For the fifth time in his career, director Steven Spielberg has offered up a drama ("War Horse") and an entertainment ("The Adventures of Tintin") in the same year. But for the first time ever, he has two films in theaters at the same time.

On top of all of that, 2011 has very much been "The Year of The Beard." In addition to his own work, he has lended his check book and his talent as a producer to films like "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," "Super 8" and "Cowboys & Aliens," while having a presence on television via programs like "Falling Skies" and "Terra Nova."

So with the man so much a force in entertainment this year, it seems like now is as good a time as any to take stock of his portfolio and offer up a list ranking the best he's had to offer over the last four decades.

This really is the ultimate in subjective collectives, though. Spielberg, as one Twitter follower recently remarked to me, has become a brand. And the audience is brand-loyal. But within that brand are a lot of different experiences and memories to take into the assembly of a list such as this.

So with that in mind, do remember that this is my list. I'm sure yours is different and I'd love to hear what it is, so feel free to offer it up below with any general thoughts on the director, his work over the years and his work currently available in theaters.

You can dig into my selections at our new gallery.

For year-round entertainment news and awards season commentary follow @kristapley on Twitter.

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