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THE STEVEN SPIELBERG COUNTDOWN | List complete! How did your fave do????

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Jurassic Park

243 pts, 33 lists

"Hold on to your butts."



#1 placements: 6

#2 placements: 7

#3 placements: 1

Top 5 placements: 4

Top 10 placements: 8

Top 15 placements: 3

Box Office: 404.2M DOM, 1.033B WW

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

Metacritic: 68

Awards: 3 Academy Award wins, 1 BAFTA win and nomination, 1 Grammy Award nomination, 1 Award from the Japanese Academy, 4 Saturn Award wins and 7 wins, 3 MTV Movie Award nominations


Critic Review: "As a flight of fantasy, Jurassic Park lacks the emotional unity of Spielberg's classics ("Jaws," "Close Encounters," "E.T."), yet it has enough of his innocent, playful virtuosity to send you out of the theater grinning with delight." - Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

BOT User Review: "Still holds up really well today. The animatronics and visual effects are still fantastic and the story combines the thrills, action and comedy so nicely." - @TheMovieman


Its Legacy: Became the highest-grossing film of all time. Is the highest-grossing film in Spielberg’s career. Considered one of the greatest action thrillers of all time. In too many polls and other lists to count. Inspired hundreds of future paleontologists the world over. Became one of the biggest moneymakers for Universal with several sequels, some of which became some of the highest-grossing films in history. Featured groundbreaking CGI effects that redefined visual effects for years to come. Such VFX resulted in the Star Wars prequels, A.I., and Lord of the Rings to name only a few. Inspired way too many dinosaur movies/documentaries to count. Birthed the sound system DTS. Birthed the special effects company Digital Domain. Birthed the Toronto Raptors name. Saw a Universal Studios theme park ride, and an entire land at Islands of Adventure. Joined the National Film Registry in 2018. Got a bunch of video games. Was parodied in the first episode of the Animanaiacs reboot. Gave Wayne Knight a paycheck.


Commentary: While arguably not the deepest film in the Spielberg canon, Jurassic Park is, in many ways, the quintessential Spielberg title. There’s something still inherently fascinating about the idea of dinosaurs living among us, and Spielberg knows it. Those first few instances when Alan and Ellie see that Brachiosaurus? Pure bliss, as the unreal becomes real. John Williams’ score and Richard Attenborough’s utterly charming performance only further heightens the wonder over seeing such magnificent creatures come to life, and I still get goosebumps over it. Even four movies later, nothing has come close to such a magical moment in the franchise. The marketing made sure audiences saw as little of the dinos as possible, so it must have been jaw-dropping to see this on the big screen. It’s honestly the one movie I wish I was alive to have seen when it first came out.


At the same time, Jurassic Park is also a terrifying film. It shows the reasons why dinosaurs don’t coexist with humans. The most tense moments of the piece have little music, and are full of carnage, destruction, and fear, resulting in one intense setpiece after another. It’s nerve-wracking to go through, but it helps make Jurassic Park turn into one insane and likable thrill ride unlike any other. Helped of course by an incredible cast that take some admittedly simple characters and turn them into charismatic and dynamic heroes and antagonists.


Jurassic Park has continued to live on as a blockbuster icon. So much so the rebootquel series Jurassic World is currently the biggest non-Disney franchise as of this writing by a significant margin. And as the third title finally comes to us in two years...hopefully in theaters, the love and iconic stature of the original Jurassic Park won’t go away any time soon.



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Raiders of the Lost Ark

267 pts, 33 lists

"It belongs in a museum!"




#1 placements: 8

#2 placements: 7

#3 placements: 8

Top 5 placements: 2

Top 10 placements: 7

Box Office: 248.2M DOM, 389.9M WW

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

Metacritic: 85

Awards: 5 Academy Award wins and 4 nominations, 1 Golden Globe nomination, 1 BAFTA win and 6 nominations, 1 Grammy Award win, 1 Hugo Award win, 7 Saturn Award wins


Critic Review: "Raiders of the Lost Ark has it all—or, anyway, more than enough to transport moviegoers back to the dazzling, thrill-sated matinee idyls of old. It is surely the best two hours of pure entertainment anyone is going to find in the summer of '81." - Richard Schickel, TIME

BOT User Review: "One of the all-time adventures. To steal from another franchise, it bows to no one." - @Plain Old Tele


Its Legacy: Became the highest-grossing film of 1981. Was the fourth highest-grossing film of all time. One of many titles that made Harrison Ford a household name. Served as Lucasfilm’s other big franchise. Reinvigorated interest in old film serials. Hailed as one of the greatest films ever made. Spielberg considers it his perfect movie. Became the best-selling VHS in history. Inspired hundreds of future archaeologists. Joined the National Film Registry in 1999. Inspired the likes of Chris Carter, Simon Kinberg, Jon Turteltaub, Dan Brown, and Joe Johnston in their careers. Referenced and parodied everywhere. Inspired the likes of The Goonies, Romancing the Stone, The Mummy, and National Treasure. Was remade shot-for-shot in 1989. Way too much merchandise, comic books, and video games to count. Gave Alfred Molina a paycheck.


