personally, I went into ‘Crystal Skull’ with such rock-bottom low expectations that I didn’t wind up hating it as much as everyone else seems to. It’s easily the weakest of the Indy movies, but honestly it’s not that much worse than ‘Temple of Doom’. ‘The Lost World’ and ‘War of the Worlds’ I just found disappointingly mediocre, but not outright terrible.

My vote goes to ‘A.I. Artificial Intelligence‘. Few movies ever made have infuriated me more. That film had so much potential (Stanley Kubrick spent almost two decades developing the project before his death), and it has a few moments of brilliance, but on the whole Spielberg made a terrible hash job of it. The last scene in that movie is the single worst ending to any movie that has ever been made, or likely ever will be made. Blech.

With that said, ‘The Terminal’ is pretty much unwatchable. ‘Hook’ is really lousy. ‘1941’ is a mess. ‘Always’ is sickeningly schmaltzy. ‘Saving Private Ryan’ is vastly overrated. Even some of his best films, like ‘Close Encounters’ and (yeah, I’m going to say it) ‘Schindler’s List’, have moments of dunder-headed awfulness in them. (Don’t get me wrong; ‘Schindler’s List’ is a masterpiece overall, but that last scene goes really overboard.)

What would you pick as Steven Spielberg’s worst film?

What Is Steven Spielberg's Worst Film?

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  1. I was tettering between Hook and Lost World, but in the end, I think a dino running through San Diego (which was not even loosely based on the book) outdoes horrible set-design anyday.

    • I agree; Steven’s interpretation of the novel angered me. I _get_ that some liberties are taken during the conversion from novel to script, but this was absolutely wrong and should not have been made.

      • Yes – Jurassic Park was a good adaptation – not exactly like the book, but I liked the result. I think the only thing Lost World took from the book was was the girl being attacked at the begining, and the trailer going over the cliff.

        Of course, wonder how much influence a director actually has over the screenplay.

        • RollTide1017

          The girl being attacked was taken from the first book not The Lost World. These scenes were all inspired by scenes from the first novel: The procompsognathus attacking the young girl; hiding from the Tyrannosaur behind a waterfall, while the creature tries to find them using its tongue; Dieter Stark being killed by Procompsognathids (Hammond in the novel); Roland Tembo tranquilizing the Tyrannosaur (Robert Muldoon in the novel).

          Spielberg basically threw out the novel because he didn’t like it that much, I swear I’ve read that somewhere but maybe I’m wrong. I also think they started writing the screenplay before the novel was even finished, again could be wrong here. Either way, he ruined the movie. The book was great and I actually like The Lost World (novel) more the first novel.

  2. This was easy for me – it’s Jurassic Park: The Lost World.

    The Terminal, Crystal Skull, and 1941 are all subpar for Steven, but they all have enough redeeming qualities to enjoy. Lost World, on the other hand, seems like a slapped-together sequel (even Steven didn’t have his full attention on this movie, as he was working on Schindler’s List at the same time).

  3. vihdeeohfieuhl

    I was surprised that you predicted War of the World’s might be in the running here. I’m curious to know what you thought of that film. I would say that at it is a middle of the road Spielberg. I don’t even think it falls near the bottom half of his worst movies ever. I’ve also always heard mostly positive comments about it.

    I voted for The Terminal. There is simply nothing about that film that even resemble’s Spielberg. Well, I supposed you could say that the entire movie represents bad Spielberg at his best (worst), but at least the other bad films on the list have at least one scene of Spielberg magic.

    I was highly tempted to vote for A.I., The Sugarland Express, and Always. I would have voted for A.I. if Spielberg would have been 100% responsible for it, but I don’t think we’ll ever know just how much of it may have been Kubrick’s fault.

    The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Indy 4, are both terrible, but at least they both have one or two moments of Spielbergian magic. They might technically be his worst two films, but they can both be fun enough to watch a scene or two if you catch them every now and then. There’s not a single scene in The Terminal that is even tolerable. Although, overall, it’s probably not as poor quality of a film as JP2 or Indy 4.

