With 'War Horse' and 'Tintin' in theaters, we rank the director's best
3. "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977)
Spielberg has mentioned that if he made "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" today, as a result of his having started a family and grown emotionally, he would not have ended it the way he did. Thank God he made it when he did. With "Jaws" in the rear view and the keys to the kingdom (with the disaster of "1941" not yet a stain on his portfolio), Spielberg went dark and introspective in fascinating and deeply meaningful ways. Richard Dreyfuss gives a wonderful performance as a man consumed by something he doesn't fully understand, but nevertheless desperate to see it to its conclusion, much like many a talented young filmmaker must feel.