Steven Spielberg's 25 greatest movies
HitFix ranks the legend's greatest films to date
16. 'Sugarland Express' (1974)
One of Spielberg's most underseen films, and also one of his least typical, Spielberg's theatrical debut feature has a rough-and-ready quality that no subsequent films of his has ever repeated. In a sense, he got too accomplished for this kind of fare, but it's also hard to imagine him making anything this casually character-driven these days: this story of a fugitive couple who kidnap a cop and criss-cross the country with him in tow has the kind of propulsive story momentum he later honed on more high-concept projects, but with a pavement-level social savvy that he never really returned to. Interestingly, it's his film to compete at Cannes, where it won the Best Screenplay prize.
- Guy Lodge