    • Josh Zyber

      I’m with you that War of the Worlds is middle-of-the-road Spielberg, but I think you’ll find that there’a a lot more hatred for it out there on the internet than you remember. 🙂

  4. vihdeeohfieuhl

    I just realized that after I had initially intended to vote for The Terminal, as soon as I saw Hook on the list, my instincts took over and I ended up voting for that abomination of a film. It is easily Spielberg’s worst! And I’m shocked that it is not leading the poll. I’ll bet that if it were more fresh in the memory of the film going public, it would be a runaway winner.

    My theory is that most of us have completely blocked it out of our memories in an effort to avoid the pain of just how atrocious it is. It’s one of those movies that’s so bad, your subconscious immediately starts trying to forget that it ever even existed, as soon as it’s over. I hope everybody tries to bring back some of the repressed memories of the sheer craptitude of it, so that it can stake a come from behind victory.

    • But Hook at least had a good screenplay and a good cast – it was just plagued by a sound-stage that was way too small for the sets, horrible set-design and costumes, and mediocore directing. So, the movie LOOKED like crap, but it had potential. Lost World, on the other hand, had NO redeeming points

      • vihdeeohfieuhl

        No. The screenplay for Hook was abysmal. I can’t believe they tried to pull off something so cheap and hackneyed. You can call the cast good if you want, but when Hoffman is chewing up every scene and doing his best, ah hell, I guess Hoffman is the ultimate chewer, so I can’t say he’s doing an impersonation of any notorious chewer, Robin Williams is acting like a caricature of himself, and Julia Roberts is playing Tinkerbell as Pretty Woman, it pretty much defeats having what you refer to as a good cast.

        The Lost World: JP does have a rew redeeming qualities. When I say a few, I mean that quite literally, but it does have a few. If you delete the last 40 or so minutes, it’s actually standard middle of the pack Spielberg with a few great Spielbergian magic moments mixed in. Hook is an utter disgrace from the opening scene to the closing credits.

  5. it’s nice to see one of the best directors of all time being reduced to looking like he’s directed rhinestone or the cannonball run 2. good job high def digest the bonus view.

    • vihdeeohfieuhl

      Rhinestone and Cannonball Run 2 might not be as bad of films as Hook. It’s fantastic that the HDD Bonus View is taking Spielberg to task. It’s a shame that a director with that much raw talent and skill, would stoop to making the pure shit that he has put out in recent years.

      I think we are all hoping that he has just been lazy, or that he has simply lost his way, but has a compass in hand to get back on track. This poll wouldn’t exist if we didn’t all have immense respect for his talents. We want to see him care more. We want to see him find his way and make something that is truly revolutionary.

  6. Barsoom Bob

    Hook is the worst of the bunch, followed closely by Lost World. Lazy, cynical, souless, distracted film making. To paraphrase an old Tim Burton quote, when asked about directing a third Batman movie, “I’d rather put an ice pick in my head than watch Hook.”

    Crystal Skull being a dissappointment is much more George Lucas’ fault than Spielberg’s

    I will defend War of the Worlds, very effective and faithful to the original story, could have just been a little more expansive in scope.

    And also A.I., it is more a Kubrick movie and that last scene is not a happy ending. What you are seeing is the last vestige of the human race being extinguished because of a little too much love for A.I.(technology) and not enough love of humanity and nature.

    • vihdeeohfieuhl

      I’m with you on War of the Worlds. I will always defend that film. I think it was as good as it could have been given the subject matter. Good point about the improvement we would have seen if the scope would have just been expanded a little bit. A lot of people complain about the ending, but there’s just not a whole lot more that could have been done. Once a solution was found, the war was over quickly. What did people want? Did they want to see the invaders dying all over the world? I don’t know how that would have made the film any better.

    • Josh Zyber

      A.I. is a Kubrick IDEA that Spielberg rewrote (one of the few movies he’s written the screenplay for himself) and filtered through his typical saccharine mentality. There is far more Spielberg in that movie than there is Kubrick.

      And I’m well aware of what the last scene means. Because he’s absolutely terrified of ambiguitiy, Spielberg goes so far as to throw in a character (Ben Kingsley’s Mr. Friendly Super Robot) to walk on screen and EXPLAIN it to the audience.

      I might believe that Kubrick came up with the general concept of adding an epilogue that takes place several millennia in the future. But I absolutely guarantee you that he did not write one single word of any of those reams and reams of technobabble bullshit about “space-time pathways” and whatnot.

