Top Picks: Steven Spielberg

Influential, creative, iconic. These are the words best used to describe American film director, producer and screenwriter Steven Spielberg. For 50 years, Spielberg has established himself as the most commercially successful director of all time. His many accolades include three Academy Awards, a Kennedy Center honor and the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award. In celebration of his 75th birthday on December 18, we're taking a look at the legendary director's most iconic films.

In 1975, Spielberg became a household name thanks to his film adaptation of Peter Benchley's novel Jaws. Regarded as the ultimate shark film, it became known as a summer blockbuster and won three Academy Awards for Best Film Editing, Best Score and Best Sound. In 2001, it was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Following the success of Jaws, Spielberg took audiences on a tear-jerking adventure with the science fiction classic E.T. The story of a boy befriending an alien who wants to go home cemented Spielberg's reputation for generating summer blockbusters.

After a brief hiatus, Spielberg returned to his sci-fi roots with the adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel Jurassic Park. With its action-packed scenes, powerful acting and a life-sized animatronic T-Rex, the film was a commercial success and spawned five sequels: Lost World, Jurassic Park III, Jurassic World, Jurassic World and Jurassic World Dominion.

Spielberg inspired a resurgence in war films thanks to the 1998 film Saving Private Ryan. Known for its realistic and graphic portrayal of war, the film told the story of an Army Rangers Captain and his squad searching for a paratrooper. Widely declared as Spielberg's best film, Saving Private Ryan won him many awards, most notably the Academy Award for Best Director.

What's your favorite Steven Spielberg film? Let us know in the comments below!