Commentary: Here’s a good anecdote to start this out. My mom saw Raiders when it first came out in theaters, and she talked about how nerve-wracking the introduction was. Indiana Jones goes across a booby-trapped temple, is betrayed by some colleagues, is chased by his rival and a tribe of indigenous folk, and tries to get on a seaplane back to safety. It was the scariest thing she ever saw, and put her on the edge of her seat every step of the way. That experience of seeing all these crazy twists and turns for the first time is still etched in her brain. And...yeah, there’s a good reason why.


Spielberg has gone on to say Raiders of the Lost Ark is his perfect movie. Nothing could be changed, nothing could be added. And while I was the one parading E.T. as his perfect movie, I can see why he would choose Raiders. Coming from the idea of George Lucas, Raiders so perfectly blends action, adventure, comedy, drama, romance, and spectacle into a glorious package. The characters are likable, the actors are incredible, the sets are mind-boggling, the creativity is off the charts and...yeah, that intro is incredible.


What has been said about Raiders has already been said, though I guess one interesting tidbit is that, like Jaws, Raiders is a good reason why Box Office Theory exists. After several years of declining audiences and profits, summer 1981 was a record season at the box office, helped not just by the highly-anticipated Superman II, but the surprise success of Raiders of the Lost Ark. People didn’t expect much of this Harrison Ford starrer despite the attachment of Spielberg and Lucas, with audience polling reportedly showing no interest in the film. Yet this film managed to be so fun and endearing it more or less boosted people’s interest in the movies again, showing that you need compelling films to get people invested in going to the theaters rather than just expecting people to come. Let’s hope studios take that lesson to heart before theaters die away forever.


This was actually on the lower end on the top 5 for a good while, but a huge resurgence of #1/#2 votes helped take this all the way to second place, showing how much people love this movie. Needless to say, James Mangold has some heavy shoes to fill with the fifth and final installment, but I can't wait to see what he does regardless.



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Schindler’s List

275 pts, 34 lists

"In memory of the countless victims among your people, I ask us to observe three minutes of silence."



#1 placements: 10

#2 placements: 6

#3 placements: 3

Top 5 placements: 6

Top 10 placements: 6

Top 15 placements: 2

Box Office: 96.9M DOM, 322.2M WW

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

Metacritic: 94

Awards: 7 Academy Award wins and 5 nominations, 7 BAFTA wins and 6 nominations, 3 Golden Globe Award wins and 3 nominations


Critic Review: "What is most amazing about this film is how completely Spielberg serves his story. The movie is brilliantly acted, written, directed and seen. Individual scenes are masterpieces of art direction, cinematography, special effects, crowd control." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

BOT User Review: "One of the best films ever made." - @Plain Old Tele


Its Legacy: Hailed as one of the greatest films ever made. Appeared on too many critics list and polls to count. Earned both praise and criticism from many filmmakers. Became Spielberg’s first Best Picture win. Eighth best film on AFI’s Top 100. Joined National Film Registry in 2004. Created the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. Earned numerous controversies for television broadcasts. Brought the horrors of the Holocaust to a new light.


Commentary: Like this comes as a surprise to anyone. Schindler’s List was the only movie to appear on every single list. And at this point, we all know why. Perhaps one of the most tragic films ever conceived, this was a film Spielberg, a Jewish man who dealt with antisemitism all his life, knew he had to make, but he had no idea if he could even make a good movie out of this, resulting in the project hopping from director to director. It wasn’t until he saw the rise of Holocaust denial and neo-Nazism, a trend that is sadly still alive and well today. And he had to make the best damn movie he could. And he could.


It’s a film that is brutal, almost impossible to watch at points. Yet it makes the film all the more powerful. We had to see what humanity has done to an entire creed of people, and how so many just let it all happen. It’s a call to action to never let something like this happen again. And yet, tragically enough, it has happened again. Numerous times. Around the world in fact. But it’s why we need this movie in the first place. Somebody has to stop this stuff. And while we haven’t found a solution just yet, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen soon. And media like this is important, as it recognizes our mistakes as a society. Nobody knows what the future holds, but Shindler’s List being in our life does make things a little bit brighter.


This is Spielberg’s true magnum opus. Some of us may prefer other titles, but this is the defining movie of Spielberg’s entire filmography. This is what will leave the most impact. And I am so glad to see this is what is #1 on this very countdown.



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And that's the list! This was my first countdown, and I don't know if I totally nailed it, but I certainly had fun talking about each individual piece and I was glad so many people not only submitted lists, but also had their films all over the place on a wide spectrum. There was a real sense of variety in the sense that certain movies got higher than others, but everybody had thier own unique and distinct tastes that made it fun to look at all the individual pieces.