      As I said in the post, this movie infuriates me.

      • I get in arguments with critics over this all the time, but I’ve always seen A.I. as Spielberg directing a movie the way he thought Kubrick would have made it. There are visuals in that film that are clearly inspired by Stanley’s past work and a homage to him. In fact, I believe Steven has been quoted himself as saying that he wanted to try and make the movie Stanley wanted to make.

        • If what you say is the case, then Spielberg was a poor student of Kubrick’s. Even if the horrible ending was Kubrick’s idea, he would have cut the millenia-later last act. Kubrick was originally going to end Dr. Strangelove with pie fight, but he thought better of it. The original concept to 2001 had the Bowman space baby stopping a nuclear war on Earth. Had Spielberg stopped the movie with the android trapped under the Ferris Wheel, it would have more closely resembled a Kubrick movie and been 90 percent better than it was in the bargain.

    • The only issue I had with WOTW was casting Dakota Fanning in that part. I love her as an actress, but the part was pretty much “look at the camera and scream”. They should have cast a five-year-old in that part. If you are going to write a kids role into a movie, make sure the person you cast is at least similar in age to what the character is supposed to be. Only thing I get more annoyed about than this is casting 20 or 30-something year olds as teenagers. This really draws me out of the believability of a movie.

      • vihdeeohfieuhl

        Why should a five year old play that part? I’m trying to see your reasoning. I think it was brilliant that they actually cast a young actress that could actually ACT for that role. That role called for more than, “look at the camera and scream.” Have you seen WOTW in a while? That role is actually somewhat complex.

        The character has to seem like she is genuinely in shock to the poing of paralysis at certain times. She also has to try and mend the relationship of her father and brother. And she has to be able to accurately express inner conflict about her love for her father, but how he has ultimately never been more than a disappointment to her.

        Remember, WOTW is a story told through the eyes of those three central characters, or told through their broken family if you will. If we have no reason to care about the daughter, and the role is just a five-year-old “looking at the camera and screaming”, as you put it, we would have no emotional investment in it.

    • Well said, I’m glad that someone else besides myself sees what a heavy hand Lucas had in Crystal Skull. It’s as if he shoved his hand up speilberg’s behind and made him direct it partially the way he wanted. And those dumb ass gophers had lucas all over them as far as I am concerned especially since he used the joke not once but twice (maybe a third time but i’ve probably blocked it out”

      I really enjoy War of the Worlds as well and there are some truly amazing cinematic moments in that film. My favorite, yet still disturbs me is the long shot of the hill side after the ferry capsizes and the entire crowd just lets out this huge wail as they see one of the war machines come over the hill and start to wipe them out. Gives me chills every single time I see it.

  7. EM

    One could do a similar poll about any prolific lauded director. I’ve been flipping through Hitchcock–Truffaut lately, and it’s interesting to see Hitch dismiss some of his own work.

    • vihdeeohfieuhl

      I disagree. While it is accurate that most prolific and visionary directors have had some misses over the course of their careers, Spielberg’s oeuvre is unique. No other director in history has had such a mind boggling variation from making brilliantly pioneering films, to making mindless, mechanical horseshit.

  8. I think a lot of you are smokin’ crack.

    ‘Hook’ is simply amazing. I cannot even estimate how many times I’ve seen ‘Hook’. I’m surprised our VHS copy didn’t break. It is absolutely whimsical. While I’ve always found Peter Pan annoying, ‘Hook’ never dabbles in the area.

    As for the film being shot on a small set, I felt it was perfect. It gave that “old movie” feel to contemporary film that feels like it was made decades ago. ‘Hook’ is a classic!

    And ‘War of the Worlds’? Another AMAZING Spielberg title! Have you ever read the book. It is easily one of the most faithful modern day adaptation. The most intense scene of the book, for me, is when their carriage is overrun. Seeing the minivan stolen in the movie was even more intense.

    And I’ll give it up for Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning any day. Cruise has never looked cooler as her ran (with the exception maybe being ‘Mission: Impossible III’) and Dakota Fanning gave her best performance in ‘War of the Worlds’. Screw ‘I Am Sam’ and its manipulation.

    Watch ‘War of the Worlds’ again. It rocks. Just because Cruise doesn’t have a Will Smith moment in the end where he learns how to take the aliens down doesn’t mean it’s not good. The book has the exact same ending!

