HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 21: Steven Spielberg attends the 2022 TCM Classic Film Festival Opening Night 40th Anniversary Screening of "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial…" at TCL Chinese Theatre on April 21, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
All Eight Steven Spielberg
Sci-Fi Movies, Ranked
8. Ready Player One
Filled with pop-culture references and icons, the adaptation of Ernest Clive’s novel has characters battling for control of the virtual world, the OASIS. While the protagonists fight to protect the OASIS from the “evil” corporation trying to fill it with ads, Spielberg misses the story's heart, as the heroes never question their obsessive loyalty to a company.
7. The Lost World
Debuting four years after the original, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” suffers from a flimsy premise and the loss of awe that audiences enjoyed in the first movie. The special effects are equally impressive as the previous film, but some scenes feel campy, like the T-Rex rampaging through San Diego or a dinosaur piloting a ship.
6. War of the Worlds
Released while 9/11 was still fresh in our minds, “War of the Worlds” showcases violence and the destruction of cities in a display that is neither fun nor fantastical. Spielberg’s attempt to address real-world issues, while audiences were still unsure how to process this kind of brutality in movies, led to an unentertaining film.
5. Close Encounters
“Close Encounters of the Third Kind” treated audiences to deep investigations and government cover-ups reminiscent of “The X-Files,” before alien abduction lore cemented itself in urban legend. “Close Encounters” is a fascinating and tense film, but it suffers from a lack of focus and a character choice on the part of the protagonist that remains controversial.
4. Jurassic Park (1993)
With its groundbreaking special effects, “Jurassic Park” brought realistic dinosaurs to the big screen, so families could enjoy them wreaking havoc on a theme park. The stabs at corporate commodification and theme parks hit hard, and the bogus science explaining the dinosaurs’ resurrection is just plausible enough to inspire interest in real science.