Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic 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. 90
    It miraculously pulled off the effect of feeling like a surprise: The picture both fulfilled some vague, unexpressed hopes I didn't know I had and also left me with the sense that I'd just seen something I wasn't quite prepared for -- the kind of contradiction that great showmanship can bridge.
  3. 88
    I can say that if you liked the other Indiana Jones movies, you will like this one, and that if you did not, there is no talking to you.
  4. 83
    Despite the merry duo of Ford and Connery, The Last Crusade offered a familiar pursuit of the Holy Grail. The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull makes a better move: It goes back to the future. Once again, the Indiana Jones series is the rare franchise that treasures knowledge and embraces the unknown.
  5. Entertaining, inventive and old-fashioned in the best way.
  6. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    80
    A slick, fun film that has by no means sacrificed the fast action beats of the first three.
  7. Though the film stars a relaxed and capable Harrison Ford as everyone's favorite intrepid archaeologist and boasts supporting players ranging from Cate Blanchett as a superb villainess to Shia LaBeouf as the inevitable youngster, the real heroes of this film are director Steven Spielberg and the veritable army of superb technicians who turn the film's numerous stunts and special effects into trains that insist on running on time.
  8. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Nineteen years after their last adventure, director Steven Spielberg and star Harrison Ford have no trouble getting back in the groove with a story and style very much in keeping with what has made the series so perennially popular.
  9. 78
    Ford's Indy, who doesn't quite hang up his fedora at film's end, is still the only cinematic smartass-cum-bullwhipping scholar of antiquities I'd want by my side when push comes to shove comes to Nazis ("I hate these guys"), Russkies, or, for that matter, Al Quaeda. Go get 'em, Indy, and cue the John Williams while you''e at it.
  10. 75
    Often thrilling, sometimes charming, occasionally clunky family entertainment that perhaps wisely doesn't attempt to scale the heights of "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
  11. 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.
  12. 75
    The overall effect is either exhilarating or exhausting, depending on your emotional investment in the franchise, but credit where credit is due: Steven Spielberg and George Lucas set out to make one for the fans and delivered.
  13. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    Merely grand old-school fun - a rollicking class reunion that stands as the second best entry in the venerable series.
  14. Both the good and bad remind us that the most special thing about "Skull" is the man wearing the fedora and the rakish grin. He has never worn out his welcome, and this valedictory – it can be nothing else – is a fitting one.
  15. The movie's pretty good, occasionally very good. But I also kind of hope they don't make another one.
  16. Crystal Skull is a fun ride, but if we have to wait 19 years for the next one, that's OK by me.
  17. 70
    I can't deny it: I had a shit-eating grin on my face for most of the ensuing two hours. I also can't deny that many of the criticisms about to be leveled at Spielberg and Lucas over "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" are well-deserved, but it's still good to see Indiana Jones, and Marion, back in action one last time.
  18. 70
    It's enough to make you forgive a great deal of this film's dumbness and appreciate it as meaningless, goodhearted and mostly non-obnoxious entertainment.
  19. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    There are scenes in the new movie that seem like stretching exercises at a retirement home; there are garrulous stretches, and even the title seems a few words too long. But once it gets going, Crystal Skull delivers smart, robust, familiar entertainment.
  20. It's romantic manliness at its purest, almost but not quite schmaltz, ideally calculated to please true believers and ironic snorters at once.
  21. The character and plot contrivances are dumber than ever, but this is basically vaudeville, not narrative, and the thrills keep coming.
  22. Harrison Ford? Terrific -- and re-energized.
  23. 67
    The biggest problem with Crystal Skull is one that's lately plagued Spielberg in otherwise excellent films like "Munich" and "War Of The Worlds": He fails to stick the landing. And for an entertainment with nothing much on its mind, that hurts.
  24. 63
    Audiences looking for emotional resonance in Indy 4 are doomed to the temple of disappointment. Spielberg and Lucas aren't upping their creative game -- they're taking care of business.
  25. 63
    The script was kept under unusually tight wraps during filming, but the biggest surprise in the picture is how talky the whole enterprise is. Particularly deadly is a long stretch in mid-film where the heroes walk through caves, talk about what they're seeing, get captured and talk with their captors, escape and talk some more.
  26. 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.
  27. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    Even with the ponderous dialogue, it's hard not to have fun on this adventure, and it's good to see that Indy, though slightly weary, still has the goods.
  28. Director Steven Spielberg seems intent on celebrating his entire early career here. Whatever the story there is, a vague journey to return a spectacular archeological find to its rightful home -- an unusual goal of the old grave-robber, you must admit -- gets swamped in a sea of stunts and CGI that are relentless as the scenes and character relationships are charmless.
  29. 60
    Things could be worse. At the end of the day, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is nothing if not consistent -- taking care of business solidly, professionally and without a lick of the genuine wonderment or inspiration that you can find in surplus in Jon Favreau's Spielberg-influenced "Iron Man."
  30. There's plenty of frantic energy here, lots of noise and money too, but what's absent is any sense of rediscovery, the kind that's necessary whenever a filmmaker dusts off an old formula or a genre standard.
User Score
5.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 1016 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. DaveY
    May 21, 2008
    2
    Huh, what the hell just happened? Just back from the Midnight premiere. Indiana Jones meets Mars Attack. Not to mention killer ants, sword fighting, and Shia LeBeauf swinging on vines with a gang of monkeys. I am extremely baffled. I really am. Aliens...really? C'mon Spielberg, lets try to keep Indiana Jones and E.T. seperate films. And please god don't let Shia become the heir to the throne. End this series now, before you make it worse...again. Full Review »
  2. 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.
  3. JimboJ.
    Oct 17, 2008
    9
    Fantastic Indy movie. It might not be the best in the series - it may even be the worst - but all the same, it's a damn fun movie to watch and make no mistake, this is an Indiana Jones movie. So I say drop the expectations, let go of the comparisons, and just sit back and enjoy the ride. Full Review »