    • I like ‘Hook’ too. I wouldn’t say it’s amazing, but it’s fun and rewatchable.

      I can’t agree with you on ‘War of the Worlds’ though. It’s pretty dumb.

        • vihdeeohfieuhl

          Agreed. The Runaways is Dakota’s best performance. I had forgotten all about that movie. She is outstanding in it. I could barely believe it was her.

          • Okay, I will give you that. 🙂 I didn’t care for that movie myself, but it was probably her best performance.

            Actually, her performance in HoundDog was pretty darn good too, but I can’t stand that movie either.

    • vihdeeohfieuhl

      Amen, Brother Hickman! — I’m referring, of course, to only your comments about War of the Worlds — Hook is an atrocity! It’s okay. I’m sure you fell in love with it as a young child, and you love it for the nostalgia. 🙂

      Thank you for determinedly defending War of the Worlds! That’s exactly what I was talking about earlier when I mentioned how many people hate the ending. Did they want Cruise to have that Will Smith moment? Shouting cliches at the aliens and showing them how he is tougher than they are. So many people bitch about the ending of that film, but it was simple and composed. How else are you going to end a movie like that?

      I completely agree that Dakota delivered her best performance in War of the Worlds. That’s why I couldn’t believe it when Mr. Henley was talking about how they should have just cast a five-year-old that could have looked at the camera and screams. Dakota is complex, authentic, and affecting in the film. She is the primary reason that we end up caring so much about that family. That’s hugely important to a film that tells its story through the eyes of a single family.

      • The ending of ‘War of the Worlds’ is just as cheesy as a “Will Smith” ending. His son runs into the middle of a war and he isn’t seen again until the end, where he’s all nice and safe. Oh, how cute. GROUP HUG!

      • Let me clarify – I LOVE Dakota Fanning, she is probably my favorite actress. I felt that WOTW was just way below her – its like hiring Steve Jobs to work HelpDesk. Yes, he would be an awesome Help Desk Technician, but he is capable of so much more. That is what I felt with Fanning’s role.

        Tom Cruise I was fine with – I don’t think you could have cast a better role.

        Don’t get me wrong – I LIKED this movie, it was a day 1 buy when it came out. I felt though that either the daughter’s role should have been either developed more, or given to a different actress. Casting Fanning gave an expectation for the role and the movie which the were failed to be met.

        • vihdeeohfieuhl

          The role was much more developed than you give it credit for. It was most definitely not a, “look at the camera and scream” role. It was her performance that gave the audience any emotional tie to that family at all. Are you telling me that you could give a shit about the arrogant idiot son?

          • Actually, I didn’t feel an emotional tie with ANY of the family members, and that was my problem with the film. Unless “punching the son out” constitutes an emotional tie.

      • Luke Hickman

        The scene where Dakota turns around to look at the destruction behind her – she sees the mayhem before her dad, brother and even the audience – and her eyes open huge, slowly well up with tears as her face is flushed with fear, panic and despair = BRILLIANT ACTING! You didn’t even need to see what she was seeing to be absolutely terrified. ‘War of the Worlds’ is one of the rare films that I wish I could go back and see on the big screen again. The grandeur of destruction is extra realistic. If you haven’t read the book, read it and watch the movie again. The adaptation is brilliant, bold and daring.

    • Josh Zyber

      I had a feeling that this post would spark some good discussion. 🙂

      About the ending to War of the Worlds, this is a case where being faithful to the H.G. Wells novel is a fault, not a virtue. The ending to the book made sense… when it was written, in the 19th Century, when germs were a new and exotic concept that people of the day were just starting to grasp. The ending does not make sense in the present day.

      The notion that a race of beings technologically advanced enough to travel vast expanses of the universe to invade our planet would hop out of their spaceships and walk around butt-ass naked (as we see in the basement scene) without any sort of environmental protection is laughably naive. Would one of our astronauts travel to Mars and immediately take off his helmet?

      We can forgive Wells for not knowing any better when he wrote the book, but we cannot forgive Spielberg or his screenwriters for failing to update that plot point to something remotely plausible.

