Ready Player One is in theaters now, and Film Twitter is deeply divided, as it is with nearly everything these days. Well, except for Paddington 2 and Black Panther. I have no interest in any of the hot takes about how it ignores Gamergate, fails to adequately portray The Iron Giant, or relies too heavily on ’80s pop culture nostalgia. I guess those are valid takes, but they all seem to ignore or minimize the legitimate achievements of Steven Spielberg behind the camera. It’s been a good long while since audiences had Spielberg in blockbuster mode, and I’m here to say, I’m all for it.
As a director, he hasn’t missed a beat. Ready Player One is loads of fun. I had a blast with it, and I expect most other audiences will too, as long as they don’t go in arms crossed expecting it to be something it’s not. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve. It’s goofy, and corny, and unabashedly simple minded in its execution – it aims to give you visual spectacle on a grand scale with just the faintest of character beats and storytelling tricks. Yet, it works and easily transcends its source material because of Spielberg.
Look, I love The Post, Bridge of Spies, and Lincoln as much as anyone, but those historical dramas don’t hold a candle to flicks like Jaws, Jurassic Park, Raiders, E.T., or even Minority Report. So, it’s especially rewarding to see him swing for the fences again with Ready Player One, a pure popcorn fantasy flick that movie lovers of all ages can enjoy.
So, in honor of Ready Player One and the Beard himself, I thought I’d tackle what many others in the film community have recently tackled – a ranking of all of Spielberg’s films from best to worst. Spielberg is my favorite director and basically made me the film fan I am today, so this should be a lot of fun. Where does Ready Player One fall? Will we all agree on this ranking? Lot of questions. Though I’m almost certain the answer to the 2nd is a firm NO. Let’s get to it:
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What’s your favorite Spielberg movie? Let me know in the comments below!