Hailed as one of the greatest TV movies of all time, this 1971 action thriller chronicles a crazed truck driver who stalks a terrified motorist (Dennis Weaver) through the California desert. Duel was so well received it garnered a theatrical release, catapulting the then-25-year-old Spielberg into features.
This 1977 sci-fi epic about humanity's first contact with aliens was one of the few films that year not overshadowed by the phenomenon that was Star Wars. We're guessing the mother ship made quite an impression, not to mention those five musical notes we still can't get out of our head.
"We're gonna need a bigger boat" remains a classic piece of Hollywood dialogue. Spielberg's 1975 thriller about a man-eating Great White shark became the highest-grossing film of all time and helped give rise to Hollywood's blockbuster era.
Spielberg joined forces with longtime pal George Lucas for this action adventure that harkened back to their favorite serials of the '30s and '40s; the rollicking film introduced us to a new swashbuckling big screen hero, Indiana Jones, as played by Harrison Ford.
This 1982 tearjerker about a boy who helps his little alien buddy phone home cemented the filmmaker's reputation as a hitmaker with a heart.
The helmer's 1985 drama based on Alice Walker's acclaimed novel made stars out of Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey and earned 11 Oscar nomination. But it failed to take home any golden guys and Spielberg was snubbed for Best Director.
This 1993 dinosaur adventure was the first in a one-two punch for the director who made Schindler's List while editing this movie. Jurassic Park was not only a massive hit, it helped popularize computer-generated visual effects which at the time were still a nascent art form.
Spielberg finally got the respect from his peers he deserved with this unforgettable 1993 drama about the Holocaust, which won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.
Featuring a harrowing open battle sequence, Spielberg's 1998 war epic chronicled the bravery of the men who stormed the Normandy coast on D-Day. The Tom Hanks-led film won the filmmaker his second Academy Award for Best Director.
Based on a story by Stanley Kubrick, Spielberg's 2001 futuristic Pinocchio tale about a little robot boy searching for his mother in an America racked by global warming. Tepidly received at first, it's grown in stature and is considered now one of his most underrated works.
In his 2002 neo-noir sci-fi thriller starring Tom Cruise, Spielberg paid homage to the classic whodunits of the '30s and '40s made by his cinematic forefathers like John Huston and Howard Hawks.
Another passion project, Spielberg's 2005 drama followed a secret Israeli hit squad tasked with hunting down the perpetrators of the Munich massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics.
Considered by many to be one of his finest films, this gripping, low-key drama focuses on the 16th president's effort to pass the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery at the end of the Civil War and features a performance for the ages by Daniel Day-Lewis.
MORE: Movies From the Future
The Cold War drama, released in 2015, told the true story of a lawyer (Tom Hanks) who negotiated the release of a U.S. Air Force pilot (Austin Stowell) in exchange for a convicted Soviet KGB spy (Mark Rylance). The movie received six Oscar nominations, and Rylance took home the award for Best Supporting Actor.
It's adults vs. kids again in the dystopian sci-fi flick, set in the year 2045 and released in 2018. The adventure begins when an orphaned teenager finds the first clue to a hidden game in a virtual reality universe called the OASIS. If he can find the other two before anyone else does—and without getting killed by the rival IOI team—he will win the game and control of the OASIS.