      The aliens get defeated by a biological weapon they didn’t foresee? I can buy that. The aliens are such dumbasses that they walk around on a foreign planet without spacesuits? No, I’m sorry, that’s too stupid for words.

      Also, the bit where Cruise’s moron son miraculously survives having run off to fight the aliens is howlingly awful.

      • vihdeeohfieuhl

        All right. You win. I can admit that I’ve always let my satisfaction that the film stayed so true to the novel, allow me to be an apologist for the ending. You’re right though. You can’t be faithful to a novel that was written in a completely different technological era.

        I’ve also never liked how his son miraculously survives going to battle like that. I’ve always said that if his son would have died, it would have been infinitely better.

  9. I haven’t even noted what I voted for. I voted for ‘Indy 4’, but ‘Lost World’ is right behind it.

    ‘Jurassic Park’ strayed quite a bit from the book, but still kept its spirit. ‘Lost World’ took the book, shat on it, and then burned it.

  10. Jane Morgan

    ‘The Crystal Skull’ feels the worst because ‘The Lost Ark’ is his best.

    Steven Spielberg is a multi-billionaire. Why on earth would he, for money, agree to let George Lucas publicly fuck him in the ass?

    And ‘Hook’ is #2. It’s about as well made as Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Jack.’

  11. what was wrong with crystal skull was they let Indiana age and become old. they didn’t have to reboot the franchise just put a new actor in , take out the son part , and had had fun with with it .

  12. Well at least the aliens weren’t killed by WATER. A long as signs exists, WotW will always look watchable by proxy.

    Yeah, it’s Crystal Skull for me all the way. It felt like a bad computer interpretation of what an Indy film would be. Yes, I take into account that I’m comparing it to Raiders and Crusade.

    But if give it a pass because it wasn’t as legendary as those, you also have to knock it back down for riding on it’s nostalgic coattails, instead of proving it’s own reason to exist. I think it would be even worse without those films. Where as, the earlier ones could all stand on their own.

  13. Jane Morgan

    ‘Crystal Skull’ exists for only one reason. It was the only way Paramount would sell Spielberg the film rights to ‘Lincoln.’ Which is a piece of Oscar bait he’s been in love with for years.

    • John B.

      Jane Morgan,

      I have not been following this website for long, but I have agreed with everything I’ve seen you post. You seem to not have the ability to bullshit. I picked ‘Hook’ but ‘Crystal Skull’ is pretty bad. I too blame Lucas. He’s the one that came up with the silly alien idea. A little off topic, but Lucas’ only shining achievements as a director in my eyes are ‘American Graffiti’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’

  14. Brian H

    The Crystal Skull is so bad and yet recent. It ranks up there with movies like Batman and Robin, Never Say Never Again, Episode I, Alien 4. Some people would go out of their way to buy an Indiana movie set without having Crystal Skull forced upon them. It brings the Sum of All Fears to mind.

    At the same time though, did a lot of people watch previews for the Crystal Skull and think that it was going to be good?

    The script/ending for War of the Worlds just trounces Minority Report.

  15. Tony

    I’m surprised there isn’t more hate for Amistad. Imagine if it was directed someone without Spielberg’s sensibilities.

  16. John B.

    Yeah my bad on the ‘Empire’ directing credit. But that only reinforces the point. He has been attached to some good stuff as a producer though. Many of which with Spielberg.

  17. I had to go with “1941” (terrible), although I kinda wanted to go with “Empire of the Sun”. My Dad took us to see “EotS” on Christmas Eve in 1987. I was 14, my sister was 12. It was sooooo not a movie for a 14 & 12 yr old to see on the eve of the happiest holiday of the year. Total bummer of a movie. The next year we saw “Scrooged”… MUCH BETTER!

    Cool quick Spielberg story though: my parents mistakenly thought that me seeing “Raiders” in ’81 at age 8 would be a bad thing, and they wanted to preview it. It was sold out, so they took me instead to see “Cannonball Run”! LOL! Later, I still got to see “Raiders”, once my Dad saw it and figured there was nothing objectionable/scary (except for the melting scene).

    Gotta give my parents props for trying to keep me from nightmares, but they kinda failed in keeping me away from boob and fart jokes….. whoops!

