Jaws (1975) Spielberg's first real blockbuster. Three men and a boat against a humongous shark.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) Richard Dreyfus as a man that is dealing with the knowledge he has that aliens are coming to earth.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) The movie that introduced the world to Indiana Jones. Spielberg collaborates with George Lucas, in an adventure that was inspired by the movie serials of days gone by. With three sequels under his belt (and talk of a fourth) while all of them may be at least worth seeing, he has not been able to match the success of the original. One of the perfect action movies.
E. T. (1982) Not a big favorite for me, but that doesn't mean that it's not good. Expands on his idea that space aliens would not necessarily be the kind that come to earth looking to dominate or destroy. If anything could be dropped from "The Book" it would be this one. I'll bet there are a lot of people out there that WOULD NOT agree.
The Color Purple (1985) After years of action and sci-fi, Spielberg returns to the human drama. I believe this is the point where Hollywood started taking him serious.
Jurassic Park (1993) Spielberg's adaptation of the Michael Crichton novel gave us an idea what could happen if man tried to reintroduce dinosaurs to the earth.
Schindler's List (1993) Liam Neeson is Oskar Schindler, a man using his position as a factory owner as a means of saving as many as possible from the concentration camps. Ralph Fiennes portrays a ruthless SS officer. Filmed in black and white.
Saving Private Ryan (1998) After surviving the landing at Omaha Beach, an Infantry squad is assigned to find a soldier, who is supposed to be sent home. A good story that portrays squad relationships on the edge of civility as they argue the validity of their orders and gives an eye-opening vision of D-Day. Makes you wonder how ANYONE could have walked away from the beach.