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Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 348 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: You're in for thrills as Indiana Jones (Ford) confronts snakes, Nazis and one astonishing cliffhanger after another -- all topped off by the discovery and opening of the mystical Ark of the Covenant. [Paramount Pictures]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. One of the most deliriously funny, ingenious and stylish American adventure movies ever made.
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    100
    Spielberg has deftly veiled proceedings in a sense of mystical wonder that makes it all the more easy for viewers to suspend disbelief and settle back for the fun.
  3. 100
    Plays like an anthology of the best parts from all the Saturday matinee serials ever made.
  4. Spielberg can never top this. Period.
  5. 100
    Has all the right ingredients: a smart script, a likable hero, a dash of romance, more than a touch of comedy, and a lot of fast-paced action.
  6. 100
    An adventure film that plays like an old-time 12-part serial that you see all at once, instead of Saturday-to-Saturday. It's a modern "Thief of Baghdad." It's the kind of movie that first got you excited about movies when you were a kid. (Translation for today's children: It's better than anything on TV.) [12 June 1981]
  7. 30
    Travels fast and straight down a linear plot, and the ceaseless rush quickly becomes monotonous.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 74
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 74
  3. Negative: 4 out of 74
  1. Apr 6, 2011
    10
    Thanks to its unforgettable characters, excellent story, breathtaking action, great cinematography, and a perfect score from John Williams, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the all time classic action movies! Expand
  2. Aug 28, 2012
    10
    Indiana Jones, the character responsible for making archaeology the most exciting and sought for career ever is at best found in his first and inarguably greatest classic. Raider's of the lost Ark was one of a number of classic brought to the screen in the 1980's, other notable masterpieces were time travel saga the Back to the Future trilogy, the original Terminator and the Empire Strikes Back, and Spielberg's action adventure near enough trumps them all.
    Set in the backdrop of mid 1930's, where the second world war is on the verge, the film begins in a middle eastern jungle, Indy is venturing for a golden idol, he begins with three mercenaries, the whip crashes and five minutes later, he's running from a boulder having just set off the booby trap that would encave the entire temple. Five minutes in and one of the film's, of not one of cinema's most iconic scenes has rolled its way on to the screen, surely it can't get better?
    It does, watch on.
    Steven Spielberg is on top form in this department, providing camera work and action set pieces galore, scripted wonderfully by 80's superman Lawrence Kasdan (Empire Strikes Back.) But it's Harrison Ford who takes the cake as arguably the greatest (super)hero in cinema history, running from set piece to set piece whilst driving his story with impossibly cool suave and underlying moral dilemma. It's a film that, when first thought about ($20m globe trotting actioner starring Han Solo?) should not be good, bar even watchable, but the dream team of Lucas, Spielberg, Kasdan and Ford make it some of the most exciting, visually arresting adventure pics in creation. A must watch.
    Expand
  3. HanselH.
    Feb 25, 2006
    10
    One of the best movies ever made. From the "Paramount" opening title, to every action sequence, to the rousing John Willims score, and the memorable characters and villians, etc. etc. Danger! Romance! Comedy! Action! Adventure! This is what movies is all about. Expand
  4. Jul 15, 2013
    10
    THIS IS A SPECTACULAR FILM!!!! Filled with so much action, adventure and fun- this film has everything that an audience needs when they go to see a movie. The script is so well written and witty, the direction and tone is spectacular (Spielberg does it again), the acting is top notch (Harrison Ford is a beast), the music is classic (John Williams is also a beast for making this score), the action is epic and awesome, the romance is great (Karen Allen is great), the film is fresh and original- this film has it all. An adventure of a lifetime! Expand
  5. Mar 28, 2011
    9
    Awesome movie that introduced Harrison Ford's most iconic role (sorry Han Solo fans). Only complaint I had was because of the way the Ark of the Covenant was portrayed, but everything else was great! Expand
  6. Dec 8, 2013
    9
    This is primarily an action movie, and it does its job of thrilling us with brilliant action sequences one after the other more than satisfactorily. Harrison Ford plays Dr. Indiana Jones, a professor of archaeology at an unnamed university. Don't let his profession fool you. In his spare time, he likes to go on prolonged hunts for antiquities. This hobby of his takes him from South America to Nepal to Egypt.

    He finds trouble everywhere he goes, or trouble finds him. Indy is not interested in riches, but seeks to hand over each discovery he can to the museum. But Belloq, his nemesis, seems always to be one step ahead of him, and he has powerful friends who then have more friends of themselves, always among the local population. Shooting frequently breaks out wherever Indy goes, buildings explode, henchmen die and so on.

    The main plot follows Indiana Jones on the search for the lost Ark, which the Nazis are digging for with the help of Belloq. An object that is a key toward finding it is with Marion, Indy's past love interest. Circumstances force them to go on the search together, but they must do this before the Nazis, who would stop at nothing to bring the Ark to Berlin for the Fuhrer, to use as a weapon.

    The pacing was too fast at times and little time was left to develop the mythology and the importance of the Ark. We were expected to come into the film with a crash course on it. What the movie excels at is not making us Ark enthusiasts, but letting us glimpse what most treasure hunts must feel like to the people who pursue this course of action.

    All the action might have bored an average viewer if not for the quirky lines that crack you up, uttered by the characters in the face of impending death. Indy doesn't seem to believe for one moment that all those bullets flying over his head could really hit him. Often times, he uses his whip to slash at opponents and as a fulcrum to propel himself forward or lower himself or hold onto something. It serves nearly unlimited purposes.

    Set in 1936, the movie captures the look of the time as well as any other movie could. We have the cars, motorcycles, planes; and the dresses and uniforms and weapons. All this combines to create a very convincing world in which we absorb instantly.

    The movie has more than its share of explosions, car chases, shooting, fist-fighting and all that. You hardly ever pause to reflect, or become bored for that matter. You never learn how the Nazis find out which ship was Indiana travelling in. All this is good, and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but what I couldn't digest was the ending. It isn't necessarily bad in any way. Actually it failed to make any kind of impact on me. It kind of fizzled out. I feel like it should have held true to the joyride which came before it. Go out with a blast, not with a fizzle. Surely greats like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg could have done better. It was too deus ex machina. I found it anticlimactic, and it lessened the effect the movie had on me until then.

    Hailed as a great movie by many critics and audience alike, I cannot deny that I enjoyed the ride. But I can't concur in good conscience that this movie was great in light of the ending of the movie, though I will be fair and rate it as it deserves.
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  7. GordanC.
    Nov 25, 2007
    0
    I have been told that this has been a masterpiece of action/adventure films. But I think my source told me wrong because during the film, I was quite bored, the quality kind of sucked. It was cheesy and the last quarter was very dull, I wasn't even engaged, there was no action, but a linear design of perspective. The writing and characters are okay, but overall the movie sucks. I'm not going to watch this again. Expand

See all 74 User Reviews