  18. Luke Hickman for the win! “Hook” is a brilliant movie; it’s in my top-10 of all time. Granted, it may be because of nostalgia (I was 7 when the movie came out), but come on – it’s a treat!
    Great actors, beautiful music (“You Are The Pan” is John Williams at one of his peaks), touching moments (all the orphans standing up to salute Wendy!), quotable dialogue (“You can fight! You can crow!”; “I’m a lawyer!”; “I lost my marbles” etc.) …

    “Hook” is perfect.

    Strange that “vihdeeohfieuhl” hates it so much, for I mostly agree with his opinions. Must be the Benelux connection.

    • Luke Hickman

      Thank you! I honestly had no idea that ‘Hook’ was a hated movie until I started reading the comments in this post.

      I’m proud to have my 3-year-old daughter hooked on ‘Hook.’ She hums Hook’s theme song all the time. It’s awesome to see a movie you loved as a kid equally loved by your own kid!

      • In a few years, she can sing “When You’re Alone” too!
        “Hook hook, give us the Hook” is a great song moment as well. In my original post, I forgot to mention Bob Hoskins. His Smee is one of the best supporting characters ever. The ending (with Smee) is touching too. “Ello?”
        As a kid, I always thought Smee was a Spielberg cameo. They do resemble each other in some shots, don’t they?

        I sure hope my (future) 3-year old daughter will get hooked on Hook, too!

    • vihdeeohfieuhl

      If Hook is in your top 10 of all time, this begs the question, Have you seen more than 10 movies? I’m only halfway kidding.

      Hook is an abomination! Look, I get it. I was 6 when Hook came out. I loved it when I was a kid, but let’s not kid ourselves, it’s utter trash. I saw it quite a few times between the ages of 6 and 10, and then didn’t watch it again until I was about 20. When I watched it as an adult, I was astonished that I had ever enjoyed it as a kid. It was almost embarrassing!

      There is simply not one high quality aspect to any portion of the entire film. It’s drivel through and through.

      The songs that you and Luke discuss are so atrociously awful, it feels like there may have been a collaboration with New Kids on the Block in order to make them. They are utterly forgettable. And nothing more than jingle type fare.

      • Sorry, can’t agree. “Not one high quality aspect”? What about the John Williams music? The great Bob Hoskins? The fun, quotable lines?

  19. I don’t get the raging detest for “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”. I won’t argue that it’s a particularly great movie, but none of the Indy sequels were. What did people expect? I understand the implausibility of the fridge sequence, and the inclusion of Indy’s son not being the best choice. But this is a series that had three people survive a jump from an airplane onto a snow covered mountain in an inflatable raft. A series that had an expansive series of tunnels that took ten minutes to navigate at high speed in a mine cart be pressurized by one small tank of water. A series where a guy survives traveling half the length of the Mediterranean sea on top of a submarine. An old guy brings down a plane with a flock of birds. A woman survives being dangled five feet above molten lava without receiving third degree burns. Indy not only survives the second film, but does so without strangling Willie Scott and kissing her at the end. These films have always lived in that .01 percent chance of survival for these characters. And are aliens really any more or less fantastical than Biblical stuff? To some, both are fairy tales. I guess it really boils down to most of us were kids when the originals came out, and were more willing to suspend our disbelief.

  20. motorheadache

    I voted Lost World– that was a disappointing sequel. For the record, I enjoyed War of the Worlds and the Terminal, despite the flak it seems to be receiving. And yes, I even kind of like KotCS okay– I almost agree with Josh Zyber on that one– but I actually hold it about equal with Temple of Doom, not slightly worse.

  21. A.I. is up there as one of my all time favorite Scifi flicks, I love that movie, Haley Joel was amazing in that role, never blinking and bringing so much emotion to a character that really wasnt supposed to have any, you could feel the love between him and his mother, the innocence and misunderstanding when she left him in the woods, his promise to be better, to be a real boy so she would love him and then his fantastic journey to try and find the Blue fairy, the flesh fair and the ideas behind machines and humanity are so well portrayed, the end was a great piece as well, showing how humans didnt survive and how the AI we created are now trying to understand and gain any information they can on what we were and how we created them, David being the only puzzle piece they have to a doomed end of humanity….Scifi at its best people

    Hook, nothing needs to be said, up there as one of my favorite movies of that era, I watched that so many times when it came out, love all the performances, the sense of wonder that it brought, i’m a fan of Robin Williams in about anything and he made that role his own, his transformation from forgetting to remembering was great to watch…spectacular movie

