I agree with you that Williams last three scores are lacking in many of the qualities found so abundantly in his earlier works. But I also feel you are falling from the primary need of a film score, its ability to work with the film. Now I'm sure we would all like to hear film music that is as rhythmic and as pleasant to listen to as ET is, but the truth is, not all films can work with scores like that. One thing Williams is good at is composing for movies that work well with his full orchestra, not quite as genius as Tchaikovsky or Wagner (who can be), style. But give him a film like "American Beauty" or "Rode to Perdition" and it just isn't quite the same. What I would say the problem is with the three films you've mentioned, probably less so with the later two the most recent of which, MN, I have yet to see, is that he isn't playing the emotion on screen as well as he used to. It's like a twinkie without the creme filling.