So a super duper extra huge thank you to @lilmac @VenomXXR @TalismanRing @cookie @terrestrial @charlie Jatinder @The Panda @baumer @Tower @Fancyarcher @Joel M @filmlover @gadd @Daxtreme @4815162342 @Ahsoka @DAR @Empire @JJ-8 @Rorschach @Spaghetti @Blankments @aabattery @chasmmi @lorddemaxus @grim22 @Finnick @wildphantom @Ethan Hunt @WrathOfHan @Plain Old Tele @Jake Gittes @MrPink @Kvikk Lunsj


Literally this countdown could not have happened without your support.


And of course another super duper extra huge thank you to Steven Spielberg himself. Not all your films were winners, but the work you've put into cinema for almost 50 years is astonishing and incredible. Good luck on your West Side Story, and we can't wait to see what other ideas you have left before you leave us.


Finally, I will end this off by saying one last thing: this is actually going to be an annual thing. With how much fun this countdown was to make, I'm planning to make these kinds of lists an annual thing, celebrating all the great directors who made the movies we love and inspire the movies we will soon love. So next year, December 2021, we will have, drumroll please...


The Martin Scorsese Countdown


That's right ladies and germs! We got ourselves another heavy hitter in the industry who's got one incredible body of work. Just gonna let you guys know so you can have a head start on the movies you might have missed. There's a lot of underrated pieces in his filmography and I hope everybody can catch up on it before next year...y'know, assuming movie box office isn't dead forever due to the coronavirus destroying theatrical exhibition, which isn't completely off the table.


Thank you everybody for following along, and remember that Timothee loves you!

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Wow, didn't expect Schindler's List to be #1, but it's honestly it's more then deserving. Also I'm super happy that Bridge of Spies made it into the top ten. I feel like a lot of Spielberg's output in the last decade doesn't get as much appreciation as it should. 


Also great job Eric. Looking forward to the Scorsese countdown next year. 

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3 minutes ago, charlie Jatinder said:

Guess I can take the credit for Raiders not topping. 😎

I didn't have it on my list either :Gaga:


Jurassic Park > Raiders but the right film won.  Nice write ups, @Eric Karga!

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53 minutes ago, Eric Karga said:

It shows the reasons why dinosaurs don’t coexist with humans


feel like that's more about the meteorite than any inter-species tensions between us and dinosaurs


(also birds are dinosaurs)

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The ending of Schindler's List "I could have saved more".... fucking DAMN


Unbelievable, heart-wrenching, emotional&heavy, so many ways to describe this scene. Spielberg is a genius and this scene proves it without a doubt. Movie magic.

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Schindler's List is Spielbergs magnum opus. It's obviously a heart wrenching watch but it's just masterclass and shows his depths as a storyteller. Ralph Fiennes is incredible, one of the best performances I've ever seen. It's just so unbelievably powerful. 


What's so great about Spielberg is he's made like 10 films that are easy 10/10 in my books and I love them all for different reasons. He has so much range as a filmmaker.

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if I submitted a list, this is a version of the final list.

275, 32 > 275, 32 - Schindler's List

267, 33 > 275, 34 - Raiders of the Lost Ark (8)

243, 33 > 253, 34 - Jurassic Park (10)

242, 31 > 248, 32 - Jaws (6)

208, 32 > 211, 33 - E.T. (3)

186, 29 > 195, 30 - Saving Private Ryan (9)

183, 28 > 188, 29 - The Last Crusade (5)

177, 32 > 181, 33 - Catch Me If You Can (4)

154, 29 > 156, 30 - Close Encounters of the Third Kind (2)

130, 28 > 133, 29 - Bride of Spies (3)

123, 28 > 127, 29 - The Temple of Doom (4)

122, 27 > 127, 28 - Minority Report (5)

115, 27 > 123, 28 - A.I. (8)

112, 27 > 115, 28 - Lincoln (3)

  90, 24 >   90, 24 - Empire of the Sun

  86, 27 >   93. 28 - Ready Player One (7)

  84, 24 >   88, 25 - Munich (4)

  82, 25 >   84, 25 - The Adventures of Tintin (2)

  78, 18 >   85, 19 - War of the Worlds (7)

  66, 33 >   72, 23 - The Lost World (6)

  61, 24 >   65, 25 - Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (4)

  55, 22 >   58, 23 - War Horse (3)

  52, 19 >   55, 20 - Amistad (3)

  52, 23 >   54, 24 - The BFG (2)

  52, 23 >   54, 24 - The Terminal (2)

  51, 21 >   55, 22 - Hook (4)

  21, 13 >   23, 14 - Always (2)


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On 12/14/2020 at 10:47 PM, Ahsoka said:

I’m glad that BOT continues its enduring legacy of not having any taste by ranking AI under Temple of Doom. I love all of you. Never change!!!


Chris Evans Reaction GIF


Probably because Temple of Doom is quite awesome.  AI is good as well but Temple is more fun and innovative and the mine chase scene.  

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@Eric Karga how can you argue that JAWS did more harm than good?  It's the best film of the 70's imo and it scared the hell out of a nation in 1975.  It changed the landscape of film and the business of film.  I fail to see the negtive in this.


BTW....it's far too low at number four, but this is BOT.  

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