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65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

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5.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 1019 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The newest Indiana Jones adventure begins in the desert Southwest in 1957 – the height of the Cold War. Indy and his sidekick Mac have barely escaped a close scrape with nefarious Soviet agents on a remote airfield. Now, Professor Jones has returned home to Marshall College – only to findThe newest Indiana Jones adventure begins in the desert Southwest in 1957 – the height of the Cold War. Indy and his sidekick Mac have barely escaped a close scrape with nefarious Soviet agents on a remote airfield. Now, Professor Jones has returned home to Marshall College – only to find things have gone from bad to worse. His close friend and dean of the college explains that Indy's recent activities have made him the object of suspicion, and that the government has put pressure on the university to fire him. On his way out of town, Indiana meets rebellious young Mutt, who carries both a grudge and a proposition for the adventurous archaeologist: If he'll help Mutt on a mission with deeply personal stakes, Indy could very well make one of the most spectacular archaeological finds in history – the Crystal Skull of Akator, a legendary object of fascination, superstition and fear. But as Indy and Mutt set out for the most remote corners of Peru, they quickly realize the Soviet agents are also hot on the trail of the Crystal Skull. Indy and Mutt must find a way to evade the ruthless Soviets, follow an impenetrable trail of mystery, grapple with enemies and friends of questionable motives, and, above all, stop the powerful Crystal Skull from falling into the deadliest of hands. [Paramount Pictures] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. It's crammed full of the dash, filmmaking flair, swashbuckling magic, impossible stunts and tongue-in-cheek humor that made the series such a phenomenon of its time, and -- for those versed in its traditions -- almost every frame is enjoyable on some level.
  2. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    80
    A slick, fun film that has by no means sacrificed the fast action beats of the first three.
  3. The movie moves. It has action sequences that are so enormous that they won't just wow audiences, but rock them back in their seats and make them laugh at the audacity of it all.
  4. The character and plot contrivances are dumber than ever, but this is basically vaudeville, not narrative, and the thrills keep coming.
  5. While the production values are top-notch, and the action artfully choreographed, in the end - and quite well before the end - a sense of tedium sets in.
  6. Reviewed by: Jennie Yabroff
    60
    Like Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard," Indy is still big; it's just that, in the new world of movie franchises, The Crystal Skull feels smaller.
  7. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    30
    It's hard to tell whether Spielberg and Lucas are trying too hard or trying at all--the thing's such a mess, such an unmitigated disaster, that damned is the scholar stuck with the unfortunate task of deciphering this cynical, clinical gibberish in decades to come.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. JaredK.
    Oct 25, 2008
    10
    This is an underated gem. I'm not surprised so many complain. Some won't give anything a chance. Still, it's great.
  2. TedK.
    Jun 20, 2008
    9
    This film had me grinning like a small child. It totally entranced me. I love how the filmmakers went WAY WAY over the top. Its unabashed This film had me grinning like a small child. It totally entranced me. I love how the filmmakers went WAY WAY over the top. Its unabashed silliness is what makes this movie great. Expand
  3. SteveG.i
    May 27, 2008
    8
    Though not as good as the first Indy movie, this film delivers what the lovers of the franchise expect. There is great action, evil bad guys, Though not as good as the first Indy movie, this film delivers what the lovers of the franchise expect. There is great action, evil bad guys, a quasi mystical force involved, and the return of Marion. Like the other movies in the franchise, this is a throwback to Saturday afternoon serials in the past. It is fine for all ages, not offensive in any way and a fun ride. I enjoyed it. Expand
  4. StevenK.
    May 24, 2008
    5
    I'm a big Indiana Jones fan. I've seen the first 3 more times than I care to mention! And although I love them all, I do admit that I'm a big Indiana Jones fan. I've seen the first 3 more times than I care to mention! And although I love them all, I do admit that all 3 have flaws, plot holes, and problems with the storytelling, but as entertainment, they beat almost everything that dares to challenge them. After having seen Indy 4 last night, I can say that I was underwhelmed and dissatisfied by it, especially because I had to wait 19 years for it and the best that they could offer was Crystal Skull. It's unforgivable! The talent involved, the caliber of the people involved, the money involved, and the time it took to work on this should have yielded much, much better results. Most of all, I feel heartbroken and crestfallen. Stuff I hated: ----SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS---- I hated the CGI monkeys! And the CGI prairie dogs for that matter. I hated the idea of the Tarzan-style swinging. I hated just how fake