21st Century Spielberg Ranked From Worst to Best

21st Century Spielberg Ranked

Now that the 21st Century Spielberg column/podcast has come to a close (at least until West Side Story arrives in December 2021), it’s time to look back at Steven Spielberg‘s films from the 2000s and 2010s and see how they all stack up. Overall, the 21st century has produced some of Spielberg’s most interesting, challenging, and rewarding work – but not all of it worked.

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21st century spielberg podcast lincoln

(Welcome to 21st Century Spielberg, an ongoing column and podcast that examines the challenging, sometimes misunderstood 21st-century filmography of one of our greatest living filmmakers, Steven Spielberg. In this edition: War Horse and Lincoln.)

War is hell. Any sane individual knows this and knows that the old romanticized notions of glory on the battlefield are little more than fantasy. But that hasn’t stopped Hollywood from returning, again and again, to depicting big, loud, action-packed battles on the screen. Whenever reviewing a war movie, Roger Ebert was fond of pulling out a quote attributed to Francois Truffaut, that it was impossible to make an anti-war film because movies made war inherently entertaining. The real quote, as close as I can tell from my own research, comes from a 1973 interview Truffaut gave with Ebert’s colleague Gene Siskel, in which the legendary French filmmaker said: “I find that violence is very ambiguous in movies. For example, some films claim to be antiwar, but I don’t think I’ve really seen an anti-war film. Every film about war ends up being pro-war.” 

Steven Spielberg is no stranger to war movies. From Saving Private Ryan to the Band of Brothers miniseries, and beyond, Spielberg has portrayed war and all its horrors, but even when portraying the harrowing battles of Ryan, the truth of the Truffaut quote sneaks in: sure, war is hell, but it’s also pretty entertaining in the hands of a master filmmaker. The real way to hammer home the horrors of war isn’t so much to portray extended battle sequences. Instead, the secret is to move beyond the bullets and the blood and find the humanity lurking beneath; humanity in danger of being snuffed out like a candle in a cold wind. And with War Horse and Lincoln, two films focused on World War I and The American Civil War, respectively, Spielberg did just that.

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Best Movies Streaming Right Now Burning

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)

The weekend is closing in fast, and thank heavens for that. If you’re anything like me (and if you are, I’m sorry), you like to spend your weekends indoors, watching movies. Thankfully, we live in the golden age of content, where thousands of titles are available to stream. And that’s where Now Stream This comes in – I’m here to sift out all the nonsense, and give you some of the best options available. These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming!

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Each year American Cinema Editors (ACE) recognizes the best editing of the year in narrative film, documentary and television through the Eddie Awards. The nominations for achievement in 2011 have been released. They include a couple of expected films such as Hugo and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and feature a couple other inclusions that might count as surprises to some.

The full list is below. Read More »

Debate has gone on for months over whether or not Andy Serkis should be nominated for an Oscar for his work in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The issue at hand isn’t the work done by Serkis, which is clearly strong. It is the fact that he did that work on set but isn’t actually seen in the film, as his physical presence is painted out and replaced with the all-CGI ape Caesar.

The problem, inasmuch as there is one, is that some people have a difficult time seeing through that wash of pixels to understand the work that Serkis did for the film. But a new clip shows a full scene as captured by cameras on set, with Serkis performing as Caesar, and then presents the same scene with his CG alter-ego in place. If you had any doubts about what sort of work Serkis did for the role, this will erase them. Read More »

Here’s your best indicator yet as to what the crop of nominations for the Best Picture Oscar is likely to be. The Producers Guild of America (PGA) has announced its nominations for 2011 awards, which will be doled out on January 21.

The ten films nominated for the PGA’s top honor include expected pictures such as The Artist, The Descendants and War Horse. There are no real surprises, but the growing Oscar chances for The Help won’t be hurt by getting a PGA nomination (would be slightly wild to see Chris Columbus, a producer on The Help, with an Oscar), and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris makes an appearance on the list, too. There are a couple surprises, though, in the form of Bridesmaids and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo — the Judd Apatow and Scott Rudin effects in full force there. With 5-10 Best Picture nominations possible for this year’s Oscars, most of the films in the PGA’s top list are likely to end up in the race.

The full PGA press release, with the full slate of nominations, is below. Documentary and animation nominations are there, too, though the slate of nominations in each category is more or less exactly what you’d expect to see at this point. Read More »

Odds are if you visited a movie theater recently, you might have been there to see Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol or War Horse. The former has been deservedly sitting atop the box office charts since its release and the latter is the latest, tear-jerker live-action drama from one of our most beloved filmmakers, Steven Spielberg. And while the fact they’re both currently playing in theaters is more or less the only thing the films have in common, both are undoubtedly improved by their sound and score.

John Williams‘ score to War Horse is one of his best in many years. It perfectly compliments the sweeping story of how a single animal can bring out the best in people at the worst of times. With Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, director Brad Bird and his team use not only Michael Giacchino‘s score, but a steady barrage of sound, to amp up the drama surrounding Ethan Hunt and his disavowed IMF agents.

After the jump, watch in-depth videos and interviews regarding the sound and music from both Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Steven Spielberg’s War Horse. Read More »

The /Filmcast: Bonus Ep. – War Horse

slashfilmcast550

In this episode, Dave, Devindra, and Adam discuss War Horse. Spielberg has proven he can direct effective and epic war films. Does he succeed again here? Tune in to find out.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Live broadcasts will resume in 2012.

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Dave’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

End-of-year list-making is typically a daunting, tricky, and arbitrary task. At its best, it’s a way to express ideas and share interesting finds. At its worst, it’s a shouting match about WHY DIDN’T YOU PICK THE EXACT FILMS I LIKE?

In 2011, I probably saw around 70-80 new release films in theaters. I’m certain that these films are different than the ones you saw and I’m equally certain that I missed a ton of great titles. Nonetheless, after the jump, you’ll find my 10 favorite films of 2011. I hope you’ll take it as the beginning of a conversation, as opposed to the end. And if I chose a film that you didn’t, then all the better! I look forward to reading your picks in the comments below.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

We’ve posted the directors, actors, actresses, writers and now it’s time for the people who bring them all together. Every year during awards season, The Hollywood Reporter organizes the schedules of basically every single actor, actress, writer and director of the year’s best films to sit down and discuss them. This, in itself, is pretty spectacular. What’s even better is they release the videos of the full conversations so we can watch. For the 2011 Producers’ Roundtable, they’ve brought together Midnight in Paris producer Letty Aronson, Moneyball producer Michael De Luca, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy producer Tim Bevan, War Horse producer Kathleen Kennedy, The Tree of Life producer Bill Pohlad, The Descendants producer Jim Burke and The Help producer Chris Columbus to discuss their own, and each others’, films, all of which have a good shot at multiple award nominations. Check out the video after the jump. Read More »