    I voted for Munich as the worst, horrible movie all around, slow moving, unbearable characters, bad dialog, I was SO damn bored with this thing I almost shut it off and I dont do that for anything really, maybe once or twice in my life time and thats saying something, never will i watch this one again, give me Spielberg in his AI, Hook, Jurassic Park form, not that overly sappy drama crap like Munich, Private Ryan is my only exception, IMO the best War film ever made, hands down

    • Exactly my thoughts! “Hook” and “A.I.” are my favourite Spielberg movies. I never hated the ending to “A.I.”, either. I actually thought the teddy bear/mother moment was very heartbreaking.
      Haley Joel Osment is, indeed, amazing. I wonder why he hasn’t been in any decent movies for the past decade? His “Pay It Forward” is a winner, too. And let’s not forget his short but sweet role as “Forrest Gump Jr.”

    • vihdeeohfieuhl

      Yes! It’s like they were making a Burger King commercial on the stage at a local church.

    • If you extend Spielberg’s filmography to the stuff he produced, you get amazing results, don’t you? “Back to the Future”, “The Goonies”, “Used Cars”, “The Land Before Time” (my favourite animated movie), “The Flintstones” … he sure has a nose for quality.

      • Josh Zyber

        The Flintstones, really? You’re alone on that one. 🙂

        The thing with Spielberg as a producer is that he puts his name on literally hundreds of projects. His degree of involvement in each varies greatly. Legend has it that he directed most of Poltergeist himself. On many others, he may do little more than put up some money or lend his name to it so that the director and other producers will have an easier time getting the project greenlit or financed. I can guarantee you that he never set foot on the sets for any of the Transformers films.

        For every Back to the Future, he’s got a Casper or Evolution or Eagle Eye to offset the balance of quality.

        • I like “The Flintstones” AND “Casper”, but – as I stated before – nostalgia plays a major role. I was 10 when “The Flintstones” came out, 11 when “Casper” was released. That makes me the ideal target audience. Chances are, I might not like these movies if i saw them the first time from an adult perspective. But since 1994, I was “The Flintstones” countless times on VHS (and I even bought the DVD for £3, just to see the special features). I noticed things I never saw as a child; e.g. a parody of Springsteen’s album “Born To Run”, “Tar Wars” etc.

          I don’t know how old you were in 1994-1995, Josh …

          Of course, age isn’t always an excuse. Some may as well have had an exquisite taste ever since they were born.

  22. fatassets

    I really wanted to vote for ‘The Color Purple’ since it’s the only Spielberg movie that I wasn’t able to finish. There’s no way I can watch a film with Oprah and Whoopi for 2.5 hours. In the end I voted for Hook since Color Purple seemed to be well made and all just not my thing.

  23. that1guypictures

    I’m really surprised at the disdain for Hook. I understand my nostalgia may cloud my judgement. I was 7 when I saw it in theaters. But I hardly think it’s the worst of Spielbergs films. It’s memorable; has an AMAZING score by John Williams, has some extraordinary sets, costumes, and is a frequent staple of kids who grew up in the 80’s and 90″s. Plus, Hoskins, and Hoffman are great, as are Maggie Smith, cameos by a young Gwyneth Paltrow, Glenn Close, and Phil Collins…I loved this film. Yes Williams is just playing himself, and yes the kids in the film can be a little annoying…I understand it’s not the best film Spielberg has made, but the worst? Certainly not! I voted for Lost World, because even as a kid, I recognized that it wasn’t that great of a film, and simply was a cash grab to get more JP merchandise to sell…riding on the coattails of the first.

      • vihdeeohfieuhl

        It’s just pretentious fools trying to stir up shit! Nobody actually thinks that Schindler’s List, Raiders of the Lost Ark, or even Munich, and Saving Private Ryan are Spielberg’s worst films. They just wanted to vote for them on the off chance that someone called them out, or so that they could see those films have a number and a percentage statistic next to them.

      • EM

        Now and then I encounter the claim that someone categorically dislikes all black-and-white films. I suppose such a view could automatically propel Schindler’s List to the bottom of Spielberg‘s filmography, whether the person had actually seen the film or not.