the swinging looked and how well Mutt managed to do it and how he even caught up with the vehicles without much trouble. I hated how Indy survived a nuclear explosion just because he was in a lead-lined fridge. It's not like the entire fridge was lead-lined and even if it was, it would be thin lead-lining, not enough to protect Indy from a blast, much less a nuclear blast. And he walks away from it all unscathed. This is Indy, not Superman!!! And why did the fridge have a curved trajectory from the nuclear blast? And why was the fridge the only thing that was ejected from the blast site? And why was Indy safe from the radiation once he got out of the fridge? And why was the test site so close to Area 51? I hated just how boring and undefined a villain Spalko was. It's like Blanchett didn't know where to go with her character. Her accent was also the conventional Russian accent that we've come to expect from Hollywood, so I expected better from this Academy-Award-winning actress. But we can fault the writing too. Also, how come nothing ever came off of her alleged ability to read minds? I hated just how adept Mutt was with the sword-fighting. He was fencing with Spalko the pro on top of moving vehicles yet he never missed a beat! And the whole thing with Mutt's leg split and crotch pain was more ridiculous than funny or clever. I hated how boring the music was. The first three movies had distinctive memorable themes and tunes that I could whistle to, this one didn't. It felt like John Williams was going through the motions. I hated the cinematography! The cinematography of the first three was beautiful when it had to be and gritty/realistic when it had to be. With Indy 4, the cinematography made it look hazy, out of focus, as if the colours washed over each other, there were annoying light flares and no crispness or sharpness to the images. In fact, the cinematography gave the movie this fake, artificial, inauthentic look/feel. Kaminski's style worked in Private Ryan and Minority Report, for example, but not here. I hated how Mac (Winstone) was a completely unnecessary character that didn't advance the plot forward. He was also a confused character but that was the writers' fault. Also, Mac didn't really have to die. He could've easily saved his own life or have been saved by Indy. Karen Allen was bad! I'm sorry people! And she was too eager to please which came off as desperate. Also, she didn't seem like a woman from the 1950s, in fact, she felt more like a loopy, drugged, modern-day soccer-mom. Indy and Marion were never given a moment to reconnect as characters after not having seen each other for so long and after having been through all these calamitous events. They just launched into their schtick immediately after they had met. There wasn't a single romantic moment between them like in Raiders. Not only that, but he abandons her for 10 years in Raiders, then backs away from the marriage and leaves her for 19 years, then she has his child without telling him and married some guy that Indy supposedly introduced her to and then suddenly, in Crystal Skull, she falls into his arms and is in love with him again and ready to marry him without skipping a beat?!!! Come on! And how tired is that cliche? The long-lost son?! I hated the CGI. Too much CGI (apparently Spiely was lying to us when he said that this movie was not going to rely on CGI and was going to be old-fashioned). It felt like Spiely was copying The Mummy and Lara Croft, which is ironic, since those awful movies were inspired by his work. The ending, for example, when the entire city whirls around and gets engulfed in a whirlpool of dust, debris and water... that was CGI overkill and it reminded me of the endings to the Mummy movies. Not only that, but to add insult to injury; the CGI was shoddy. The entire bit at the end of the sequence inside the alien temple when it starts to fall apart and the portal to another dimension opens up and sucks everything up was just not detailed enough as a piece of CGI. It looked terrible. Is it me or is CGI getting worse every year?! The whole chase scene in the jungle felt and looked absolutely fake! Almost all of it: the sword fighting, the swinging, the monkeys, the racing-near-the-cliffs, the CGI jeep landing on top of Indy Expand
  5. Robyn
    May 23, 2008
    3
    This movie was completely rediculous. The story line was boring and I was falling asleep in the theater, literaly. I dozed off and woke up to This movie was completely rediculous. The story line was boring and I was falling asleep in the theater, literaly. I dozed off and woke up to see Shia Lebuf winging with monkeys through a forest to get back to the jeep. Then an X-Files moment accured and that is when I really wanted my money back. Do not see this movie in the theaters, wait until the dvd comes out, if you still have a desire to see this awful movie. I've seen the others, and this one was just terrible. Expand
  6. JonB.
    Aug 3, 2008
    2
    Some of the adventure remains from the original trilogy, but being on the bench too long has led to atrophy of this classic series.
  7. SteveW.
    May 23, 2008
    0
    Horrible in all ways! Terrible acting, ugly visual effects, substandard direction, and worst of all, horrendous screen-writing. May rank as Horrible in all ways! Terrible acting, ugly visual effects, substandard direction, and worst of all, horrendous screen-writing. May rank as my most hated film of all time! Don't waste your money on seeing this trash. Expand

See all 505 User Reviews

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