SIMPLY THE BEST
By Lee Parham
While West Side Story director Steven Spielberg has been in the industry for over 50 years, his immaculate filmmaking has shown no signs of fading.
Before he tackled an American classic musical, Steven Spielberg had already been responsible for some of the biggest hits in cinematic history.
Spielberg produced an onslaught of humongous Hollywood hits, including the likes of Jaws, Jurassic Park, E.T., Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, and more.
Though his work in the 21st century hasn't received the same amount of attention, Spielberg has quietly put together a back half of a career resume worthy of its spot in film history.
While the world was freaking out about technology during Y2K, Spielberg dived into technology-driven science fiction himself, firstly with 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
He followed that effort with 2002's Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise as part of a police force who can see crimes before they occur.
Finally in Spielberg's later sci-fi tangent was 2005’s adaptation of H.G. Wells' classic novel War of the Worlds, one of the original alien invasion stories.
In the meantime, Spielberg collaborated with Saving Private Ryan star Tom Hanks for several different flicks, including Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal.
Catch Me If You Can
After over a decade apart, Spielberg and Hanks would reteam again in the 2015 Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies, and 2017 for the press-based drama The Post, both nominated for Best Picture.
Bridge of Spies
Speaking of Best Picture nominated films, 2005 saw the release of Munich, a period piece drama about the massacres at the 1972 Olympics. The movie was lauded as one of the best films of the decade.
Spielberg returned to his Indiana Jones series in 2008 with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, despite steering away from franchise filmmaking for most of the decade.
The franchise revival was not well received, with audiences panning the attempt as relying too heavily on CGI, having far-fetched moments, and an incomprehensible ending.
Perhaps the disappointment of the fourth Indiana Jones steered Spielberg away from action-based films for a while, as the director focused heavily on dramas for the next few years.
2011 featured the Best Picture-nominated film War Horse, about a boy and his horse that found itself in moments throughout the first world war.
In 2012 he directed Civil War biopic Lincoln about the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, played by the legendary Daniel Day-Lewis in a performance that snagged him his 3rd Oscar.
Spielberg eventually returned to blockbuster films with 2016s The BFG and the 2018 adaptation of the popular novel Ready Player One. Both films received generally positive reviews.
Ready Player One
Finally, after an illustrious career of 40+ films, Spielberg played his hand at musicals, adapting the late Stephen Sondheim's West Side Story for the big screen 60 years after the original.