To this day, Steven Spielberg is one of the most famous and distinguished film producers and directors of the 20th and 21st centuries. After breaking into the film industry with his directorial debut, Jaws, Spielberg went on to make classics such as the indian jones franchise in the 80s and more contemporary films in the 21st century, such as The post office.
His contributions to the film industry are endless, and where he has succeeded with action and adventure films, he has made wonderful contributions to the coming of age genre both as a director and executive producer.
ten The BFG (2016) – 6.4
Based on the famous children’s books by Roald Dahl, The BFG is a beautiful coming of age story about a young girl who befriends a gentle giant and embarks on a quest to convince the Queen of England to help rid the country of evil giants once for all. The BFG was not one of Spielberg’s most acclaimed works, receiving only fair reviews online and in print. The film has its moments of wonder and beauty, but even though Spielburg brightened up Dahl’s original work, some felt the story wasn’t magical enough. However, at its core, it is a visually stunning fantasy story, filled with messages of imagination and resilience, and enjoyed by young children seeking adventure and growth.
9 Hook (1991) – 6.8
As one of Spielberg’s best fantasy films and nominated for five Oscars, To hang up is a classic that many fondly remember from childhood. An adaptation of the classic Peter Pan story, Robin Williams takes viewers on an epic adventure filled with pixie dust, evil pirates, and the hope that they will never grow up. Although not at the very top of this list, To hang up is a story of heroism, love and humanity that invites the next viewer to be struck by its story of vulnerability, childhood memories and growth. Many said that upon re-watching the film as adults, they were still warmed by this story of courage and surprised at how much the story supported children and adults on their journey through life. It certainly makes viewers want to stay young forever.
8 War Horse (2011) – 7.2
In his heart, Battle horse is a war adventure, but it reflects a great story about a young boy’s determination and how animals can teach humanity. Based on the bestselling novel of the same name, the film tells the story of a boy’s beloved horse sold to the British cavalry during World War I. It follows this boy as he goes on a journey to search the battlefields until he can bring his horse home. Nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, Battle horse is considered a milestone in Spielberg’s personal film career. It pays homage to traditional Hollywood movies with its cinematic flair and uplifting storylines, loved by all audiences.
seven The Adventures of Tintin (2011) – 7.3
The Adventures of Tintin is the first animated feature directed by Spielberg, and critics agree that it is one of his best works. In fact, the film won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. The story follows young journalist Tintin and his dog as they embark on an adventure filled with ships, hidden treasures and drunken captains.
Viewers see Tintin grow up in front of a backdrop of beautiful imagery and cinematography that people of all ages can enjoy. The animation is so realistic that it resembles the real world and brings the characters to life that take viewers with them every time they experience the film.
6 Player One Loan (2018) – 7.4
The futuristic world created by Spielburg in Loan player one is eerily similar to the one viewers live in today. In order to escape a ruined planet, people find adventure when they put on their virtual reality headsets and live in a simulation without destruction. Viewers follow a young boy on a quest to find a hidden Easter egg in the game. Spielberg’s adaptation of the book of the same name is visually captivating, full of exceptional musical choices, and offers viewers nostalgic nods to the past video games and pop culture. Although some critics were disappointed with the differences between the beloved book and the film, they called it one of Spielberg’s best films of the 21st century, and it received mostly positive reviews regarding its breathtaking acting. and his ode to children who grew up watching his earlier work.
5 Empire of the Sun (1987) – 7.7
This film is hailed as a beautiful account of the struggle of young people and how children survive the horrors they are sometimes unable to comprehend. Empire of the Sun follows a young Christian Bale who is living in Shanghai when the Japanese invade. He is separated from his parents and sent to a prison camp where the majority of the film takes place. It’s a great coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of war, and viewers are captivated by the young boy’s youthful spirit and the hope he shares with the people he finds himself with. in the camp. Although not a box office success, it received several Oscar nominations and some critics say it is one of the best films of its decade. With a beautiful score, an incredible story and a beautiful backdrop of Shanghai in the 80s, this film is unforgettable.
4 West Side Story (2021) – 7.8
West Side Story is Spielberg’s most recent project, a remake of the 60s original West Side Story, and the one the critics rave about. This musical about the love story of Romeo and Juliet was a classic at the time, and Speilburg has made it a classic again. If the mix of Broadway dance routines and Hollywood talent wasn’t enough, Spielberg managed to make the story relevant again and bring in elements of modern wrestling that weren’t as apparent in the original. It stayed true to the elements that made the original a classic, but created a fresh and dynamic revamp that people will be talking about for years.
3 The Goonies (1985) – 7.8
When people think of “coming of age,” they often opt for this 80s classic. The Goonies is based on a story by Spielberg himself, and although he didn’t direct it, he was the executive producer and mastermind behind the film. An adventure about lost treasure and devotion to friends, this film is filled with tricks and traps, love and sentiment that appeals to children and nostalgic adults alike.
Viewers remember the days they spent as children running around their neighborhood battling pirates and following maps. The Goonies take them back to that time, and though wacky, their adventures are thrilling and rich with classic Spielberg storytelling.
2 ET The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – 7.8
AND the extra-terrestrial isn’t just a movie with great product placement, some of the best child actors in movie history, or animatronic aliens, it’s a movie about childhood, homesickness, and compassion. When a kind alien befriends a young boy to find his way home, viewers are treated to a cinematic experience of innocence and wonder. ET is one of Spielberg’s most endearing works and featuring an exceptional cast and crew, it managed to steal the hearts of viewers aged 8 to 88. It was a box office hit and nominated for multiple Oscars, prompting emotional reactions from small families across town to the president.
1 Back to the Future (1985) – 8.5
For several years in the late 80s, Spielburg mainly worked as a producer. He served as executive producer on numerous films during this time, including the blockbuster hit and longtime fan-favorite coming-of-age sci-fi, Back to the future. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this film follows teenager Marty McFly as he is thrown into the past and must navigate college life alongside younger versions of his parents. This film is one of the greatest pieces of cinematic imagination to find its way to the screen. It’s smart, one-of-a-kind, and gives viewers a sense of excitement and light-hearted fun. Watching Marty navigate the love between his father and mother is certainly a unique perspective and brings a twisted little comedy to the blockbuster. It’s the perfect coming-of-age story, full of drama, heart, and out-of-this-world experiences.
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